Montezuma teen crowned Miss United States Agriculture; donates 4,000 pounds of food to the local pantry
Olivia Latcham is shown with some of the food she donated to the Montezuma Food Pantry on Sunday, Nov. 20. Olivia held a food drive at the Montezuma Elementary School this fall as part of her Miss United States Agriculture crowning and People’s Choice honor and was able to donate enough food to feed 550 families in the Montezuma and the surrounding area.
By J.O. Parker
A Thanksgiving meal was made possible for 550 families in Montezuma and across the county thanks to the efforts of Olivia Latcham, the newly crowned Miss United States Agriculture.
Olivia, 13, the daughter of Curtis and Amanda Latcham of rural Montezuma, held a canned food drive at Montezuma Elementary School this fall. The food drive was part of giving back to the community and the people’s choice award Olivia sought as part of her quest for the crown.
“She brought boxes and challenged each class to bring the most,” said Amanda. “Whoever brought the most (canned food) got an ice cream party.”
Olivia also collected money and other canned goods and was able to bring more than 2,500 canned good items to the 2022 Midwest Regional Miss United States Agriculture competition in Maryville, Mo. earlier this month. All contestants were asked to bring canned food items to the competition.
The food items were originally planned for the food pantry in Maryville, but when they arrived with the trailer load, no one showed up to accept the food.
Olivia was honored and blessed to bring most of the food home and deliver it, with the help of her family, to the Montezuma Food Pantry on Sunday, Nov. 20.
“While doing this they (Montezuma Food Pantry) told us that this will help 550 families and right before Thanksgiving,” said Amanda. “This is amazing.”
Amanda said the food pantry said that they are having a hard time getting soups and other canned goods because there are a lot of people struggling right now and also due to shortages of some food items.
Some of the food that Olivia and the contestants collected went to Kansas, Nebraska and another parts of Iowa to bless those in need in various communities across those states.
“Being able to deliver the food to our local area was the most satisfying experience for our entire family,” said Amanda. “This is more than just a crown that Olivia wears upon her head….this is a way for her to give back. This girl has big goals, be ready.”
“Thankful beyond words were we for more than 4,000 pounds of donated food from the Iowa People’s Choice Miss United States Agriculture, Olivia Latcham,” said Darla Wilson with the Montezuma Food Pantry.
Darla Wilson and Bob Helmick with the pantry were on hand to help the Latcham family unload all the food.
“This is an example of how God knows our needs and of His great provision in our lives,” noted Darla. “This is also a testimony of how it just takes one person to make a difference, in this case one 13-year-old girl (and her family). To God be the glory.”
Miss United States Agriculture
In addition to being named Iowa People’s Choice, Olivia was named Iowa Miss Agriculture Advocacy Ambassador, and was named to the Midwest Grand Supreme Court, which is the top 10 out of about 40 girls. She also finished second runner up as Iowa Teen Miss for 2023. All the competitions are part of the Miss United States Agriculture program.
Olivia’s sister, Alyssa, the 2022 Iowa Junior Miss United States Agriculture, who also won the People’s Choice honor a year ago, was able to crown her sister at the competition. After Alyssa’s farewell speech, her dad, Curtis, gave her flowers.
“It’s hard to believe that it all started with this little shy girl, and she blossomed into an amazing young lady,” said Amanda. “I hope she knows how proud she makes us all.”
Amanda said a big thanks goes out to Montezuma Floral and More for allowing her family to use their trailer to carry all the food to Maryville and back home.
Olivia Latcham works with her sister, Alyssa, to stack food at the Montezuma Food Pantry store room on Sunday, Nov. 20. Olivia donated 4,000 pounds of food
Olivia Latcham, the newly elected Miss United States Agriculture, is shown with Bob Helmick and Darla Wilson with the Montezuma Food Pantry after she donated 4,000 pounds of food. The food is enough to serve 550 Montezuma and area families.
Olivia Latcham, 13, collected 4,000 pounds of food, which she donated to the Montezuma Food Pantry on Sunday, Nov. 20 after recently being crowned Miss United States Agriculture. She had earlier held a food drive at the Montezuma Elementary School as part of her quest to earn the crown and win the People’s Choice honor.
Olivia is shown with her father and mother, Curtis and Amanda Latcham, sister, Alyssa, and brother, Caleb.