Watson’s of Clear Lake Grow Their Legacy


As a little girl sporting pig tails, Kilah (Hemesath) Watson looked forward to packing a lunch and climbing into the cab of the combine to spend the day with her father. Fall remains her favorite season of the year, and she still enjoys spending the day helping family members bring in the crop.

Kilah and her husband, Joel, farm alongside his parents, Brad and Michelle. Joel also provides a custom farming service such as drilling beans, rolling and side-dressing.

“When we are not in the heat of planting or harvest season, Joel spend summers hauling corn and beans and winters doing repair work,” says Kilah, who married Joel on February 2, 2019, in her beautiful hometown of Decorah in Northeast Iowa. “Whatever Joel and Brad decide to tackle on the farm, they take a strategic approach. Our family is focused on growing for and investing in the future.”

The Watson family invest in their farming operation a little bit each year. For example, this year’s investment is a new grain bin that will be ready for the 2020 harvest.


Joel and Kilah on the first day of Spring 2020.

“Joel’s favorite season is planting season since it’s a new beginning full of potential. My favorite season is harvest when everyone comes together to work toward a common goal. You can find Michelle and me in the field helping with field work each fall. I was also able to help with field work last spring, too, thanks to the Latham family helping their employees fulfill their own farming legacy by being flexible during busy seasons.”

Kilah started working at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds during the summer of 2015 as a marketing intern and kept working part-time as an intern during her senior year at Iowa State University. Then she accepted Latham Seeds’ full-time offer and has been working as our marketing coordinator since May 2016 when she graduated from ISU. Kilah is responsible for several projects, but most of our dealers and customers recognize her as the warm, welcoming co-host of our weekly “Ask the Agronomist” video segments.

“My favorite part of my job is our weekly ‘Ask the Agronomist’ segments,” says Kilah. “I enjoy and sharing agronomy content throughout the year, and I enjoy sharing the story of independent and family-owned Latham Seeds. I am very thankful to work for a stable and growing company in an ever-changing industry.”


“We got Stella from the Southwest Iowa humane society. She is 3 years old. I think she is named after Stella Rose wine, and Joel thinks she’s named after Stella Artois beer. I guess you could say we both think she has a great name!” says Kilah.

Another part of the job that Kilah greatly enjoys is taking photos. If you have Instagram, be sure to follow her @kilahwatson. She captures the beauty of living and farming in rural North Iowa. She also enjoys tending to her flower garden. Joel enjoys working on old cars and is currently restoring a ’68 Impala.

She and Joel also volunteer with their church’s children and youth ministry, as well as the worship and creative arts team. Last August they took a mission trip with about 14 others to Peru where they shared their love of agriculture and knowledge that could help with the Peruvians’ farming endeavors.

“We had conversations about nutrient absorption, soil pH levels, plant spacing and plant competition,” said Kilah. “We find tremendous value in surrounding ourselves in a good community with people we can learn from and also teach to.”

Kilah and Joel also serve as members on the Cerro Gordo Farm Bureau board. They enjoy being voices in the ag industry and advocating on behalf of the farmer.

“Whether we are working together on the farm or at home, we love to dream about projects we can do next. We have spent the last year and a half pouring time and energy into our acreage and house to make it a home,” says Kilah.

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Their first calf!

“There are a lot of things I enjoy about being married, but I would say that the best part is being able to live and work alongside someone I admire greatly,” adds Kilah. “Having a supportive partner with a positive attitude is a tremendous blessing. We have a joy doing life and finding fun in the small moments.”

The couple enjoys spending time with their three-year-old fur baby, Stella. With some “consistent encouraging,” Kilah was able to convince Joel they should add a bottle calf, which they just welcomed home last night.

“I have a feeling it won’t be the last calf we have,” says Kilah with a smile. “I am looking forward to seeing where this new adventure takes us!”

Speaking of adventures, the couple also enjoys raising a garden and trying new recipes with their fresh produce. Today Kilah is sharing with us one of her favorite recipes that uses delicious homegrown sweet corn.



Spicy Southern Hot Corn


  • 3.5 cups corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper diced
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers diced (seeds/veins removed)
  • 3-4 TBSP diced pickled jalapeno peppers plus extra to taste
  • 2.5 TBSP butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (regular, not smoked)
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Thaw corn if using frozen.
  3. Chop all your veggies and set aside.
  4. For tender peppers, feel free to sauté your bell peppers and fresh jalapeño to soften.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and cream cheese.
  6. Stir often until smooth and creamy.
  7. Add your corn, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and pickled jalapeños.
  8. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Stir in 1/2-3/4 cup of cheddar cheese and stir until fully melted.
  10. Pour into a casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

Recipe sourced from: https://peasandcrayons.com/2016/11/spicy-southern-hot-corn.html