Tom is a third generation Natomas resident, like his grandfather and father, who both made the Natomas Basin their home until their deaths. Much of Tom’s career has been in agriculture, again following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father.
Tom’s education centered upon teaching, but the lure of the family farm forced him to make a career change, prior to receiving a degree. It would take several decades for Tom to return to college, where he earned a Bachelors of Vocational Education from Sacramento State University in 2004.
After leaving farming in 1992, Tom was hired as the Assistant General Manager for Natomas Mutual Water Company, an agricultural water purveyor, then as the Operations Manager for a Reclamation District in Yolo and Colusa counties and in 2009 started a consulting business, supplying his expertise on a short-term basis to agricultural customers.
Tom has served on the Board of Directors of the California Tomato Growers Association, the Sacramento County Farm Bureau, the California Farm Bureau Commodity Committee and the Natomas Central Mutual Water Company. He has also been a member of the Sacramento County Water Forum, Natomas Historical Society, and the Facility Planning Committee for Natomas Unified School District and the City of Sacramento Traffic Calming Committee for the Del Verde neighborhood. Additionally, Tom, along with many of his cousins, have planned and executed reunions of decedents of Portuguese family members who were raised in the Natomas area, in addition to launching the Portuguesecousins.com web site and Portuguese Cousins Facebook Page.
Tom previously served on the Reclamation District No. 1000 Board of Directors from December 2004 until December 2019, where his father, Manuel J. Barandas served for several decades.
Currently, Tom is semi-retired, living with his wife Peggy, but is always looking for ways to use his experiences to help the cause of agriculture and the Natomas area.