Please keep Larry's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers

posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019

"If we could all be half the man Larry was, we’d all be doing pretty darn well.” This was first said by Jeremiah Hall, director the gilt development system. Then by Ryan Johnson, the manager at Cyclone gilt developer. As more heads nodded, it was realized by everyone who had ever worked with Larry Last.

Larry tragically died June 5, 2019 in a tractor accident while mowing on his farm south of Hubbard, Iowa. The news hit everyone hard, including his Iowa Select Farms family. 

He was a native of Hubbard, graduating from Hubbard High School and joined the United States Marine Corp. After serving California and Okinawa, he returned home to take over the family farm. In 1974, he married Andrea Ziebell. Together they raised two boys, Tyler and Seth. 

Larry was the one who encouraged his boys to start a mowing business—Last Lawn Rangers—when they were in high school. After Tyler and Seth left for college, he continued to spend his evenings and weekends mowing. 

Larry joined Iowa Select Farms in 2002, teaming up with Ryan Johnson, a brand new farm manager in the summer of 2004. At the time, Ryan had been promoted to lead the Eller gilt developer and Larry was assigned to be his first technician. His son, Seth, would later join Iowa Select Farms as a contracted site manager.

Ryan and Larry worked together for nearly 12 years—rotating together to Bartlett, Gast and then Cyclone. With the exception of a few breeding project assignments that sent them in separate directions, they worked side by side.

“I can’t tell you how much respect I have for this man,” said Ryan. “He was someone you could always count on, always worked hard, never complained and stayed until the job was done.” 

Ryan said he was incredibly talented in his role, which was caring for and breeding gilts. “I’ve never worked with a more consistent breeder. His skills were impeccable.” 

In fact, everyone who worked with Larry remarks about how much he cared about others, asking about their families, their children, grandchildren, and remembering to ask about special events in their lives. 

“He was as easy going as a person could be, and not much bothered him,” said Ryan. “He was a good friend to all of us, and I know I am grateful he was in my life.” 

Jeremiah said Larry was a great friend, both inside and outside of work, and a mentor to all who had the honor to know him. “He’ll never know the impact he had on so many of us.”

November 18 would have been Larry’s 17th year with Iowa Select Farms. He was 78 years old, with no retirement in sight.

Please keep Larry’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers over the upcoming days and weeks as they mourn the loss of a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend.