The 3 C’s of Farming: Cyclones, Cows and Children

Tyler and Michelle Sandven are happy to make their home in rural Humboldt, Iowa, where’s plenty of wide, open space for their energetic girls to roam.  Their oldest daughter, Sydnie, is 9; Rylie is 8 years old.  Their twins, Kylan and Kynlie, are 18 months old.

“We feel fortunate to raise our family on a farm where they’re sure to develop a good work ethic,” says Tyler.  “They really enjoy the animals and helping with chores.  Our older girls especially enjoy riding in the cab of the tractor while the cattle are being fed.  They also like helping bottle feed the calves.”

Having a family who shares his love of agriculture makes this Iowa farmer proud.

“Farming is all I ever wanted to do,” says Tyler, who was raised on a diversified farm in Humboldt County.  After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Ag Business, he was eager to return to the family’s farming operation.

Together with his dad and his brother, Tyler raises cow-calf pairs and has a feeder to finish cattle operation.  The family also feed hogs and raise a few horses, which his father especially enjoys riding.  Tyler, on the other hand, prefers to ride something with a motor.  In his spare time, he especially enjoys riding motorcycles and snowmobiles.  Riding a Harley across the Hawaiian island of Maui is one of Tyler and Michelle’s favorite memories.

Combining is passion for motorcycles with his love of farming are a few of the reasons Tyler enjoys his partnership with Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.

“I like working with a family-owned business whose owners share a lot of our same values,” says Tyler.  “Plus, no one else hosts an annual Freedom of Independence Ride.  Latham’s annual “field day on wheels” has become an annual tradition for our family, as well as for some of my customers.  While it’s not for everyone, it’s an especially good time for those of us who enjoy riding bikes and taking in the countryside.”

Tyler has been a Latham® dealer for the past six years and appreciates having a solid lineup to sell of corn, soybeans and alfalfa.  For the second year in a row, Latham’s LH 5877 VT3 PRO was the Sandven’s top performer.  Even in extremely challenging conditions during the 2012 growing season, LH 5877 VT3 PRO produced a whole field average this fall of 190 bushels/acre, corn-on-corn.

While Tyler is high on this hybrid, he also understands the importance of “planting a package.”  He encourages farmers to plant a minimum of three or four different Latham® corn or soybean products with a mixture of offensive and defensive traits.  He says farmers also will want to mix maturities to reduce your risk.

Tyler will gladly visit with local farmers about the best products for their situations.  And if you’re lucky, Michelle might even treat you to a piece of her homemade Pumpkin Roll.  Today, just in time for the holidays, she’s sharing her recipe with us on

Pumpkin Roll



  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 c. canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon



  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl until thick; add pumpkin.
  4. Stir in flour mixture.
  5. Line cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) with wax or parchment paper and spray with oil.
  6. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly onto cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
  8. Loosen edges and then turn out onto paper towels.
  9. Sprinkle with generous amount of powdered sugar, roll and let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

COOK’S NOTE:  This recipe can be doubled; use 2.5 cups for each pan.


photo from Taste of Home