Folks on the Farm: Thomas Dilworth

thomas dilworth

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up the youngest of 6 kids and I have three beautiful women in my life: my incredible wife, Heather, and two daughters Mia (11) and Grace (7 months). I love sports, traveling and meeting new people. My favorite hobbies are people watching and coaching. And I served three years in the United States Army and spent nine years in Germany.

What is your position?

I am the new manager of the Kracklin’ Kamut® arm of the Montana Horizons Organic Snacks company. And I also do some construction and remodel work on the farm for Bob and his wife, Ann.

What are your overall responsibilities?

I am responsible for the manufacturing and packaging of Kracklin’ Kamut®, as well as all marketing, sales and distribution. Currently, it’s a one-man operation with part-time help in the manufacturing and packaging process. But I also have extensive help and support from my wife.

How long have you worked with Bob?

I started working for Bob and his wife, Ann, about 4 months ago doing some home repairs until Bob presented me with the opportunity to manage Kracklin’ Kamut® a few weeks ago.

How did you become aware of Bob Quinn?

My wife and I had Thanksgiving dinner with his daughter, Bridgette, and son-in-law, Andrew, who also manages The Oil Barn®. After dinner on the drive home, I told my wife with certainty that one of these days I would be working for Bob, which she reasonably questioned considering I had never met the man.

What’s your favorite part of your job so far?

My favorite part of the job, other than quality control (i.e. sampling the snacks), is definitely the public relations side of it, specifically I enjoy the marketing and traveling and meeting new people.

What sort of changes or additions would you like to make in your current position, and why?

The biggest changes we are working on now have to do with our marketing and promotion strategies. I want to see Kracklin’ Kamut® in more stores and communities, making people aware of our excellent, high-quality product. This is fun for me and I love gathering feedback from retailers and consumers on what they like and how we can improve. I think it’s important, at this early stage, to involve people and really get an idea of their expectations and hopes for this delicious snack.

As with any new company, growth is always a priority and I believe Montana Horizons Organic Snacks has the potential to be a household name in the very-near future. We are already looking at options to expand our product base and marketing reach. Currently, we are working with Jessica Klein, Germany’s 2010 “Master Chef” winner, to develop new flavors for our Kracklin’ Kamut® wheat snack, as well as ideas for future products.

What goals do you hope to help Bob achieve in your work?

Currently, my goal is to develop the Montana Horizons Organic Snacks company into a household brand that people trust and enjoy. My deepest desire is to have Bob come to me in five or ten years and tell me I’ve done more for this company than he had ever imagined.

So where are you originally from?

I grew up in small towns throughout Idaho, but I call Carey, Idaho home.

Did you grow up on a farm?

I did not grow up on a farm but I grew up around them. One of my closest friends growing up, Reggie Barton, had a family dairy farm and every time we went out and got into trouble he would invite me to spend the night knowing his mom and dad would have us up before the sun out feeding the cows.

What sort of qualifications or education was required for this position?

I have a background in public relations, sales and marketing, which have been a big help.

What do you enjoy about working for Bob?

What I enjoy most about Bob is his faith in me and in others. He is not a micro-manager, he sees the potential in people and in me, that I have certain abilities and talents and he believes I can put them to good use. I also love that we have a lot in common, always coming up with new ideas. But he is also extremely generous and down to earth. He’s just a good man. And the Monday morning breakfast’s he cooks for us are a pretty sweet perk.

Were you familiar with organic farming before working for Bob?

I was not at all familiar with organic farming. That’s probably been the biggest learning curve so far.

What are your thoughts on organic farming at this point?

I think organic is the way of the future. It just makes sense. We can’t continue to pollute our land with chemicals and we can’t continue to let corporations like Monsanto control our perceptions of food or our food supply.

Would you encourage your children to be organic farmers?

I absolutely would!

In conclusion, has working with Bob on an organic farm changed your perceptions about farming and food supply?

It certainly has. I hadn’t taken much interest in organic farming before. I was more concerned about convenience than anything else. But seeing the passion and dedication Bob has for organic farming, it has really made me take a hard look at how things work and the future I want to leave my children.