Milestone Memories Mark This Family’s Legacy with Latham Seeds

It’s not often that couples celebrate golden anniversaries, especially with their seed companies. Loren and Marianne Payne of Belmond, Iowa, were Latham® seed growers for more than 50 years — and they clearly remember the day Willard Latham came by to ask if they’d be willing to raise some soybeans for him. They Paynes had been taking their oats to get cleaned at Willard’s company, and they knew each other well.

“We told him we would try that,” says Marianne, who farmed with her husband from 1962 until 2019. “Pretty soon every field was planted to Latham seed beans.”

Marianne says raising seed beans worked out well for them. They were able to combine the crop and deliver it directly to the Latham plant, with Marianne herself driving the tractor and wagons. Not having to worry about storage allowed the Paynes to save on seed costs — and their landlords also agreed to raise seed beans.

“We would plant different varieties, so our fields would mature at different times,” she says. “It went well for us.”

Now that they’ve retired and moved to town, Marianne says she misses running the tractors. Not only did she haul their grain, she ran their tillage equipment too. For many years, the Paynes raised cattle and hogs, and had a few sheep early on. Marianne was raised on a farm between Thornton and Alexander; Loran was on a farm three miles away. They went to different country schools and met through friends.

Loren and Marianne Payne, who have five grown children, were honored in 2019 for having served as Latham® seed growers for 51 years. It’s a milestone memory that they, and we, hold fondly.

The Payne's with John Latham copy

Loren and Marianne Payne with John Latham Celebrating Over 50 Years of Service

“Latham Seeds has always been easy to work with,” Marianne says. “I really enjoyed working with each generation. We never worried because we knew we could trust them.”

Fresh Broccoli Raisin Salad


  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • *1 cup red grapes, cut in half
  • *1 cup green grapes, cut in half
  • ½ pound (8 slices) of bacon, browned
  • ½ cup toasted almonds or walnuts

TIP: Marianne prefers to substitute ¾ cup golden raisins for the grapes. You could use ½ cup craisens in place of the grapes, or use a combination of raisin and grapes.


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 T. vinegar


  • Brown bacon until crisp and crumble.
  • Toss all ingredients, except nuts, into a large bowl; mix well.
  • Right before serving, add nuts and dressing. Mix until coated.