All American: Meet the new Chair of ASTA

John Latham has commenced his tenure as the new Chair of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). Taking over from Wayne Gale of Stokes Seeds, John, who is President of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds in Iowa, USA, has a long history of service with ASTA, having previously held positions as Vice Chair, North Central Region Vice President, and Chairman of Seed First Political Action Committee. 

He also has served as chairman of the ASTA’s Corn & Sorghum Division and Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee. John also follows his father Bill Latham who was President of ASTA in 1998. 

His grandparents started Latham Seeds in 1947 as an oats company. Today, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, located in North Central Iowa, offers a full lineup of corn, soybean, alfalfa and cover crop products. John is president; his wife, Shannon, is vice president; and John’s brother, Chris, is the Chief Financial Officer. 

ASTA is driven by its membership, which is represented by a board of directors comprised of members of the executive committee as well as all living past-presidents of the association, seven division chairs, five committee chairs and an ex-officio state & regional association representative.

The executive committee is comprised of the association’s chairman, first vice chair and second vice chair; general counsel, three most recent past-chairs; three directors-at-large, regional vice presidents representing U.S. northeast, southeast, southern, central, north central, northwestern and western regions; and representatives to/from the Canadian Seed Trade Association and the Mexican Seed Trade Association.

In an introductory message on ASTA’s Youtube Channel, John said that innovation and gene editing will continue to be top priorities during his tenure. See also this video message from last year when John was named 1st vice chair, and more details about John on ASTA’s website.