Live Healthy Iowa: Farm Team

By Kelly Visser, Iowa Food & Family Project

The Iowa Food & Family Project is proud to sponsor Live Healthy Iowa’s 10 Week Wellness Challenge, which is held in January, February and March each year. The team-based competition encourages Iowans to set wellness goals and keep moving all winter long.

As part of the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, we’ve assembled a Farm Team of four incredible Iowa farmers who will be competing in the challenge, sharing practical tips about fitness and inspiring participants to fill their plate with nutritious Iowa-grown and raised ingredients. After all, wellness starts with healthy food, and healthy food starts on the farm!

You can follow along with our Farm Team update in Live Healthy Iowa’s weekly challenge emails and on the Iowa FFP website. Challenge registration is open until Monday, Jan. 27.

Please note, by clicking the links you will be leaving a partially funded checkoff site.

Meet the Farm Team

Shannon LathamSara RossCasey SchlichtingLacey Zuck

Shannon Latham

Shannon Latham lives in Sheffield. She is vice president and co-owner of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds and owner of Enchanted Acres.

For Shannon, wellness means making good choices about diet and exercise. It’s about feeling good physically and emotionally. “As I say, I don’t ‘do nothing’ well. I feel my best when I’m active and productive,” she adds.

Shannon is excited to share about agriculture during the 10 Week Wellness Challenge because it is both the way she makes a living, as well as the way she relaxes. In addition to her day job as vice president of family-owned Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, she also operates a hobby farm raising Boer goats, laying hens and broilers. Shannon also has a host of pets including dwarf goats, cats, rabbits and Bailey, her black lab. In 2012, Shannon started Enchanted Acres pumpkin patch where she shares her love of farming all year long, sells pumpkins and offers agri-entertainment for five or six weekends each fall.

You can follow along with Shannon’s wellness journey at @Shannon_Latham on Twitter,  @EnchantedAcres on Facebook and @LathamSeeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Sara Ross

Sara Ross lives in Underwood. She farms corn, soybeans and has a cow-calf operation. She also works as an insurance agent and skincare entrepreneur.

She believes wellness is all about feeling healthy and having the energy to chase her four boys around! During the challenge, she looks forward to sharing that even though she’s a farmer, she is a consumer, too. Sara also wants to showcase how farmers are always looking for ways to make improvements to their operations and land. 

You can follow along with Sara’s farm and fitness journey at @the_mrssaraross on Instagram and @the_mrssaraross on Twitter.

Casey Schlichting

Casey Schlichting is from Clear Lake. He farms soybeans and corn and is a stay-at-home dad.

He believes wellness is all about feeling good about yourself and making healthy decisions. Casey is excited to share how to navigate winter “meeting season” in a healthy way, and how he makes thoughtful decisions about food when schedules are busy.

You can follow along with Casey’s 10 Week Wellness Challenge journey at @getfitfarmer on Twitter and @getfitfarmer55 on Instagram.

Lacey Zuck

Lacey Zuck lives in Oelwein. She is a healthcare IT analyst, personal trainer and raises cattle alongside her husband.

Lacey believes wellness is about living life beyond the scale. And that means living her best life, being strong enough to keep up with the farm, fueled enough to have the energy to take on long days and having the peace of mind that she’s taking care of her body.

Lacey lives to help “FarmHERS” find time to make health and wellness a priority. “As farmers, the best way for us to showcase our amazing products (beef, pork, dairy, poultry...) is to be an example of what these proteins can do for wellness,” she shares. “Life on the farm is full of unpredictable schedules and hard work, but finding a healthy routine can be done!”

For those less connected to the farm life, Lacey hopes to showcase her passion for quality of life; for herself, her family and the livestock she raises. After all, farming and fitness go hand in hand, both requiring dedication, hard work and grit! 

You can follow along with Lacey’s cattle operation and fitness journey (full of Beef, Burpees, Biceps and Beer) at @CattleandCardio on Instagram.