Mark Grundmeier Plans for His Next Season… Retirement

After enjoying a career that spanned more than 25 years with Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, Mark Grundmeier plans to box up his office on December 17, 2021, and then pack his bags for the holidays. He and his wife, Jerri, are ready to hit the road! They’re planning to see more of the United States as they travel around to visit family members and friends.

Mark & Jerri ISULatham hats

Jerri and Mark Grundmeier

Mark and Jerri look forward to spending more time with their children and grandchildren. Their son, Craig, graduated from Drake University in 2003. He works as an Executive Benefits Administrator for Principal Financial Group in Des Moines. Craig and his wife, Lauren, live in Urbandale with their two children, Liam and Ava. Lauren works as a Clinical Dietitian at Unity Point Health in Des Moines.

Mark and Jerri’s oldest daughter, Krystal, graduated from Waldorf University in 2006. She works as a guidance counselor at an elementary school in the Dallas area. She and her husband, Michael, have three children: Kennedy, Kelsie and Kason. Michael is a senior consultant/program manager for the D&M Enterprise Group. The Grundmeier’s daughter Stacie graduated in 2010 from Iowa State University (ISU). She also lives in the Dallas area where she works as Business Development Director for Haggar Clothing.

Mark & Jerri with their family

The Grundmeier Family

Youngest daughter, Kaitlan, started at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and then transferred to ISU. She works as a loan processor for a bank in Missouri. Her husband, Paul, works as a heavy equipment operator for the City of St. Roberts.

“Our grandchildren are getting to that age where they’re getting involved in sports and other activities, so we’re looking forward to having the time to attend more of my grandchildren’s activities,” says Mark. He also plans to spend more time during the summer months, enjoying his hobbies of fishing, golfing and gardening. His hobbies and interests certainly influenced his career path.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology (FWB) from Iowa State University, Mark worked part time for Farm Service Co-op. He desired to work in FWB, so Mark then accepted a summer internship with the Central Platte Natural Resource District (NRD) in Grand Island, Nebraska. He met with farmers throughout the region, helping them develop and implement wildlife management plans. Mark was offered two, full-time NRD jobs at the summer’s end. However, the positions paid less than minimum wage. He was months away from getting married and needed a better job, so when his former boss at the co-op contacted him about a management trainee position, he gladly accepted.

“As God has been with me my whole life, He was also with me then,” says Mark. “The co-op manager that I had worked for earlier that year called me to say they were looking for somebody to start in the Farm Service Co-op system as a Management Trainee. The starting wage was almost twice what the NRD had offered me!”

That phone call led Mark to a 19-year career at Farm Service Co-op where he worked up through the ranks. One day he was reading his mail and saw in a newsletter that John Holmes was leaving Latham Seeds, and Mark said that was his chance at a “dream job.” Mark joined the Latham Team in October 1996.

“What I have enjoyed most about working at Latham Seeds is the opportunity to get into research and learn from Bill Latham. The family atmosphere has been one of the outstanding things about Latham Seeds,” says Mark. “I feel as though the Latham family – employees, dealers and customers – are part of my extended family. While I’m ready to retire, I’ll really miss the close association with the people I’ve come to know over the past 25+ years of being here.”

We certainly wish Mark all the best in his retirement! I know I speak on behalf of the entire Latham Team when I say we will miss Mark’s can-do, positive attitude and seeing his smiling face in our hallways. Fortunately, Mark and Jerri live near the Latham Seeds office. We certainly hope they’ll stop in from time to time, and continue to join us for annual events like our company’s annual Cy-Hawk Tailgate and Christmas potluck.

Tailgates and holidays wouldn’t be complete without loads of meat! Mark enjoys smoking a whole pork shoulder or loin. After he and Jerri enjoy the first meal, the leftovers are turned into casseroles, sandwiches or wraps. They recently discovered an Instant Pot recipe that they’re sharing with us today.

Pork Shoulder Roast - Instant Pot

  • Prep 30 minutes
  • Cook 95 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into three pieces
  • 1 cup of chicken broth (can use 1 1/2 cups if you like more liquid)
  • Weber Grill Master Seasoning with dried onions, garlic, spices and herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season meat
  2. On the Instant Pot, select SAUTE adjusted to normal; add oil. Add pork; sear 2-4 minutes on all sides and CANCEL.
  3. Remove the meat; add chicken broth and scrape the drippings.
  4. Add meat back into the pot. Secure lid; set pressure valve to SEALING. Then select MANUAL and cook on high pressure for 90 minutes.
  5. Then CANCEL. Keep pressure valve in SEALING position to release pressure naturally.
  6. When cool enough to handle, shred for pulled pork sandwiches or slice it and serve it with mashed potatoes. You can add juice to your pulled pork. It also makes a wonderful gravy.

Cook's Tips:
- Cutting the raw pork in large, uniform pieces allows the meat to cook quickly and evenly in the pressure cooker.
- When releasing pressure naturally, it's always a good idea to star the pressure valve to VENTING after the float valve drops down to be sure all the pressure has been released.
- We enjoy using the cooked pork for tacos or pitas. We sometimes serve it over rice or with mashed potatoes.