Hardin County agriculture is in 31-year-old Mark Thomas’s blood. Thomas co-operates BLT Farms in Elizabethtown, which is located on the same property where his love of farming started.
Following in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents, Thomas helped out on the family farm at a young age. As soon as he was able, Thomas helped with his father’s hog and tobacco operation. By the time he started studying at Central Hardin High School, Thomas was heavily involved in Future Farmers of America and 4-H and began raising hogs, sweet corn and a few acres of row crops for his FFA project.
“This was the beginning of what my operation is today,” Thomas said.
Thomas went on to earn a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky in 2009. While in college, Thomas was named the 2005 Male Outstanding Farm Bureau Youth from Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Since returning home from college, Thomas has heavily been involved in state and local agricultural boards and agencies. He has served as secretary and president of the Kentucky Young Farmers Association; serves on the Hardin County Farm Bureau Board of Directors; serves on the Hardin County Grain Committee; serves as an advisory committee member for the local Farm Credit Mid-America Office; serves as a member of the Farm Credit Mid-America Growing Forward Advisory Committee for the state of Kentucky; has served on the Hardin County Extension Council and has served as president of the Hardin County Cattleman’s Association. Earlier this year, Thomas was named the 2019 Kentucky Young Farmer Association Member of the Year. Thomas said throughout his involvement in these various groups, his consistent goal has been to promote agriculture among area youth.
“As a 4-H and FFA member myself, each of these groups supported me in different ways,” he said. “I felt now that I was able that I needed to give back to the community and support the groups that gave myself and others so much support.”
At BLT Farms, Thomas and his family raise corn, soy beans, alfalfa, timothy and orchard grass hay and beef cattle. Though work on the farm takes up a great deal of his time, Thomas said he has an obligation as a farmer to promote and provide education on agriculture in the community.
“As agriculturists, we want our customers to know that we raise their food in a way that is sustainable, safe and efficient,” he said.
Thomas lives with his wife, Wesley, along with their dog, Kora, and cat, Zoey. Thomas and his wife enjoy kayaking, gardening and off-roading.
Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or email@example.com.