Spring Calves, Summer Camping & Milestone Celebrations

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. Now that their four daughters have finished school for the academic year, Tyler and Michelle Sandven are kicking into high gear to make time for their favorite activities including grilling, camping and riding motorcycles.

Oldest daughters, Sydnie and Rylie, are members of 4-H and FFA. They enjoy showing cattle and riding horses. In addition, they have summer jobs at the fitness center. Syndie is a 2021 graduate of Humboldt High School. She plans to attend Iowa Central Community College to become a medical assistant. Rylie will be a junior in high school. Twins Kylan and Kynlie will turn 10 years old at the end of this month.

Sandven family photo

The Sandven Family

“It takes a lot of energy to keep up with four active girls! I lost 30 pounds and gained my energy and health back with the Yoli® program. After my success with the all-natural system, I became a health coach in 2018,” says Michelle, who is a licensed cosmetologist and works two days a week at the American Barbershop in Humboldt.

The Sandvens also farm.

“We feel fortunate to raise our family where they’re sure to develop a good work ethic,” says Tyler. “Our girls really enjoy the animals and helping with chores. When they were younger, they enjoyed riding in the cab of the tractor while the cattle are being fed. They also like helping bottle feed the calves.”

Having a family who shares his love of agriculture makes this Iowa farmer proud.

“Farming is all I ever wanted to do,” says Tyler, who was raised on a diversified farm in Humboldt County. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Ag Business, he was eager to return to the family’s farming operation.

Together with his dad and his brother, Tyler raises cow-calf pairs and has a feeder-to-finish cattle operation. The family also raises horses, which his father especially enjoys riding. Tyler, on the other hand, prefers to ride something with a motor. “Hanging loose in Hawaii” by riding a Harley across Maui during a Latham Seeds’ dealer trip is one of Tyler and Michelle’s favorite memories.

“I like working with a family-owned seed business whose owners share a lot of our same values,” says Tyler, who has been a Latham® dealer since 2007. He appreciates having a solid lineup to sell of corn, soybeans and alfalfa. He encourages farmers to plant a minimum of three different Latham brand corn or soybean products with a mixture of offensive and defensive traits. He also recommends mixing maturities to further reduce risk.67513 452863292137 4708044 n

Tyler and Michelle also look forward to attending Latham Dealer meetings throughout the summer and into the fall. Another annual event they look forward to is Latham’s tailgate at an Iowa State football game. The Sandvens enjoy cheering on the Cyclones every chance they get!

In celebration of summer growing season and May Beef Month, today the Sandven family is sharing with us one of their favorite recipes for garlic steak bites. This recipe can be served as an appetizer or paired with side dishes to become a meal.

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

Recipe by The Sandven Family


  • 1 ¼ lbs. sirloin steak, cut into small cubes
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ¼ c. beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 t. minced parsley
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • ½ t. red chili pepper flakes (optional)


  1. To prepare the garlic butter steak bites: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place steak bites in the pan in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the skillet otherwise, the meat will steam, so you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet.  Cook the steak bites for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely golden brown.  Repeat with remaining meat if needed.
  3. Add butter, minced garlic, and garlic powder to the pan with the steak bites; then deglaze with beef stock, scraping the brown bits. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring to coat the steak bites in the sauce.
  4. Sprinkle with more parsley and red chili pepper flakes and serve your garlic butter steak bites immediately with toothpicks. Enjoy!