We’ve Always Believed in the Future of Agriculture

National FFA Week is time for us to remember our roots. The Lathams have grown up in FFA, and this time every year we think about the experiences that helped shape our hope in agriculture.

Shannon Latham FFA

Front Right: Shannon Latham

Did you know that E.M. Tiffany had the foresight to write the FFA Creed in 1928? That was a long time ago! And yet, that Creed continues to apply to Future Farmers of America today:

“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.”

Everyone has experienced discouragement at some point, and perhaps none so much as Iowa farmers over the years. We can’t forget the derecho in August 2020, which was one of the most costly thunderstorm disasters in U.S. history.

Before that, Iowa farmers were dealt with the Farm Crisis. The Federal Reserve’s tight money policies were intended to bring down high interest rates but caused farmland values to drop 60% in some parts of the Midwest from 1981 to 1985.

Every generation has had to face massive changes. But history gives us invaluable perspective. This is where we remember the last paragraph of FFA’s Creed:

“I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.”

We are blessed to be part of a family-owned seed company that is headquartered in America’s heartland. We’re honored to work with a network of other ag advocates across the Upper Midwest who share our passion. And we’re grateful for those who are committed to being a positive influence in their communities.

Let’s celebrate everyone who carries on the tradition of wearing the blue jacket.

The mac and cheese recipe below comes from the Stenjem family of Wisconsin! This recipe is often requested for FFA banquets and FFA members’ graduations. Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Mac-N-Cheese


  • 1 (16 oz) package of elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
  • 1 (13/4 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1 c. milk
  • 4 c (16 oz) shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; then drain macaroni.
  2. Place macaroni in a 5-quart slow cooker; add butter.
  3. In a bowl, combine eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk and 3 cups cheese. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook for 4 hours. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese if desired. NOTE: If you add the cheese on top, cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


Yield: 10 servings

COOK’S TIP: I multiply by 4 to fill a Nesco roaster for FFA events.