Like all great athletes and entrepreneurs, Myron Keltgen has learned it pays to surround yourself with greatness. He was fortunate to get his start in the seed business 33 years ago with Keltgen Seed Company, which was known as the fastest growing regional seed company for years. The company also was known across the seed industry for hiring the best talent available.
“I feel kind of like Brett Farve… I have one last chance to win the big one with the team that will carry me to the goal line,” says Keltgen, who has served as as both Territory Sales Manager and Corn Product Specialist for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds since July 2015. “The thing that most excites me about my future here at Latham is the people on the team.”
The ability to talk to the people who make the decisions is something Myron enjoyed about working for Keltgen Seed. Myron’s father, Darwin, and Darwin’s brother, Keith, started the family-owned seed company. Keith had served as research director for Trojan Seed Co. Darwin had served as Trojan’s Northwest Regional Manager, supervising the company’s district sales managers. Four of their Trojan Seed coworkers joined their venture. One of their partners was Tom Mack, uncle of Myron’s wife.
“If I had an issue, I could go right to the president for help,” says Myron. “If I made a call in the field, I knew they trusted my judgement and would stand behind me. I also knew they sincerely cared about our customers and dealers. This is also what I enjoy about working with family-owned Latham Seeds. I can call John, Shannon or Chris Latham or Tom Lizer (general manager) anytime I need help and they will be there. They also are very sincere. They respect our dealers and customers and greatly care about each one’s success.”
One way Latham Seeds helps set up its dealers and customers for success is by offering the industry’s newest and most effective traits in genetics packages that are specific to the geographies the company serves. Latham Seeds first sold Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans in 2016 and have been working in research with Enlist technology. We’re eagerly awaiting the full approval of Enlist, as well as the commercialization of Balance GT.
“I am probably most excited about the new soybean technologies coming because many of our customers are dealing with resistant weeds,” says Myron. “Many companies are not as well positioned as we are at Latham Seeds, and it is truly exciting an exciting time for us.”
Myron’s passion has always been watching crops develop throughout the season, so product development is a great fit for his background and interests. He spends countless hours walking soybean and corn fields every week, looking for something that differentiates one product from another. He especially enjoys helping select products for Latham’s lineup. He also enjoys the opportunity to work again with Gary Geske, who was a district sales manager at Keltgen Seeds, and now serves as a Latham Corn Product Specialist.
“I still enjoy calling on friends and customers from when I worked at Keltgen and Wensman,” says Myron. “I enjoy visiting with them and getting updates on their kids and grandkids. Wow… 33 years’ worth of memories! My youngest son, Jason, has recently joined the Lake Area Ag dealership in Watertown. I’m enjoying the opportunity to work with both of my sons now.”
Myron’s oldest son, James, is a regional sales manager for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. He and his wife of nearly 37 years, Laurie, also are the proud parents of one daughter and the proud grandparents of five.
“All of our kids and grandkids live within an hour of us, so we’re blessed they’re all so close,” says Myron. The Keltgen family enjoys spending time together at their farm. Many of their fields are research sites for the products they sell. They also host the Latham Regional plot there.
When he’s not working or farming, Myron enjoys spending time with his family at the river. He especially loves fishing the Lake Ohae area and often serves as a fishing guide. Today Myron is sharing two of his favorite batter recipes with us.