Shannon Latham is vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, a family-owned seed company headquartered in North Central Iowa. The company, which celebrated its 70th year of business in 2017, was founded by Willard Latham. Today, two of Willard’s grandsons also own and manage the business.
As co-owner of Latham Seeds, Shannon directs the company’s overall marketing initiatives, including social media, paid advertising and public relations. Prior to joining Latham Seeds full time in 2008, Shannon operated her own communications/public relations business. She also has worked in an advertising agency and served as a state lobbyist for agribusiness.
Shannon is passionate about agriculture literacy and encouraging young people to pursue careers in agriculture. She puts her passions into practice at her Enchanted Acres pumpkin patch in Sheffield, Iowa, where she plans weekly fall events and blogs all year long. For her efforts, Shannon was named to the FarmHer Hall of Fame in 2016.
What entrepreneurship means to me…
Entrepreneurship is a mindset and a way of life. It also comes with a great deal of responsibility as business owners are looked upon to provide leadership within their companies and within their communities. As a person who has always welcomed challenges and opportunities, I find this energizing. I thrive on change and appreciate that there really isn’t such a thing as “a typical day” on the job. I love that each day holds something new, so I’m continually learning. I truly enjoy having a hand in shaping our business and nurturing its growth. I enjoy working with aspiring business professionals and employees on personal growth and development. I take pride that we’re providing good jobs for families in North Iowa. I also take pride in being a part of the agricultural community because we’re literally helping feed the world. How noble is that?
Why students should become involved with AgEI…
You don’t ever have to start a business or own a business to benefit from entrepreneurship classes and activities. Involvement with AgEI provides so many benefits from teaching sound business practices to networking with business professionals. Knowing how to apply knowledge and knowing others are two keys to professional success. In our family-owned business, we seek out employees with an entrepreneurial mindset as they’re problem solvers and innovators. They come up with creative ideas to make our business more efficient, more profitable and even more engaged in the community.