Thornton Publishes Book

Mace Thornton, COO of Stratovation Group, has written his first book, titled Jawbone Holler, which will be published later this month.

Thornton grew up on a farm in northeast Kansas and attended Benedictine College. After graduating in 1984 with his bachelor's degree in journalism, he got his first job as a reporter at The McPherson Sentinel newspaper. There, he was assigned to write agricultural stories as part of his duties, but it was not until later that he pursued a career in agriculture.

“I became the associate editor with Kansas Farm Bureau, and I did a lot of storytelling,” Thornton said. “I worked with farmers, ranchers, and people who work with the land to produce food. It was a gratifying part of my career.”

After five years, he went to work for American Farm Bureau as the assistant director of news services.

“My wife and I moved to Chicago with a two-week-old baby, and we ended up staying there for 14 years,” Thornton said. “Later, the American Farm Bureau decided that their headquarters should move to Washington, D.C., so my family and I moved. Over that time, I served in many roles, and I ended up as the executive director of communications in 2013.”

Thornton and his wife are both from Kansas and wanted to be closer to their families. In 2019, he took a position with the United Soybean Board in Saint Louis, Missouri, as the vice president of communications and marketing strategy. He stayed there for three years before he became the chief operational officer for the Stratovation Group.

He has always wanted to write a novel but never had the time to achieve this goal.

“When you reach a certain age, you start looking back at your life and thinking about the things that you haven’t accomplished that you still want to,” Thornton said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, there weren’t a lot of creative outlets for me, and I was looking for a way to get that back. I never really knew what kind of book I would write, but I’ve always had this character in the back of my head that was intriguing to me.”

The main character of Jawbone Holler is an early settler of the Kansas territory named Perry Adams.

“Perry had some trouble as a young adult in the Civil War era, and he decided to strike out on his own to make a life for himself,” Thornton said. “He finds himself in an area known as Bloody Kansas because of the debate over slavery that was still plaguing the nation. Perry fled to that area because he wanted to find some land to start a farm, and the ties to agriculture in this book run deep.”

The story also incorporates a love story in honor of Thornton’s wife.

“She told me that Perry wasn’t going to appeal to female readers, so I decided to add a little bit of romance for her,” Thornton said. “She’s been with me every step of the way, and I am grateful for her support.”

The book has been a labor of love; he cannot wait to see where it goes.

“I would get off work and come home to write for three hours every day,” Thornton said. “If I had known it was going to be this rewarding, I would have done it earlier in life. I’m glad I finally got it done.”

The book is available for pre-order at