Republican challenger Shannon Latham announced on Tuesday she was running in Iowa Senate District 27 a seat currently held by State Senator Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City).

Latham is co-owner and vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, an independent, family-owned seed company that brings world-class technology home to rural communities throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. The company was founded in 2004 by her husband, third-generation seedsman John Latham.

Prior to joining the family business full-time in 2007, Latham operated her own communications and public relations business. Other previous work includes serving as an agricultural program coordinator for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and legislative affairs director for the Agribusiness Association of Iowa.

Latham said her campaign will focus on education, economic development, and revitalizing rural Iowa. She understands the importance of these issues in making Iowa communities attractive places to live and raise families.

Latham stated that she recognizes the value of a strong education system that works for all Iowa students.  Through an emphasis on trade schools and individualized learning, Latham believes in building a quality workforce by helping students reach their full potential and ensuring graduates are career-ready.

Multiple roles in the private sector have given Latham insight into the need to build strong, attractive communities to encourage our career-ready graduates to stay in Iowa. One way to achieve this, she said, is by reducing taxes, which will also attract top talent from other states by rewarding work and investment.

Latham pointed to her work on the advisory committee for the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Initiative at Iowa State University and as a trustee of the Iowa 4-H Foundation to illustrate her commitment to rural Iowa. As owner and operator of Enchanted Acres – a pumpkin patch in Sheffield – Latham gives educational tours to young students. She says she believes improved agriculture literacy is crucial to revitalizing Iowa’s rural communities. Latham, in her announcement, said she is committed to empowering job creators to bring employment opportunities to rural communities in agriculture-related industries.

Latham lives in Franklin County with her husband John and two children.

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