IMG 2736Latham® Dealers from across the Upper Midwest gather each July to kick off a new sales year. Months ago – long before the COVID-19 pandemic altered our lives – our team selected “Made for This” as the theme for our 2020-2021 sales year. Now this theme is more fitting than ever.

Farming takes grit. Farmers across Latham Country overcome many challenges each year. Markets are uncertain, and weather is always unpredictable. Although we have faced even more challenges since March 15, 2020, we continue to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps because that’s what those of in agriculture do!

We feel called to live our legacies. It’s a passion that drives us to get up early and work late to get the job done. After all, we are MADE FOR THIS.

Those of us in agriculture are resilient. We innovate and adapt to change. For the Latham Team, adapting to change meant we had to take our annual Latham Dealer Kickoff online this week rather than meeting in beautiful Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as we had originally planned.

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A small group of Team Latham members gathered in Ames, Iowa, to produce a virtual Kickoff meeting. Why Ames? Ames is centrally located between our Alexander headquarters and our team members who live in Des Moines. Ames also has beautiful rental facilities and, most importantly, it offers reliable internet service. Plus, Iowa State alumni like John and me welcome the opportunity to return to their alma mater. This beautiful community also offers a wonderful farmer’s market. (Click here for a related blog post about one of the vendors and a recipe for cucumber brine.)

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Cornbred is known for award-winning barbecue, but it’s side dishes are also delicious. Kilah recommends the brisket mac & cheese!

Each July I look forward to writing a recap of Kickoff that posts on our blog, sharing presentation highlights and local points of interest. One highlight of our time in Ames this week was a visit to Cornbred Barbecue where you can dine on the beautiful outdoor patio or inside the beautifully restored train depot. I also stopped outside my old dorm to admire a few of the Christian Petersen sculptures. If anyone has time for a road trip to Ames this summer, be sure to stop by Reiman Gardens where the “Wild and Whimsical” exhibit will be open through Oct. 4.

Here are links to Kickoff blog posts from the past three years:

IMG 2735Today I’m linking to a recipe for Fresh Strawberry Moscow Mule like the one I enjoyed at Cornbred Barbecue. We’re also sharing with you one of our family’s favorite recipes for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. This “fix it and forget it recipe” is one that I make in the summer when we’re busy working outside. I hope you and your family enjoy it, too!

Special thanks to the Iowa Food & Family Project for granting us permission to reprint this recipe, which was shared with them by Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Julie Kenney.




Harvest BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

12 servings
  • Prep 15 minutes
  • Cook 4 hours


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless pork butt roast
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
  • ½ cup coffee
  • 1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) barbecue sauce
  • Kaiser rolls
  • Additional barbecue sauce for serving


Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt cayenne, garlic powder and mustard powder. Rub the spice mixture all over pork roast.

Pour the broth, coffee and Worcestershire into a large Dutch oven. Place the pork roast in the pot, cover the pot with foil and then the lid. Braise the pork until it’s fork-tender and shreds easily, about 4 hours; baste with the braising juices about every hour.

Remove the lid and foil and let the roast stand until it’s cool enough to handle. Shred the pork and toss with barbecue sauce. Serve pork on Kaiser rolls with additional sauce on the side.

Nutrition per serving: 430 Calories, 9g Total Fat, 95mg Cholesterol, 1,200mg Sodium, 46g Carbohydrate, 2g Fiber, 38g Protein