Sorghum Foundation Announces 2020 Scholarship Winners

LUBBOCK, Texas (August 4, 2020)—The National Sorghum Foundation awarded scholarships to three students for the 2020-2021 school year, totaling $4,500. The winners are Kansas State University students Reed Middleton, Josephine Gianni and Max Harman.

“The National Sorghum Foundation has been honored to present scholarships to exceptional students with a passion for sorghum since the foundation’s inception 20 years ago,” National Sorghum Foundation Chairman Larry Lambright said. “The three students chosen to receive scholarships this year were recognized for their strong academics, outstanding leadership and service to their universities and communities.”

Reed Middleton, a junior agricultural economics major, is the recipient of the 2020 Bill Kubecka Memorial Scholarship. Originally from Hermiston, Oregon, she was raised by a family with deep agricultural roots, which sparked Middleton’s interest in agricultural policy as it relates to global food systems. Following graduation, Middleton plans on pursuing a career in research and development focused on markets in low-income countries.

This scholarship was renamed this year to honor the memory of Bill Kubecka—a former sorghum sector representative on the U.S. Grains Council board, and past chairman of both National Sorghum Producers and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. Throughout his life, Kubecka remained active and engaged in the advocacy process for sorghum and U.S. sorghum producers.

The recipient of the 2020 Bruce Maunder Memorial Scholarship is Josephine Gianni from Crown Point, Indiana. Gianni is a senior food science major with plans to pursue a Ph.D. She has a strong interest in researching how sorghum and other grain crops transform throughout the milling process. Gianni plans to attain a career designing and managing feed mills across the globe with an emphasis on improving sustainability for future generations. This scholarship honors long-time sorghum industry advocate Bruce Maunder who led the sorghum foundation for 20 years and served as research adviser to the industry after retiring from a 35-plus year career as a sorghum breeder for DEKALB.

Max Harman was awarded the 2020 Darrell Rosenow Memorial Scholarship. Harman, originally from Inman, Kansas, is a junior double-majoring in biochemistry and global food systems. Harman served as the 2018-2019 Kansas State FFA President and has plans to pursue a Ph.D. in genetics or molecular biology. After completing his education, Harman’s career aspirations are in the private sector working to improve the food system through researching novel gene editing techniques to benefit both producers and end-users. This scholarship is presented in honor of Darrell Rosenow to support the next generation of agricultural pioneers. Rosenow spent over 40 years as a sorghum plant breeder and developed a reputation as a pioneer in hybrid sorghum breeding.

“The National Sorghum Foundation was extremely pleased with the high-caliber applicants for this year’s scholarships,” Lambright said. “We congratulate each one of these students and wish them success in their studies and future careers.”

Each scholarship provides students with $1,500 to assist with education expenses. The Bill Kubeka Memorial Scholarship winner, Middleton, will also have the opportunity to attend National Sorghum Producers annual D.C. Fly-In to learn about agricultural policy and regulatory agencies impacting the U.S. sorghum industry.

For more information about the National Sorghum Foundation and scholarship criteria, visit


National Sorghum Producers represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry coast to coast through legislative and regulatory representation and education. To learn more about NSP, visit