- Martzahn’s Farm Poultry Processing
- Healthy Harvest of North Iowa
- Iowa State Extension: Establishing a Backyard Poultry Flock
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself
- Chickens: Tending a Small-Scale Flock (Hobby Farms)
Iowa hatcheries include the following:
Links to Recipes
Shannon Latham of Sheffield, Iowa, is vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, an independent, family-owned seed corn company that brings world-class technology home™ to rural communities through in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. The company was founded in April 2004 by Shannon’s husband, third generation seedsman John Latham.
As co-owner of Latham Seeds, Shannon works closely with the company’s president to develop the corporation’s business plans, strategies, programs and tactical initiatives to grow sales. She also directs the company’s overall marketing initiatives, which includes social media, paid advertising and public relations.
Prior to joining Latham Hybrids full-time in January 2007, Shannon operated her own communications/public relations business for three years. One of her most notable client projects was the grand opening of Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Shannon also worked for six years as an account executive and public relations specialist for The Meyocks Group in West Des Moines. Her clients included Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Farm Credit Services of Wisconsin and Foremost Farms USA.
Other previous work experience includes serving as an agricultural program coordinator for the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship where she did public relations for the Beginning Farmer Loan Program and coordinated the Iowa Agricultural Youth Institute (IAYI). She also served as director of legislative affairs for the Agribusiness Association of Iowa and coordinated its grassroots lobbying efforts.
Shannon graduated from college with honors. She earned an MBA from the University of Iowa, as well as a bachelor’s degree with a double-major in Ag Journalism and Public Service & Administration in Agriculture from Iowa State University.
Active in professional organizations, Shannon finished a three-year term as chair of the American Seed Trade Convention (ASTA) Communications Committee and remains an active committee member. Shannon and John served as co-chairs of the 125th annual convention of the ASTA in June 2008. She also has served on the advisory committee for the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative at Iowa State University and as a trustee on the Iowa 4-H Foundation. She also spearheaded efforts to endow a 4-H scholarship in Franklin County and sponsored fundraising events from 2011 until 2016.
Shannon and John live with their two children in Sheffield, Iowa, where she has served as a Girl Scout leader for 10 years and also operates Enchanted Acres Pumpkin Patch.
Shannon Latham’s Interview Notes
Here are a few links to blogs I’ve posted about chickens on our farm:
I started raising chickens because my grandma raised about 250 laying hens. She sold her eggs to our local grocery store and the “egg money” was her money.
When I was a child, I wanted my mom to time our farm visits so I could gather eggs. I was 21 when my grandparents had their farm sale, and the one item I really wanted – and got – was the red wire egg basket that I used to gather eggs. Today it’s used as a decoration in my kitchen. I used recycled egg cartons when I gather eggs because it gives them more protection and I’m less likely to break some before I get them home!
I’m all about buying local and supporting other family-owned businesses. As a kid, I remember taking a road trip to Rudd for our chicks. My mom raised broilers, so we would have chickens in our freezer. She makes THE best fried chicken, but she learned from the best. My grandma also made the best fried chicken. She told me “don’t skimp on the salt.” Since I don’t eat fried chicken often, I don’t skimp on the salt.
I still buy all of my chicks from Hoover’s Hatchery in Rudd. Although they have a mail order business, I still choose to pick up my chicks directly from the hatchery. Anyone who reads my blog or listen to me speak knows I’m all about engaging experiences and creating memories.
I know we’re going to talk about raising meat birds, but I was going to share a little bit about my laying hens. I prefer Buff Orpington because the eggs are nice and big: https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/buff-orpington/
My daughter talked me into Americana for the colored eggs. While those green eggs are “fun,” they aren’t as large. I’ve also learned that consumers (at least the ones I sell to) like the brown eggs better than the green eggs. Perhaps Dr. Suess ruined that for us. LOL
Interestingly enough, many people don’t know that only the color of the shells differ. The yolk is the same color. The nutrients are virtually the same. Here are a couple of blogs about eggs and labels on eggs:
While many people think of “spring chicks,” I’ve had good luck with fall chicks for broilers. It’s about an 8-week time period from hatching to processing. It works well for me to get the chicks about the time Enchanted Acres opens in the fall because then they’re ready for processing about the time I close for the season. Also, the weather is more conducive. It’s not hard to keep the little chicks warm in the early fall. They develop feathers, which help them warm as the days/evening get cooler. They also produce more body heat as they go. Then they go to market before it gets too cold. You can get your building and equipment cleaned and put away before the snow accumulates. I would have said “before the snow flies,” but we all know the snow can fly in North Iowa in October.
The only time I had problem with death loss is when my broilers were close to market weight in the heat of summer. That was just sad. No one likes to deal with death, especially when you’ve poured time and money into feeding a bird that was meant to feed you! Since my coop is neither air conditioned nor heated, I need to keep the Iowa climate in mind.
My BIG TO DO for 2019 is hosting a Farm to Table Meal this fall at Enchanted Acres. I just need to find a chef to partner with, so perhaps I can develop that partnership thanks to your new podcast. I love the idea of creating a menu of all the foods we grow ourselves: apples, pumpkins, squash and of course, chicken! When I host groups like book club meetings that include lunch, I create a menu based on foods that have been raised: hot chicken casserole (has both boiled eggs and shredded chicken), apple crisp, pumpkin muffins, cranberry waldorf salad (because it’s fall, after all).