Litzau Drives the Countryside – with 580 Horsepower!

Larry Litzau of Glencoe, Minnesota, drives the countryside in style.  Sports cars have been his passion since high school, and his newest sweetheart is a 2012 Camaro ZL1.  He has good reason to feel especially proud of this one as it took “Best in Class” on Aug. 5 at the Inver Grove Heights car show.

Given his penchant for sports cars, it’s only natural for Larry to participate in a “field day on wheels.”  He’s planning to drive this Camaro on Saturday, Aug. 25, when Latham Hi-Tech Seeds hosts its 4th Annual Freedom of Independence Ride in North Central Iowa.

“There are field days, and then there is Latham’s Freedom of Independence Ride,” says Larry.  “Looking at plots is just so much more fun when you’re cruisin’ the countryside.”

While participating in this year’s ride, Larry is especially looking forward to learning more about Latham’s new Gladiator hybrids and Ironclad soybeans.  “With more acres going to corn-on-corn, it will be helpful to have the Gladiator designation to help farmers select the best products for their situations.  I also like the way Latham’s true one-bag system for Refuge in Bag makes it simple for farmers to handle refuge requirements.  Latham’s new Ironclad designation will also help with product selection.  We’ve experienced more problems with Iron Deficiency Chlorosis, Soybean Cyst Nematode and Phytophthora Root Rot in recent years.  Because Latham is headquartered where these challenges are most prevalent, Latham® brand soybeans are bred to handle these situations better.”

Larry is especially excited about Latham’s 2013 soybean lineup.  “I made the switch to Latham because I wanted to work with a regional seed company that offers corn hybrids and soybean brands specifically bred for our geography.  Latham’s Roundup Ready 2 Yield® out-yielded the competition 5 to 6 bushels in 2011. It’s the real deal!”

Such an endorsement means a lot, coming from someone who has so much experience in the business.  Larry has represented other seed companies over the past 20 years, as well as farmed his own acres.  He had a farrow-to-finish hog operation for 30 years and was active in farm organizations including serving on the board for the McLeod County Corn and Soybean Growers.  In addition he served for eight years in the Naval Air Reserve, worked two years for 3M and 42 years for Telex as a tool and die maker.

“I’ve learned to never take anything for granted,” says Larry, who suffered a stroke on May 4, 2010.  “While there is never a good time to be struck by illness or injury, my stroke happened at the absolute worst time for a farmer and seed salesman.  With customers scheduled to take delivery of seed that morning, I was on my way to the emergency room in Glencoe.”  Less than an hour later, Larry was being transported by helicopter to St. Paul. He spent three days in the hospital and then another month doing intensive therapy.  His son, Brian, with the help of Regional Sales Manager Greg Brandt, got all of the seed in the hands of customers.

“You realize just how precious and fragile life is,” adds Larry’s wife, Eleanor, who has been battling cancer for nine years and is currently undergoing treatment.  “It really helps you put your priorities in order.”

Family takes first priority for Larry and Eleanor, who have been married for 42 years.  They were married May 9, 1970, and moved to their farm on June 1.  It’s also where they raised their three children: oldest daughter, Jennifer, works as a psychologist in the Glencoe Silver Lake school district; son Brian is a tool and die maker at Eaton Corporation; and youngest daughter, Rebecca, is an elementary music teacher I n the Minnetonka school district.  The Litzaus are also proud of their very active grandchildren: Paige, 12, enjoys music; Nathan, 10, plays baseball; Miranda, 8, loves soccer and softball; Owen, 7, plays hockey, golf and baseball; and Ava, 5, is a gymnast.

The one thing all five grandchildren enjoy is Grandma Ellie’s cooking!  Now that she’s recently retired after serving for 40 years as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at a long-term care facility in town, Eleanor has more time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.  The Food Channel is one of her favorite channels, and Eleanor enjoys trying new recipes.  Today she’s sharing one of her favorite easy-to-make recipes for apple pie.  With harvest just around the corner, you’ll want to give this one a try!  I taste-tested it last fall and agree this recipe is a keeper!

Indian Crumb-Top Apple Pie



  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 8 lg. tart apples, cored and thinly sliced (may or may not peel)
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. butter

COOK’S TIP:  Add a little flour, so the filling isn’t too runny

Crumb Topping:

  • ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour


Filling Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Add apples; sprinkle on water and lemon juice.  Toss until evenly coated.
  4. Spoon into a 9-inch, deep dish pie pan (without pastry).
  5. Dot with butter.

Crumb topping Directions:

  1. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour and stir until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle over apples.
  4. Bake 50-60 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.


Makes 8 servings

About 375 calories each.

May use cherries, peaches or apricots in place of apples.