Ken Highness Covers New Ground for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds

X Ken&Jean Family

Ken and Jeannie are the proud parents of two daughters. Pictured in this family photo are Jeannie holding Braxton; Ken holding Casen and Cole; back row from left to right is their son-in-law Nick and his wife, Mallorie; their daughter Meghan and her husband, Matt.

Six years ago Ken Highness of Dilworth, Minn., joined Latham Hi-Tech Seeds as a regional sales manager in Northwest Minnesota and parts of southeast North Dakota. Now Ken is covering new ground for Latham Seeds and working to narrow the gap between the company’s existing southern Minnesota territory and its North Dakota territory.

“I enjoy working with Latham Seeds because it’s a family-owned company. Employees and dealers can go straight to the top for answers,” says Ken. “The Latham team impressed me before I even joined it. If they didn’t have an immediate answer to my question, they researched it and got back to me in a timely fashion.”

Meeting people and helping farmers choose the best seed products for their acres is what Ken enjoys most about his job. He especially enjoys working with seed dealers because he operated his own seed dealership for 10 years. When the seed company Ken was representing was purchased by a multinational conglomeration, he started looking at alternative brands and discovered family-owned Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. He began as a Latham dealer before becoming a regional sales manager in 2014.

Baking pic

Baking Christmas cookies during Thanksgiving weekend has been a family tradition for years. They make about 10 different kinds, including the family’s favorite date-filled sugar cookies for which the recipe was handed down from Ken’s grandma. Pictured are right is Jeannie. Her oldest sister, Leanne, is on the left. Also pictured are Ken and Jeannie’s grandchildren (from left to right): Braxton, Jace, twins Cole and Cassen, and Kendoll.

“One of my favorite parts of this job is helping a dealer reach his goals,” says Ken. “A seed dealership can help provide the extra income needed to bring the next generation into the family’s farming operation. It might allow someone to remodel their house or set aside money for their children’s education.”

When Highness isn’t selling seed, you’ll find him spending time with his family or enjoying the great outdoors. He really enjoys upland bird hunting. As an avid hunter, he raised Brittany Spaniels for 15 years. Ken and his wife, Jeannie, were given a Brittany Spaniel with bloodlines from England as a wedding gift from her uncle. He no longer raises spaniels, but Ken still enjoys hunting.

These days Ken spends more of his free time with family. He and Jeannie are the proud parents of two daughters and the proud grandparents of five. They enjoy attending their grandchildren’s activities, as well as making memories with them in the field or in the kitchen. It isn’t unusual to find one of the grandkids riding along with Ken as he checks the crops. Each Thanksgiving weekend they continue their family’s holiday baking tradition. And about once a month, everyone gathers in their home for spaghetti dinner.

Ken and Jeannie were raised in Dilworth, a small bedroom community in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Dilworth has a strong Italian influence. Ken says he grew up eating some of the best homemade pasta and sauces in his friends’ home and was lucky enough to learn from some of the best home cooks. Italian ladies have shared their recipes with him. Over the years, he has combined about five different recipes to create one that he and his Norwegian family enjoy eating about once a week.

Spaghetti with lefse anyone? Click here for a lefse recipe shared by a Latham® Seeds dealer in North Dakota.

Italian Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs



  • 1 gallon tomato sauce
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 2, 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet basil
  • ½ Tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper


  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet basil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic



Cook for about 5 hours on very low heat, with meatballs; stir every 20 minutes or so to prevent sticking.


Mix all together and form into meatballs; try to get them all about the same size.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and then add to spaghetti sauce.