Celebrating Our Legacy, During Ag Week and Always

Thank you, farmers!

As National Agriculture Week ends, I want to say thank you to the men and women who work in acres, not hours. Thanks to those of you who work past dark and get up before dawn to care for livestock. Thank you for working tirelessly to provide nutritious food and renewable fuel for the world.

The purpose of Ag Week is to shine a spotlight on American agriculture, preserving its past and celebrating its future. Like the Latham® Dealers with whom we work directly and the Upper Midwest farmers they serve, we are so proud of our agricultural roots.

It is our family’s honor to follow in the footsteps of Willard and Evelyn Latham, who started Latham Seeds in 1947 by answering a need for high quality seed. Willard and Evelyn were what I would call a “traditional farm family” of their time.

When I read Paul Harvey’s famous poem, I picture Evelyn holding a coffee pot and welcoming everyone – friends, neighbors and seed customers – to have a seat at the table:


Evelyn Latham

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

Evelyn would tell everyone to come back soon — and mean it. However, times have changed in the last 75 years that our family has owned and operated a seed business. I appreciate that young girls today are being told they can own their own farms.

Women in Agriculture today have inspiring role models, so today I’m shining a spotlight on a few of these women:

  • April Hemmes, first recipient of “Top Producer” Trailblazer Award and first president of Iowa Women in Ag.
  • Iowa Senator Annette Sweeney, who chairs Natural Resources Committee.
  • Pam Bolin, the first female to serve on the Swiss Valley Farms Co-op Board of Directors
IMG 5381

Me, Sweeney and Hemmes

In celebration of trailblazing women throughout the generations, I’m sharing a family favorite recipe from Evelyn Latham.


Evelyn’s Cocoa Krispies Cookie Bars



  • 2/3 c. Karo syrup (light or dark)
  • 1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 6 c. Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies


  • Combine syrup and sugar in saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture bubbles. (Do not overcook!)
  • Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter.
  • Next add Krispies and mix well.
  • Pour into butter 9x13. Let cool. Can make chocolate icing to cover.