Tom Manley was born into a political family. The late Peter Manley, Tom's grandfather and a successful dairy farmer, served as Liberal MPP for 12 years in the 1950's and 1960's. In high school, Tom was active in student government and, at 17, was the president of the local Young Liberals Association in Stormont Dundas and Glengarry.
Growing up on the family dairy farm in Eastern Ontario, Tom obtained his high education at the Tagwi Secondary School in Avonmore Ontario. Eager to see the world, Tom obtained a BSC in Computer Science at the Collège Militaire Royal in St-Jean, Québec; served as the telecommunications officer at the Canadian Forces Base Montreal; moved on to become the network engineer for the lottery system at Loto-Québec, then joined Bell Canada and served as a network sales engineer for several years. In 1995, he moved to marketing and was the project leader for the development and launch of the Bell Sympatico Internet Service, not called Bell Internet.
In the 1980s, Tom's parents, Murray and Carrie Manley had converted the family's conventional dairy farm to organic field crops and founded Homestead Organics. Over time, they serviced other organic farmers with grain processing and livestock feed. In 1997, Tom took over the grain and feed processing at Homestead Organics and moved it to the feed mill in Berwick. Homestead Organics is now the leading organic agri-service business in Ontario.
Tom took his concerns about sustainability into active politics as a candidate in Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburg for the Green Party of Ontario in the Provincial election in October 2003, and again a candidate in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry in the Federal election of June 2004. Tom had the honour of participating in the televised national agriculture debate alongside then minister of Agriculture Bob Speller. Tom sought the leadership of the Green Party of Canada in the summer of 2005 obtaining 37% of the vote, but incumbant Jim Harris renewed his mandate with 54% of the vote.
In September 2005, Tom reconsidered his strategy for sustainable development. He resigned from the Green Party and announced his intentions to seek the nomination for the Liberal Party of Canada in the upcoming election, which was eventually called for January 23rd 2006. Although Tom was not elected, he pursues his drive for environmental sustainability through political action.
Tom participated in the agriculture committee of the Liberal Renewal Commission in 2006 and helped produce policy recommendations on agricultural incomes, renewing the family farm, and support for organic agriculture. Tom supported Stéphane Dion for the leadership race in 2006 of the Liberal Party of Canada and volunteered on Stéphane's policy team in the agricultural and environmental domains. The leadership convention was a wonderful experience.
Since the 2006 federal election, Tom's life is back to normal. The business is going well and he continues to participate in various community endeavours, such as Canadian Organic Growers' annual Eco Farm Day annual conference in Cornwall, the former Cornwall Carbon Reduction Initiative, and president of the Community Advisory Council of Alfred College. Tom also sits on the board of directors of the Organic Council of Ontario and on the advisory council of Sustain Ontario.
The family business, Homestead Organics, recently announced a major expansion and move to Morrisburg ON with the launch of Organic Central. In 2013, The Manley family celebrated 25 years at Homestead Organics.
Tom remains active in politics as the Vice-President Election Readiness for the SDSG Federal Liberal Association. In the 2008 election, Tom was on the road helping his Liberal candidate Denis Sabourin. And in the 2011 federal election, Tom was an active volunteer for Bernadette Clement.