Latham Seeds Unveils its New Mission Statement at Annual Dealer Meeting

Latham® Dealers from six Upper Midwest states recently gathered in Sioux Falls, SD, to kick off the start of the 2021-2022 sales year. This year’s Latham Dealer Kickoff event marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of our family-owned seed company’s 75th anniversary.

“I’m sure my grandfather, Willard Latham, never thought about his legacy when Latham Seeds was founded on his family farm back in 1947. His business got a humble start when Grandpa literally answered a call from a neighboring farmer with an oats smut problem. It was such a widespread problem that Grandpa retrofitted a piece of equipment to clean oats, which led him to start selling certified oats seeds,” says third-generation seedsman John Latham, president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.

Today Latham Hi-Tech Seeds sells hybrid seed corn, soybeans, alfalfa and cover crops across six Upper Midwest states. The company has continued to innovate by providing services like Data ForwardSM that helps farmers use their own data to make more informed management decisions. Data Forward can help determine whether a new piece of equipment will provide a return on investment (ROI) or whether another corn hybrid is better suited for a particular field.

“Farming today is certainly much different than when my grandfather founded Latham Seeds. It’s even much different than when my father, Bill Latham, served as president of Latham Seeds,” says John Latham. “While each generation has had its own challenges to overcome, we believe it’s becoming harder for multi-generational families to stay on the farm. We understand what it’s like to want to preserve your family’s legacy, and that’s why we’re committed to working with our seed dealers and our farmer-customers to live their legacies with Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.”

Latham Seeds is so committed to helping family farmers preserve their legacies that in 2021 it unveiled its new company mission:

At Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we know family farming is only getting harder. We believe farmers should have trusted partners who provide personalized solutions today, so they can grow even stronger legacies tomorrow.

We can’t “be on a mission” alone, says John Latham, so we’re looking for people who share our values. We need farmers to represent our company across Iowa and into Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. We’re looking for farmer-dealers who:​

  • Have a passion for rural communities
  • Are self-motivated
  • Have an entrepreneurial mindset

We’re also looking to add members to the Latham Team, from truck drivers to regional sales managers, who understand the importance of delivering five-star customer experiences.


Shannon Latham and Scott McKain, a bestselling author and Professional Speakers Hall of Fame member, delivered the keynote address during the kickoff event.

“Ultimate Customer Experiences® don’t just happen,” is a trademark of bestselling author and Professional Speakers Hall of Fame member Scott McKain. During his keynote address at the Latham Dealer Kickoff event in Sioux Falls, McKain reminded us that no one stays loyal to a generic brand. “How can you differentiate yourself? How can you provide such an exceptional experience that your customers remain loyal?”

McKain certainly provided food for thought. Speaking of food… no Friday blog on “The Field Position” would be complete without a recipe! Did you know that South Dakota’s culinary heritage is a combination of indigenous peoples and the German/Russian immigrants who came to the region? Of course, its food scene is influenced heavily by the foods produced in the area like top-quality beef. Today we’re sharing with you a recipe from the South Dakota Beef Industry Council that is perfectly fitting for National Grilling Month.


Latham Seeds General Manager Ryan Schon and his wife, Meg, embrace our annual Kickoff location by dressing the part. They wore Kentucky Derby attire when this event was held at Prairie Meadows Racetrack in Des Moines, and they were outfitted in western wear for Sioux Falls.


The event included a smores bar.


The “Dueling Fiddles” duo based out of Des Moines, Iowa, provided evening entertainment for our annual awards banquet.

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Garden Grill Tri-Tip

Recipe by South Dakota Beef Industry Council


  • 1 beef Tri-Tip Roast (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 small red and/or yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 2 medium yellow squash and/or zucchini, cut lengthwise in half
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Remove 1/4 cup of reserved marinade for ratatouille; set aside. Toss vegetables (except tomatoes) with remaining marinade.
  3. Place beef roast and 1/3 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn roast to coat.
  4. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Cover.
  5. Remove roast from marinade; discard marinade.
  6. Place roast in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals or over medium heat on preheated gas grill; arrange vegetables (except tomatoes) around roast. Grill roast, covered, 25 to 35 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill onion and bell peppers 7 to 11 minutes; zucchini and yellow squash 8 to 12 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.

Remove roast when instant-read thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 10 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium.)


Recipe and photo courtesy of South Dakota Beef Industry Council.