Deliveries With a Personal Touch Keep Him Trucking Through Latham Country
Growing up, Steve Sweet spent every summer and school break riding along in the cab of his father’s big rig as he hauled goods or chemicals across the country. By the time Steve was in junior high school, he’d seen all 48 contiguous states — and figured out what his lifelong career would be.
“I followed in his footsteps,” Steve says of his dad, Norman. “I’ve been driving now for over 33 years.”
Like his father, Steve started driving dump trucks when he was 18. He went on the road at 21, traveling for months at a time throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. He hauled mostly meat and produce at first; then propane, grain and livestock. What he really enjoyed, however, was delivering to farmers.
“There’s just a much more personal touch,” Steve says. “I like getting to know the people rather than just dumping it off and saying, ‘See ya.’ With other hauls, the chances of seeing the same people again are slim to none.”
That’s why, when Steve saw that Latham Hi-Tech Seeds was looking for a truck driver in 2021, he applied for the job. He works full-time for Latham now and knows all his customers (and most of their families) by name. Roughly half of the dealers he delivers seed to are shorter runs, which allows him to visit a little more at each stop.
“It’s nice to be able to chit chat a little after unloading,” he says. “The people are just my favorite thing about Latham.”
Steve grew up in Roland, Iowa. He lives just four blocks from his childhood home. He enjoys helping on his in-laws’ nearby farm, where they have 25 head of cattle and 80 acres of corn plus another 80 acres of pasture ground. He and his wife, Tasha, have five grown children and six grandchildren. Tasha is a case manager for Telligen, a national healthcare management company.
The truck driving career that Steve decided on as a young boy continues to deliver pride and satisfaction every day. Not only does it keep him going, Steve knows it also keeps the country going.
“Anything you eat, anything you own . . . at some point or another it’s been on a truck,” he says. “Just like dad, I’ll be doing it until I retire. And I’ll be telling all the stories of everywhere I’ve been.”
Since Steve’s job often requires him to default to quick, pre-packaged gas station meals like pizza and burritos, he has a long list of his favorite homemade meals. One side dish that is the family’s go-to is Buttery Sweet Potato Casserole.
Buttery Sweet Potato Casserole
- 2 cans (15 - 3/4 oz) sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup coarsely crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 25 crackers)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to a greased 8-in. square baking dish.
Combine the topping ingredients, sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.