Thomas Klein is part of the original Tillable software engineering team, starting with the company in January 2018. A native of eastern Iowa, he earned a dual degree in computer science and computer information systems from Simpson College.
“I grew up in a farmhouse in a small agricultural town where pretty much everyone was involved in either agriculture or manufacturing,” Thomas says. “I was surrounded by agriculture.”
Prior to joining Tillable, he spent two years with a digital consultancy in Chicago that dealt in a variety of emerging technologies for Fortune 500 companies.
The startup mentality is one of the things that drew Thomas to Tillable. “I wanted to get my hands dirty, building something from nothing,” he says. “When I started, I was looking at a blank page. And now, 18 months later, we’ve got a working platform with several thousand users.”
Thomas also saw Tillable as a solution to a unique problem. “Farmland rental was something I was completely unaware of until Corbett (Kull) and Matt (Didier) talked to me about it before I started. It wasn’t your traditional social media platform or business application. It had real-world applications, and it hearkened back to my small-town Iowa roots.”
What are the best things about working at Tillable? “From an engineering standpoint, it has been the chance to be on a small team, to work with technologies that I was familiar with and wanted to work with, and to choose the tooling that I thought best fit the problem set.”
Thomas says he is exhilarated by the opportunity for the industry to benefit from technology. “Farmers in general have been really tech-forward over the last decade,” he says. “But we’ve learned that the landowner is the one who now has to catch up to the farmer in terms of the technology that they have available, and that’s where we come in.”