Lessons Learned through Team Sports Apply to the Workplace

IMG 1318Friday night means “Friday Night Lights” in many communities across the Upper Midwest. Last Friday Latham’s Regional Sales Manager (RSM) for Northern Wisconsin, Joe Salter, shared how skills he gained on the gridiron transferred to our sales team. This week we’re introducing you to Latham’s RSM for Northwest Iowa, Jeremy Joynt.

Jeremy grew up on an acreage in the farming community of Emmetsburg where he says he had the privilege of learning about agriculture from every neighbor and farmer in Great Oak Township. Because he lived only two miles from his grandfather’s and his uncle’s farms, Jeremy helped them with various chores from cleaning grain bins and walking beans to picking up rocks, baling hay and to working with pigs.

“Playing sports in high school and college taught me lessons that I still use today. I learned to dream big, to believe in myself and to grow from my failures,” says Jeremy, whose goal was to become a Division 1 (D1) athlete. “I put in a lot of hard work outside of practice. I learned that I had to create positive and optimistic thoughts to achieve personal and team goals. I also learned that everyone will lose at something some time in his life. It’s how you handle failure that determines your success. Champions learn from failure and are motivated to do better.”

IMG 0142Jeremy played four sports throughout high school. During his junior year, his school’s heavyweight wrestler had to have surgery on both his MCL and ACL. Jeremy stepped in as his replacement and helped the team win their third Wrestling Dual Championship. He was part of two high school teams that won back-to-back state football championships in 2002 and 2003. During his senior year, he focused more on football and track. That year he placed second in state and seventh at the Drake Relays in shot put.

Because he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do upon graduating from high school, Jeremy chose to stay close to home. He attended Iowa Central Community College where he was a tight end (TE) for two football seasons. He graduated with his Associate of Art (AA) degree early, so he could transfer to Illinois State University and start spring football.

“Transitioning from a high school TE to a college TE at Iowa Central was not as difficult as I thought it would be,” says Jeremy. “We were more of a Zone/Power offense, so I was a blocking TE most of the time. The transition from my sophomore year to my junior year was the most challenging. I went from being a blocking TE to a TE used as a Y, H, and even in the slot.”

Not one to back away from hard work, Jeremy put in extra time running routes, studying the playbook, and watching game film. He learned what everyone’s responsibilities were on each play.

“Running out of a tunnel into a packed stadium is a feeling I’ll never forget,” says Jeremy. “The energy you get from the fans, your teammates, and the coaches is remarkable. Most importantly, you form life-long relationships after working side-by-side during two-a-day practices, walking to class, and traveling by charter bus or plane to games.”

Creating long-lasting relationships with customers who become your friends is what Jeremy enjoys most about selling seed.

IMG 0147“It’s really an honor to be welcomed onto someone’s farm because it’s where they have built traditions, raised their families, and learned many life lessons,” says Jeremy. “It’s my goal to help each farmer be profitable, so they can secure their legacy for the future.”

Jeremy’s professional goals align with those of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, which has been a family-owned seed company since 1947.

“The company and the Latham family are known for their respect, honesty, and integrity. They truly care about their employees and their customers. They want to provide farmers with the BEST products available with a quality that can’t be matched,” adds Jeremy. “It’s phenomenal to have conversations with John, Shannon, Chris and the team they have assemble at gatherings. I really enjoy being part of the Latham Sales Team, which is filled with boots-on-the-ground team players that help farmers.”

The lessons learned from participating in sports and from selling seed are Jeremy’s legacy. He and his wife, Tashia, are raising three very active sons: William, 5; Oliver, 4; and Cormac, 3. William and Oliver are in wrestling and soccer. They especially enjoy the weekends they spend on the farm in southwest Minnesota where his wife was raised.

“Our boys love spending time on Grandpa Jim’s farm. From gathering eggs to feeding the cows or chasing cats, you’ll find our boys running from barn to barn,” says Jeremy. “It’s a MUST to check all pockets before they enter the house because it wouldn’t out of the ordinary to find a toad or frog in there!”

The Joynt family also enjoys spending time together outdoors. Their favorite activities are hiking, bike riding, fishing, camping and boating. Active families appreciate healthy meals that are quick to fix. Today the Joynt family is sharing with us one of their favorite recipes for Taco Soup.

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Jeremy Joynt is Latham Seeds’ Regional Sales Manager for Northwest Iowa. His wife, Tashia, is a surgical technician for Sightpath Medical. They enjoy outdoor activities with their three sons five-year-old William, four-year old Oliver and three-year-old Cormac.

Taco Soup


2 lbs browned hamburger

1 can pinto beans, not drained

1 can black beans, not drained

2 cans kidney beans, not drained

1 can corn, drained

2 cans Rotel tomatoes, not drained

2 packages taco seasoning


Cook on low 6 - 8 hours in the crock pot. Serve with sour cream, cheese and Frito chips.