Latham’s Jerry Broders Retires After 46 Years in the Seed Industry

Jerry Broders recently celebrated his 42nd wedding anniversary and his retirement on the same day. After 46 years in the seed industry, Jerry says it was time to start doing more fishing and golfing — and spending more time with family and friends.

At his recent retirement party, he joked about how he felt to hang up his career: “The only person who can tell me what to do now is my wife,” he says with a laugh.

Jerry grew up on a cattle, hog and grain farm 30 miles from DeWitt, Iowa. He helped his dad farm until the early 1980s, when the farm crisis forced foreclosures at unprecedented and devasting rates. He went to work for Pioneer at an animal research station, evaluating silage and hybrids, and stayed with the company nearly 20 years in various capacities. His last role was with the optimal quality grains group at a time when Dupont was buying out Pioneer. His territory was “I-35 to the Pacific Ocean,” Jerry says.

Crisscrossing half the country every week soon got old, and after his dad passed away, Jerry decided to move back to Iowa to be closer to his mom. He took a job with Kruger Seed, where he worked until 2013. That’s when he got a call from Tom Lizer, an old friend and former Kruger colleague who was the general manager at Latham Seeds.

Jerry says it was because of their history and the respect he had for Tom that he agreed to join Latham’s sales team. But there was one caveat.

“I told him I’d give him 10 years and then I wanted to retire,” Jerry says. “I ended up staying 10 years and 8 months.”

Though much of his career was spent on the corporate side of the industry, Jerry says he appreciated the change in pace at Latham. He enjoyed working for a family-owned company that isn’t beholden to one brand and is more interested in solving problems.

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Chris Latham, Jerry Broders and John Latham

“I have always liked being able to provide answers and solutions,” he says. “It’s important to be able to help farmers make good decisions that are best for their own circumstances.”

Jerry says he will most miss working with dealers and customers — some of whom have been with him for 25 years and followed him to Latham Seeds.

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Jerry Broder’s Retirement Party

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“They’re like family to me, just really good people,” he says. “I’ve always treated people honestly and fairly, because when you get down to it, the only thing I can stand on is my reputation. I’m going to miss the relationships I’ve built.”

Jerry and his wife, Kimberly, live in DeWitt. They have two grown sons, Zach and Matt. Here is one of their family’s favorite appetizers: Dried Beef Dip!

Dried Beef Dip


1 pint mayo

2 C sour cream

  • ¾ pound dried beef, chopped fine
  • ½ C chopped onion (or dried onion)
  • 1-1/2 T each:
    • Accent
    • Dill week
    • Parsley


Mix well and serve with bagels cut into bite-sized pieces.


**Photo courtesy of Smith's Brand.