How Would You Define Technology?

tech·nol·o·gy noun tek-?nä-l?-j? 1a:> the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area b: a capability given by the practical application of knowledge 2: a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge <new technologies for information storage> 3: the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor

Despite what Webster says, every person at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds most likely would define “technology” as it relates to his/her job.  Mention “technology” to company president John Latham and he’s apt to engage you in a conversation about Agrisure Durcade, which should receive approval soon, to fight corn rootworm.  Product Manager Mark Grundmeier might have XtendTM soybeans on his mind since new stacked brands are in the pipeline, featuring Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® technology with Dicamba resistance.

Kathy Rogotzke, math instructor at North Iowa Area Community College, visits with Dani Young, a sophomore at CWL, during the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference Friday at NIACC. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY PIEPER/The Globe Gazette

I hadn’t really stopped to think about how technology advancements – many that we’ve made within the last four years – have changed the way we do business until I sat down to write a speech.  I looked at our business in a different light after Dr. Kathy Rogotzke, math instructor at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), contacted me to be a speaker for NIACC’s WOMEN in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math) careers event.

My charge was to inspire high school students to consider careers in technology and to help open their eyes to career opportunities.  Instead of talking only about how new media technology has changed Latham Seeds’ approach to marketing and public relations, I decided to give high school students an idea of just how broad the technology field is and how many jobs are affected by it.

Today I’d like to share with you, our readers, a brief overview of how technology impacts every facet of our business:

Research / Product Development

Seed Production / Soybean Manufacturing



  • GPS navigation

Customer Service

  • New phone/ answering system
  • New computer software integrates operations




  • Seed traits
  • Auto steer
  • GPS / yield monitors
  • Precision planting
  • Variable rate planting
  • Smartphones for up-to-the-minute markets and real-time weather

Bottom line:  Even if a person wasn’t raised on a farm, chances are he or she could find a fulfilling career in a technology field that’s somehow affiliated with agriculture.  With a job placement rate of 98% for Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture graduates, it’s certainly worth considering!

Not only are placement rates great, but starting salaries are among the highest for new grads since careers in agriculture encompass science, technology, engineering and math.  People who want jobs move to areas where there is opportunity, and today there is virtually limitless opportunity in agriculture. There’s never been a better time for young people to enter the industry!