Let’s Get Fired Up… for Cyclone Sports and Grilling Season!

IMG 7224It’s time to light a fire and enjoy some of the best flavors of summer. May is National Beef Month. June is National Steak Month, as well as National Barbecue Month. July is National Grilling Month. There are so many reasons to celebrate the season.

At Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we kicked off the grilling season by hosting an unofficial stop on the annual Cyclone Tailgate Tour. This year marked the 13th Anniversary of this popular event, which draws huge crowds and allows fans of all ages to interact with Iowa State head coaches including, Matt Campbell (football), Steve Prohm (men’s basketball), Bill Fennelly (women’s basketball), Christy Johnson-Lynch (volleyball) and Kevin Dresser (wrestling), as well as Director of Athletics, Jamie Pollard and the Voice of the Cyclones, John Walters.

John Walters hosts the Latham Locker Room Report, a post-game show where analysts, coaches and players share their thoughts about the game. The Latham Locker Room Report airs during every football broadcast on the state-wide Cyclone Radio Network. This segment airs following the play-by-play and includes exclusive “locker room” interviews with players and coaches.

Recording a special edition of the Latham Locker Room Report was a highlight for John Latham, who’s a die-hard Cyclone sports fan.  “I’m so proud to be part of a third generation, family-owned seed company. I’m equally as proud to be a third generation Iowa Stater,” he said.

John’s grandfather, Willard, and his twin brother, Wilbur, took turns working their way through college at Iowa State. One brother attended classes for a quarter while the other brother worked full time.  Then they’d “switch places” each quarter until at last they had both graduated. Willard went home to farm and eventually started Latham Seeds.

IMG 7189“I started following the Cyclones when I was really young. I never missed a game either live, on TV or radio. I really enjoyed the Johnny Orr era when Hilton Magic began. Now I enjoy watching games with my kids, so they can experience that same magic,” says John, whose parents both attended Iowa State. John and his wife, Shannon, met when they were both students in the ISU College of Agriculture. John’s brother, Chris, earned his MBA from ISU.

Coach Steve Prohm has done a great job recruiting, says John. Two players from the 2019 Big 12 Championship Team graduated and three went pro, but Iowa State has a great nucleus of young players.

“It helps when you have great returning players like Tyrese Halliburton, who recently made the U.S. U19 FIBA World Cup 12-man roster and Michael Jacobsen,” adds John. “Transfer Prentis Nixon will likely be a leading scorer, so it will be another fun season of Hilton Magic!”

Admittedly, there were some “lean years” when many Iowa State fans started looking forward to the basketball season before the football season had ended. Not John. He’s been a life-long, die-hard fan.

“I grew up knowing almost all of the football and basketball players’ names,” says John. “To this day, I can tell you the two-deeps in football and name the entire basketball team. One thing I enjoyed most about the Cyclone Tailgate Tour was talking to our coaches about how recruiting is going.”

John adds, “I appreciate what Matt Campbell and Jamie Pollard have done for the football program. The facilities and our players are so much better than when I attended college. Historically, Iowa State hasn’t been very strong on defense. Head Coach Campbell and Defensive Coordinator John Heacock have improved the defense a great deal. This fall we’ll have many returning players in our front seven, including First Team All Conference JaQuan Bailey and Ray Lima.  We also return First Team All Conference Safety Greg Eisworth. On offense, we return QB Brock Purdy. Our entire offensive line and tight ends return, including Franklin County native Josh Knipfel, who will be a senior. The nucleus is there to have a fun season!”

No Cyclone football season would be complete without Latham Seeds sponsoring a company tailgate. This season’s Cyclone Tailgate Tour stop in Alexander was just a precursor.

To help you enjoy this grilling season, we’re sharing with you a recipe from our General Manager Ryan Schon and wife Meg for Tri-Tip Steak. Enjoy!

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Tri-Tip Steak with Horseradish Sauce


Tri-Tip Steak

  • Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • Lawry’s seasoned pepper or another pepper mix
  • Lawry’s garlic powder or another granulated garlic
  • Tri-Tip steaks

Horseradish Sauce

  • 1 cup well-drained prepared horseradish
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce


  1. Make a rub consisting of equal parts seasoned salt, seasoned pepper and granulated garlic.
  2. The night before you’ll be grilling, rub the tri-tip liberally with the rub from above. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This is also a great time to combine all the horseradish sauce ingredients in a bowl, mix and refrigerate.
  3. Set out the meat for an hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature.
  4. Cook on grill or smoker over med heat for 35-45 mins, turning occasionally. Cook to 135F for medium rare, 145F for medium, 155F for medium well.
  5. Remove from grill and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


Recipe by Ryan and Meg Schon