Honoring Master Farmer 2024 April Hemmes

April Hemmes’ journey into agriculture is deeply rooted in her family’s heritage. Raised on a farm in Hampton, Iowa, she developed a profound appreciation for the land and a keen understanding of the intricacies of farming.

Armed with a degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, April returned to her family’s farm where she assumed an active role in its management.

Latham Seeds is honored to help celebrate April’s leadership with the prestigious title of Master Farmer 2024. This award is well deserved as April has been reaching her stretch goals for years. In 1985, she started a farrow-to-finish enterprise. She worked on the farm with her grandpa to feed her livestock. She saved money to purchase cattle and enjoyed raising cow-calf pairs for 30 years. She took over sole management of the family farm in 1993.

April Hemmes Master Farmer

She says: “Farming has always been what I wanted to do with my life.”

April’s influence extends far beyond the boundaries of her family’s Iowa Century farm. She has been a steadfast advocate for agricultural education and rural development worldwide. In 2011, she participated in the Farmer-to-Farmer Exchange with Uganda. She realized that female farmers there lacked transportation to deliver their grain to market, so she raised funds to help them purchase what was needed.

That experience motivated April to serve agriculture in a much broader capacity. She’s held leadership roles within Iowa’s agricultural community including USDA Foreign Ag Service Technical Advisory Council and the U.N. Food Security Summit. She has also served on the United Soybean Board since 2015; her term ends in December 2024.

April’s advocacy of farming and agriculture has earned her much recognition in the industry. She was given Top Producer’s first-ever Trailblazer Award. She was named the 2012 Midwest Farm Mom of the Year. She also was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from Iowa Women in Agriculture and was inducted into the Franklin County Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. In addition, April was the first-ever inductee into the FarmHer Hall of Fame.

Her many accomplishments have made April a trailblazer in the ag industry – a term she takes in stride.

“I really don’t think you are a trailblazer if you are just doing what you love and pursuing your dream,” April says. “I hope the fact that I farm gives young women hope that someday they may be able to go home and work on their family farm and manage it, too!”

We’re proud that April has trusted Latham® Seeds for many years on her farm. She embodies the same values of innovation, integrity and passion that define our family-owned company.

Read more about April Hemmes here:

Enjoy your favorite cookie recipe below!

Hard Molasses Cookies


• ¾ cup cooking oil
• 1 cup sugar
• ¼ cup molasses
• 1 egg
• 2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• ½ teaspoon cloves
• ½ teaspoon ginger
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt


  • Mix together cooking oil, sugar, molasses and egg.
  • Sift flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  • Mix with first 4 ingredients.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar.
  • Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.