Wallaces Farmer

Next Generation Of Latham's Acquires Family's Seed Business

Combined corn and soybean companies formed to leverage independent market leadership.

March 27, 2009

3 Min Read

Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids, Inc., an independently owned hybrid seed corn company in Sheffield, on March 25 announced the purchase of all commercial soybean seed assets of Latham Seed Co. The purchase includes production and
research facilities located at Alexander, Iowa, as well as Latham Seed sales operations. Headquartered in the north central Iowa town of Alexander, the new company will do business as Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.

"Many people ask why we're staying independent in this era of greater corporate concentration across the seed industry," says John Latham, president of Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids, who assumes the same position with Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. "The answer is simple. Farmers need a strong, independent, family owned seed business in this era of seed company consolidation. We are passionate about helping farmers feed and fuel the world. This can best be achieved through the many high-tech seed options that we can provide as an independent seed
company. We also want to help simplify seed purchase decisions and reduce risk through our trademark Seed2Soil program."

Advantages of being an independent company

As an independent company, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds offers a larger portfolio of traits and products than seed companies that are owned by a trait supplier. For example, the company's corn lineup includes Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids with YieldGard VT Triple, Herculex XTRA, as well as with Agrisure 3000GT. The soybean lineup includes Latham soybeans with the new Roundup Ready 2 Yield, LibertyLink, CystX and Vistive.

"Being independent allows us to see the new technologies coming down the pipe from various trait providers. The good news for our customers is that we can recommend products based on what's best for their given situation, regardless of which company developed it," says Latham. "Latham Hi-Tech Seeds will continue to grow in its role as an independent resource for its farmer-customers, providing
options and alternatives to best meet their individual needs."

He says Latham Hi-Tech Seeds will celebrate the company's past and strong reputation while looking toward the future. "Our customers will soon begin to see more incentives, more services and greater value enhancements within our seed business," adds Latham. "We're committed to getting even closer to our customers and guiding them through the maze of technologies and traits that
make farming an exciting and demanding business."

Family members will still be owners and officers

Latham Hi-Tech Seeds stockholders include company president John Latham; his wife and vice president Shannon Latham; and brother and chief financial officer Chris Latham. Bill Latham, former Latham Seed Co. president, will continue as Chief Technology Officer. Don Latham, who had been a principal in Latham Seed Co., will focus on the family's farming operation and a food soybean export firm called Latham Farms LLC.

Founded in 1947 on an Iowa Century Farm, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds provides corn, soybean and alfalfa seed plus consulting services to growers in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota. Latham Hi-Tech Seeds brands incorporate genetics and traits from global technology providers including Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, DuPont, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta and others.

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