Latham Seeds Welcomes Kody Trampel as Regional Sales Manager

Sometimes, the best opportunities present themselves at just the right time. That was true for Kody Trampel, who joined the Latham Hi-Tech Seeds team earlier this fall after working as an agronomist in ag retail for 12 years. Kody knew the Latham family even before he graduated from Iowa State University 10 years ago, and always kept an eye on the company’s go-to-market strategy.

“One thing Latham does really well is bringing options to customers and letting them pick the trait packages that best fit within their operation,” Kody says. “Being an independent seed company gives us the ability to do that. Most other companies can’t.”

While he didn’t grow up on a farm, Kody helped his grandpa mix feed at the Klemme (Iowa) Co-op every week. He participated in FFA and 4-H; and majored in Agricultural Studies at ISU. He met his wife, Vanessa, while working as an agronomist in one of her grandpa’s bean fields.


Kody and Vanessa Trampel with their children Pierce and Finley.

Today, Kody and Vanessa raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, cattle and hogs. They also represent District 2 for the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Advisory Committee. Kody is involved with the Hancock County Extension Council and Hancock County Farm Bureau, as well. Vanessa is an Iowa Central nursing graduate.

Kody says he’s most excited for the opportunity to “focus on seed only” in his RSM role at Latham Seeds while also using his experience in ag retail to help grow his dealer network.

“Bringing real-life experiences to the farm gate is something I’m really looking forward to,” he says.

Kody knows how committed Latham Seeds is to its customer base because of a single, short statement that company President John Latham always drives home: “We are a genetics-first company and a trait company second.”

“That comment from John truly shows that no matter where the traits are sourced from, we won’t bring them to the table unless we have a need from our customers,” Kody says. “That just proves how important they are to us.”

When he isn’t working, Kody enjoys camping with family and friends, and raising and showing livestock. He and Vanessa have two children, Pierce (3) and Finley (2). They also love their four mini Aussies: Paisley, Bentley, Sage and Mila.

Here is a delicious family recipe from the Trampels!

Family-Famous Cheesecake


Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 yolk
  • ¼ cup milk

Crust Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup crushed cinnamon graham crackers
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup butter, melted


Directions for Crust:

  • In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Then stir in butter.
  • Grease or line the inside of a 9-inch springform pan; press crumb mixture onto bottom of pan.
  • Place springform pan on a baking sheet; bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Directions for cheesecake:

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add milk, flour and vanilla.
  • Next add eggs, one at a time. Beat on low speed until just combined.
  • Pour filling onto crust. Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the inside edge of pan to loosen.
  • Let cool for one hour before refrigerating cheesecake.