Looking ahead to the future of farming – and a side of potato salad
Successful businesses rely on people who focus their unique talents toward a common goal. Steve and Lori Johnson have proven that axiom holds for a family farm and seed business.
Steve and Lori both grew up in Page, North Dakota. Steve grew up on his family’s farm, and Lori worked for Steve’s mom throughout high school. Steve and Lori didn’t start dating, however, until they were both at Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota. Steve graduated with a double major in Political Science and History with minor in Business. After attending Concordia for two years, Lori transferred to Moorehead State and graduated as a legal assistant.
Today Steve and Lori, and their son, Phillip, run a Latham® Seed dealership and a TALC seed treatment operation. Steve puts his people and business relationship skills to work managing and marketing the business. Lori’s attention to detail and organizational skills are invaluable as she runs the office and keeps the books.
Phillip puts talents honed studying agriculture finance at North Dakota State University (NDSU) to use doing financial projections, cost analysis, product research and purchasing. Phillip is married to Frannie, who teaches high school math. They welcomed their son, Colter, in January 2022.
The Johnsons have three other children, who are also putting their talents to use in the business world:
- Alexis graduated from University of North Dakota (UND) medical school and is a resident in pediatrics in Omaha. She and her husband, John, a civil engineer, have a one-year-old son named Sutton.
- Vanessa graduated from UND with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She works in Surprise, Arizona. Her husband, Zach, works in hospital finance.
- Payton graduated in May 2022 with a marketing and design degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth. She works as a marketing director for Inflight Pilot Training in Minneapolis, and her job comes with free flying lessons.
The Johnsons became Latham dealers in 2013. They had worked with other smaller seed companies but were attracted to Latham Seeds’ focus on the future.
“Steve is always very forward looking and interested in what’s new, what’s coming up and how it will change agriculture,” said Lori. “He wanted access to new technology and better pricing.”
Their forward-looking approach also caused Steve and Lori to invest in Abbiamo Pasta Company in Casselton, ND.
The Johnsons like to take time off for biking, boating and visiting Florida. They enjoy travel adventures. They also enjoy celebrating family milestones. When the family gathers, her kids request that Lori makes potato salad. Today she is sharing her family’s favorite recipe with us.
- 5 lbs potatoes
- 6 to 8 eggs
- 2 cups miracle whip
- One quart whole whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder or diced onion your preference
- 4 egg yolks
- Boil potatoes until done
- Boil eggs until done
- Peel potatoes and eggs
- Dice potatoes and eggs but reserve 4 egg yolks for the dressing
Blend dressing well and fold into potatoes. It’s better if it sits overnight.