Thomas is a 2012 graduate of Southern Illinois Universityâ€“Carbondale and grew up on his familyâ€™s farm near Raymond, Ill. He graduated with a degree in agricultural systems with minors in plant & soil sciences and environmental studies. He served as the manager of the Stark County (Ill.) Farm Bureau, overseeing the operations of the local Farm Bureau and Foundation, coordinating and conducting programming in line with the organizationâ€™s mission, advocating for farmers legislatively, working to improve agricultural literacy, and is credited for growing and improving the local Farm Bureauâ€™s Foundation. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the American and Illinois Societies of Association Executives.
Thomas is a charter member of the Southern Illinois Chapter of FarmHouse, helping to establish the colony in 2011. He served as the colonyâ€™s secretary before graduation, and attended the Power of 7 Seminar in 2012 in Coeur dâ€™Alene, Idaho. He credits his Power of 7 Seminar experience as a turning point in his life, personally as well as to see a wider view of the Fraternity and be an involved alumni volunteer. Post-graduation, Thomas served as President of the Southern Illinois FarmHouse Association for two years, including helping the SIU Chapter charter in 2014. He served three years as a Fraternity Regional Director connecting with Midwest and Canadian FarmHouse chapters and association officers to provide regional support and mentoring. Â