Latham Dealership Helps Wahl Live His Dream
Matt raised on an Iowa farm in Butler County southwest of Shell Rock and dreamed of joining his family’s farming operation one day. Before he was old enough to help, however, his father rented the ground to a neighbor and took a full time job at John Deere. Fast forward nearly two decades, and today Matt enjoys farming with his parents. He also appreciates the opportunity he’s had for the past 13+ years to farm with his wife’s father and brother.
“Living on a farm has many advantages, but I would have to say the best part is being able to instill within our children a good work ethic,” says Matt. “It’s great being part of day-to-day farming operations. Hopefully, we’ll teach our kids values that will be passed down for generations to come.”
Many people, like Matt, wish to become part of their family’s farming operation but need additional income opportunities to make it possible. That’s why last fall Matt’s interest was piqued in a Latham® seed dealership when he heard John Latham being interviewed on the radio. Matt says he was familiar with the Latham brand and knew the company had a long-standing tradition of producing quality seed. Understanding the correlation between quality seed in the bag and outstanding performance in the field, Matt was interested in learning more about becoming a seed dealer.
“I sent John an email from my smartphone,” said Matt. “Within an hour, I received a response. Shortly after that, I received a phone call from RSM (Regional Sales Manager) Craig Haaland. After speaking with John and Craig, I knew I wanted to be on the leading edge with Latham.”
Getting the Most for Every Dollar
As margins tighten in farming, Matt says he believe farmers will look for the best quality product. “Latham has developed a reputation with its dealers and customers for offering the best seed available. I’m very proud to sell the seed, and I’m excited for the new things to come.”
Drought-resistant corn hybrids. Dicamba-tolerant soybeans. Proprietary seed treatments… it’s all in the Latham pipeline. But Latham doesn’t focus merely on producing high-tech products. Latham Seeds helps farmers use today’s technology from grid sampling to variable rate planters.
“Latham’s hallmark Seed-2-Soil program really interests me,” says Matt. “I believe this program is going to become an even more important part of farming with tighter margins. We must help farmers get every possible bushel from each acre of land. Matching seed product to soil type gives us the best possible chance to do so. Plus, farmers can choose their level of participation in the Seed-2-Soil program. Variable rate planting and nutrient management are others ways they can use more efficient use of inputs for maximum return.”
Keeping it Classy
In his free time, Matt enjoys repairing and restoring classic and muscle cars. He’s had his own shop since 1999 and recently began restoring tractors. He also enjoys taking a Minnesota fishing trip annually with his family, as well as camping.
Matt and his wife, Charlotte, have been married for 13 years. They’re the proud parents of two sons and one daughter: Gavin, 12; Blake, 8; and Madison, 6. Their kids have enjoyed sports and extracurricular activities, but the family’s priorities changed when Blake was diagnosed in 2010 with kidney cancer. After surgery and a year of chemotherapy, he’s in remission.
“This was a true eye opener for our family,” says Matt, whose family is an active support of Butler County Relay for Life. “It really made us value our family and gain a new appreciation for how precious life really is.”
With a new appreciation for life, the Wahls savor simple moments like Saturday morning breakfasts. Today’s their sharing a favorite family recipe for Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes. Hopefully, your family can make the time this weekend to savor every bite!
- In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and eggs. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together until just combined to make a thick batter. For tender pancakes, do not over-mix the batter.
- To achieve light and fluffy pancakes, it is important to let the batter rest for 5 minutes while you heat the skillet. The flour needs this time to absorb all the liquid which ensures that the batter will set up property. If you skip this step, the pancakes will run together in the pan and cook up flat and misshaped.
- Heat a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until fairly hot. Make sure the griddle is hot but not too hot. Temperature is key to getting light, fluffy pancakes. If the griddle is too hot or cold, they'll either scorch or won't rise. Always preheating the griddle before adding your butter. Add 1 teaspoon butter and heat until the butter’s foam subsidies.
- Ladle about 1/2 cup of the pancake batter onto the hot griddle. Don't mess with the pancakes too much. Let the pancake sit on the griddle and grow and rise by itself. Don't shake the pan or move it, as that will prevent it from rising. Let the batter do the work sitting on the grill and turn or flip the pancake over just when it starts to bubble on top.
- Cook the pancakes, turning only once, until deep golden brown on both sides, approximately 5 minutes total.
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes