Feeling "Pampered" in Pender

Farming was Rory Allen’s first love.  His dad gave him a gilt when he was 9 years old.  And by the time he was age 14, Rory was farrowing 60 sows.  He first rented ground in 1974 as part of his high school FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) and has continued to build his operation over the past 38 years.

After a tornado took half of the hog barn in 1993, Rory was forced to make a decision.  He either needed to build new hog facilities or get out of the business.  He decided, given hog prices at the time, to focus his attention elsewhere.  The time and energy that Rory had devoted to raising hogs was then channeled into his seed business.

“I started as a Latham® dealer 22 years ago, and the quality of the seed has always been excellent,” says Rory.  “We’ve had issues with lower germ with other companies in the past but never with Latham.  Plus, we enjoy the personal service we get from Latham.  It means a lot to have the company owners know you on a first-name basis, shake your hand as they greet you, and sit down and talk with you.”

Sitting down with customers and helping them select the seed that best fits their farming style is one of the things Rory enjoys most about being a seed dealer.  He also likes being able to get a first look at new technology and is especially pleased with the results he’s been seeing with Latham® soybean genetics combined with the Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® trait technology.

Pride in farming and a love for the country life is evident when you pull into the lane of Rory and Carol Allen’s beautiful farmstead just outside the village of Pender, Nebraska.  As newlyweds, the couple moved onto the farm where Rory was raised.   It’s also where they raised their son and two daughters:  Lance, 27; Courtney, 25; and Kayci, 21.  Now they’re also the proud grandparents of a 15-month-old grandson.

“I’d never been on a farm before I met Rory, but I really enjoy living in the country,” says Carol, who has become adept at driving tractors and hauling grain.  She’s also been a Pampered Chef® consultant for 18 years, which has given her the flexibility to work around kids’ schedules and farming.  “Our kids enjoyed many freedoms by living here, yet we were close enough to town so they could be involved in many school activities and sports.”

While both Rory and Carol enjoy operating their own businesses, they also like to make time for family meals.  Make-ahead meals are perfect for busy times of year like spring planting.  That’s why Runza Casserole is one of Carol’s go-to recipes.  Today she’s also sharing a recipe for Biscuits & Gravy Casserole that was a crowd pleaser at their church’s recent Easter breakfast.

I have to admit that I was feeling a bit pampered myself after sitting down with the Allens and being treated to a piece of angel food cake topped with pineapple.  Perhaps that’s another recipe I can request from Carol…

Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Casserole


  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 packages Sausage Gravy Mix (makes 2 cups per package)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tubes refrigerated biscuits


  1. Cook sausage, set aside. In large saucepan, make gravy according to directions.
  2. Add sausage to gravy, set aside.
  3. In large bowl whisk eggs, evaporated milk and salt.
  4. Soft scramble eggs with the butter.
  5. In a 9×13 pan (or the Pampered Chef Stoneware Rectangle Baker) layer gravy, eggs, gravy, eggs, gravy, then top with biscuits.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350° until biscuits are golden brown.

Runza Casserole



  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 3/4 c chopped onion
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  •  2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 packages crescent rolls
  • 1 1/2 c cheese (American or Velvetta)



  1. Brown hamburger with onion. Leave burner on low & add shredded cabbage, salt, black pepper & garlic.
  2. Cook until cabbage is wilted & soft (about 7 minutes).
  3. Grease 9x13 pan (or Pampered Chef Stoneware Rectangle Baker).
  4. Put half of the meat mixture in the pan & sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese.
  5. Place 1 package of crescent rolls on top of cheese.
  6. Repeat layers again.
  7. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.