As we look back at the last year, it is clear necessity is indeed the mother of invention. As an organization working on behalf of sorghum in a government policy world, there was very little slow down of our responsibilities in 2020, but there were huge changes in how we had to go about accomplishing our goals.
As we approach what is hopefully the end to forced change in how we handle day-to-day business, we have the unique opportunity to evaluate what worked well, what did not work well, what needs to revert to prior procedure and what should completely change going forward.
As someone that has flown over a million miles, I am happy to say it is clear a lot of work can be done without always having to get on an airplane. On the other hand, I truly enjoyed a horrible flying experience I recently had because it meant I was able to see sorghum leaders in-person who I have not seen in over a year except on a screen. That face-to-face value will never be lost on National Sorghum Producers.
We have used technology to improve our efficiency in board meetings, which has strengthened resource allocation measures. The same can be said for committee meetings and other preparation work. We have also found ways to increase our outreach and involve more grassroots members in D.C. activities than we have ever been able to do before. It certainly does not replace those in-person encounters, but I can assure you, our efforts to represent sorghum farmers in this regard have not slowed down in the meantime.
We have used technology to get more survey input from our members than we have ever had. I think it’s prevalent among our base–it takes all of our collective input to pursue a path forward that works best for Team Sorghum and our industry. Online surveys allow you to respond on your time, and as an organization, we have made a concerted effort to listen and observe during this time.
We are more focused, and we have spent more quality time with key Senators and new Administrative leaders, like returning Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, EPA Administrator Michael Regan and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Whether it’s across a conference room table or on a laptop screen, these relationships have remained mission critical to advance sorghum priorities.
The world may look different now than it did a year ago, but NSP’s core values and principles are the same. Change is a good thing, and we’re better for having gone through the past 12 months. It remains an honor to serve the sorghum industry, and we thank you for your continued support.