Latham® Dealership Brings Next Generation Home
They had never planted Latham® Hi-Tech Seeds but that didn’t prevent Mike and Patty Bergquist of Foxhome, Minnesota, from become a seed dealer when asked.
“We were looking for a way to bring our son, David, home and this ‘solution’ seemed to present itself,” said Mike as he recalled that particular day in 2015. “You might say opportunity knocked when Latham’s regional sales manager came to our door and talked with us about Latham Seeds.”
They weren’t able to get the soybean brand they were accustomed to planting, so the Bergquists decided to try Latham Hi-Tech Soybeans. They also put Latham brand corn to the test, and it topped their on-farm yield test. They were sold on the Latham’s on-farm performance!
No one else in their area had a Latham Seeds dealership, but national companies had several dealers in the area. Mike liked the idea of working with a family-owned company that shares his values of commitment to family and community.
Mike served for three years in the U.S. Navy. He returned home to farm with his step-grandfather, Harold. To supplement his income, Mike started working campaigns in 1975 at the local sugar beet processing plant. He worked at the plant whenever Harold didn’t need him in the field.
Mike and his wife, Patty, were married in 1977. Harold offered to let the newlyweds move a trailer house onto the farm. They appreciated living on the farm. Four years later their first child was born, and Mike had to choose between accepting a promotion at the beet plant or farming full time with Harold. He chose farming.
Harold passed away in 1985. The 1980s Farm Crisis made it challenging for a young couple to support a growing family, so in 1988, this father of five went back to working campaigns at the beet plant. Mike accepted a full-time position there in 1989. He worked his way to plant supervisor and retired from Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative on June 3, 2019.
Because Mike only got weekends off once every four years, it helped to have David involved with the farming operation. David, the Bergquist’s youngest child and only son, completed the John Deere program at North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton. He worked full-time for four years at RDO Equipment as a John Deere technician while also helping his father farm. David was able to double his farming operation and started farming full-time in 2018. David married his high school sweetheart, Chloe. They’re the proud parents of two sons, Briar and Bowen. Chloe also works as a dental hygienist.
The Berquist’s oldest daughter, Kari, and her husband, Tim Marquardt, live nearby in Rothsay with their three children: Hunter, 14; Hadley, 12; and Hudson, 9. Kari is a stay-at-home mom, and Tim works for Wilkens County. Mike and Patty’s second oldest, Heidi, works for Red River Human Services in Breckinridge where she lives with her three fur babies.
Third in birth order is Katie. She is a daycare provider for her brother’s children. Her husband, Derrick, is an engineer for Willrich. They have three sons: Dawson, 9; Carsten, 6; and Grayson, 4 months.
Their youngest daughter, Holly, was a nanny until her twins arrived. Her husband, Travis, is a John Deere technician in Wheaton and also farms. They are the parents of five boys: Michael, 10; Bennett, 6; Henry, 2; and 5-month old twins, Kamden and Cooper.
“I love having our grandkids come to the farm,” says Patty, a proud grandmother of 12 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. “We hang out in the shop, go for Ranger rides, rock babies and read books. It’s so much fun to hear the laughter and to see smiles on the kids’ faces. We let them stay as often as they want now. We know that in a blink of an eye they will be too old. We hope they have good memories of staying with us.”
The older grandkids are active in sports, so the Berquists enjoy attending their basketball, football and baseball games. In summer months, the Bergquist family enjoys camping together.
“There is a lot of love when we all get together, and that’s the way we like it!” says Patty. “We’re making memories and more memories!”
Today Patty is sharing with us one of her family’s favorite recipes for Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Casserole.
Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake
- 1/2 C. unsalted butter, room temperature
- Zest from 1 large lemon
- 1 C. sugar (set aside 1 tablespoon for sprinkling)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 C. all-purpose flour (set aside ¼ c. to toss with blueberries)
2 t. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
2 C. fresh blueberries
1/2 C. buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350° Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, cream the butter with the lemon zest and the 1 cup minus the 1 tablespoon of sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the batter and stir with spatula to incorporate. Add all the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour and stir until four is absorbed. Fold in the blueberries. (Leave excess flour from the blueberry bowl behind.)
- Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar—an 8-inch pan will yield thicker pieces) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. If you have parchment paper on hand, line the pan with parchment on top of the butter. Spread the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. A 9-inch pan will be done in closer to 35 minutes, an 8-inch pan usually needs 40 to 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes.
- Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary, especially if you are using a smaller pan such as an 8 x 8-inch. It is not unusual for this cake to take 50 minutes, so just be patient.