Latham Seeds Celebrates 75th Anniversary on Family’s Iowa Century Farm

From a build-your-own bouquet bar to bouncy houses and in-field demonstrations, the 75th anniversary party for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds was packed with education and entertainment for the entire family.

“We feel blessed to be the third generation of Lathams to own and manage our family-owned seed company with headquarters on our Century Farm in North Central Iowa,” says John Latham, president, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. “We know that keeping a farm in the family for generations is challenging. That’s one reason we’re proud to sell through a farmer-dealer network. We appreciate working with multi-generational farmers, who plant our seed across the Upper Midwest.”

Chris Shannon John with cake

Chris Latham, Shannon Latham and John Latham (Third Generation)

Last night’s celebration allowed Latham Seeds to showcase the latest seed traits and technologies during the grand opening of the Latham Premier Agronomy Center. There are more than 20 demo plots located within the Premier Agronomy Center, and guests got to choose which four they wanted to attend.

One of the more popular presentations featured two new trait platforms that protect against corn rootworm (CRW) that many farms are experiencing this season. The first corn hybrid trait platform is SmartStax® PRO, which combines “BT” traits with RNA structure. When eaten by the pest, this package interferes with an “essential-to-life protein” in the insects RNA (thus RNAi) and leads to insect control. This non-BT-based development will help control CRW in a new way plus extend the usefulness of BT-based controls. You will see the SmartStax PRO Trait package in LH 5008 SS PRO and LH 5668 SS PRO hybrids.

The second trait platform to control CRW is Duracade Viptera™. This package combines BT traits with another BT rootworm trait that attaches uniquely to the insect’s gut when it’s eaten. It also provides above-ground protection from the Viptera trait. You will see the Agrisure Duracade Viptera trait package in LH 5209 DV hybrid. Latham® hybrids with Duracade Viptera and SmartStax PRO traits provide multiple modes of insect control for both above and below ground.

Phil field tour 2

Another popular tour stop at the Premier Agronomy Center Grand Opening was the root and soil pit. While you can learn a lot from a root dig, you can learn even more when you dig deeper! Corn roots, night crawlers, compaction layers, earthworm channels and even water during a drought can be seen at the three to five-foot depth. Soil that is healthy deep down holds more water, has less run-off and supports plants during challenging weather. Healthy soil is also filled with microbes and worms.

Lyle root dig pit tour

Latham’s Agronomy Center field day went from 4 to 8 p.m. Following the field presentations, guests enjoyed Wholly Smoke BBQ, birthday cake and soft serve ice cream cones plus a live performance by Neil Hewitt.

Wholly Smoke BBQ from Dow, Iowa, had delicious smoked meats along with mac ‘n cheese. Such divine food reminded me of my favorite mac ‘n cheese recipe. Check it out below (courtesy of Cristen Clark, Food & Swine and Iowa Food and Family Project.)

If you’d like to schedule your own tour of the Premier Agronomy Center, contact your local Latham Seeds rep or call our office at 877-GO-LATHAM (877-465-2842). All growing season long, Latham Seeds provides opportunities to learn from demonstrations in the Premier Agronomy Center. Follow @LathamSeeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – and watch Latham’s weekly “Ask the Agronomist” videos.

Bacon and Sweet Corn Mac 'N Cheese



  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat from cooking bacon
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 ½ cups half and half
  • ½ lb. block Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided
  • ½ lb. block mild cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can sweet corn, drained or 2 cups of frozen sweet corn, drained
  • 1 lb. cellentani/cavatappi or other shape pasta, cooked to al dente and drained
  • 1 lb. smoked bacon, cooked, chopped, divided
  • ½ cup chopped green onions


In a large saucepan or stock pot, re-heat reserved bacon fat over medium heat, add butter. Add onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent and tender. Add flour and stir for 1 minute, to cook raw flour taste out. Whisk in half and half. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until mixture is reduced by one fourth and has thickened.

Stir or whisk in 1 2/3 cup of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, and Parmesan cheese until melted, creamy and thickened. Add mustard powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well.Stir in corn, cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and gently stir in cooked and drained pasta and 3/4 of the chopped bacon.

Pour mixture into greased 9x13 baking dish.

Cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown. Serve warm, garnish with remaining bacon and chopped green onions.

Nutrition per serving: 978 Calories, 65.6g Total Fat, 155.9mg Cholesterol, 1229.1mg Sodium, 62.9g Carbohydrate, 3.2g Fiber, 35.2g Protein

Photo Credit: Iowa Food and Family Project and
Recipe Credit: Cristen Clark, Food and Swine


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8 as main dish