Celebrating Our 2,000th Blog Post

ShannonRadioEyebrows raised. Mouths gaped. Cheek muscles twitched.

You could’ve heard a pin drop for a few moments after I presented my idea in 2008 about launching a blog to a room filled with 10 salesmen and managers. Then one brave soul asked, “You mean you’re going to write a journal about your feelings and post it for the world to read? Why would any farmer want to read that?”

His question was valid. Very few people were blogging at the time, and honestly, I wasn’t aware of another seed company doing anything like what I had proposed. We modeled TheFieldPosition after blogs like Templeton Rye’s The Good Stuff and Nuts about Southwest (Airlines). Our objective was – and still is – to allow our customers to interact with our company 24/7.

Over the course of six years, our stories have evolved from agronomic newsletter articles to feature stories. TheFieldPosition blog has become known for Wednesday crop reports throughout the growing season and for Friday Farm Family Features all year long. Readers have gotten to know our family in a more personal way from stories about our daughter’s Zaney Zebra-themed party for her 9th birthday to the celebration of Grandma Latham’s 95th birthday. We’ve chronicled adventures including sales incentive trips to Key West, Florida, and Maui, Hawaii. We’ve called for farmers to take action on legislative and regulatory issues, ranging from child labor to accurate food labeling.

TheFieldPosition has allowed to put my journalism degree to work by writing about interesting Iowans including Miss American Pie, a cookbook author who gives pie baking lessons inside the American Gothic House, and the Iowa Girl Eats blogger Kristen Porter, who showed me how to cook with tofu.

But my favorite part about being a blogger is traveling the countryside and meeting with farmers throughout Latham’s six-state marketing region. I love hearing how they fight empty nest syndrome and practice good land stewardship. I enjoy hearing about their kids’ successful 4-H pork and beef projects, as well as learning about unique 4-H Clubs like Franklin County’s Kitchen Krew.

My favorite thing to do is pull up a chair in the “Farmer’s Kitchen” because that’s where the best conversations happen – usually over coffee and cake. I found myself Pampered in Pender, Nebraska, and was inspired by Northwest Iowa farm family’s Make It Christmas.

Shannon1This time of year I enjoy making visits to farmers as they’re planting. Often times, I plan these customer visits around restaurants that have been recognized as serving one of Iowa’s Best Burgers. Tuesday, during our first planter remote broadcast of the season with WHO Radio farm broadcaster Mark Dorenkamp, Michelle Baumhover from the Iowa Beef Council treated us to burgers from Niland’s Café in Colo.  Niland’s is one of the 456 Iowa restaurants that was nominated for the fifth annual Iowa Best Burger Contest; the 2014 winner will be announced May 1.

In honor of both national egg and May Beef Month, today I’m sharing a recipe that I recently marked in a book called Favorite Summertime Recipes. (Yes, I read recipe books for the fun of it. Doesn’t everyone? :)) I’m looking forward to trying these on King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. Saturday’s weather sounds perfect for grilling, and we might even be able to enjoy a picnic on the patio. Maybe I could make sliders and serve them with a side of Hawaiian coleslaw and fresh fruit. Ooo… I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it!

What will be on your grill this weekend?

Hawaiian Teriyaki Burgers



  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ¼ c. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 T. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 T. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 egg



  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Form into patties.
  3. Grill until done to your likeness.


Photo Source: Iowa Beef Industry Council