It’s been a long time since we’ve had an issue focused on the sorghum food landscape. That does not mean momentum has slowed in this area—quite the opposite, in fact. If you have seen messaging lately from National Sorghum Producers or our sister organization, the Sorghum Checkoff, we have pushed our new trademark The Resource Conserving Crop™ but we are also strengthening the value proposition of sorghum with The Resource Conserving Ingredient™ with product specialists, nutrition experts, chefs, and many others across the food spectrum to demonstrate why sorghum has a place at the table.
Growth in this area can seem slow at times, but when you start at relatively zero, we have come so far in the past decade! We’re dialed in—on the nutrients sorghum offers, the potential claims it can provide related to your health and the qualities that set it apart from other grains. The goal for 90 percent awareness has been set, and we have members on Team Sorghum who are determined to get us there. One of those team members is Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD, who came on board with the Sorghum Checkoff in December. Dabruzzi is the new director of food innovations and institutional markets and has career experience connecting consumers and the food industry with products like dairy, beef and almonds. She provides a “state of the industry” and forthcoming opportunities on page 6.
While developing markets and innovative and new end-uses for sorghum are always an exciting opportunity, we cannot forget the dedicated farmers who produce the crop. As we head into the 2022 growing season, we know there are a lot of uncertainties. Input prices are higher than ever, and some inputs are in scarce supply. There are a number of factors driving these exponential increases, including supply chain factors, weather events, domestic policy debates and foreign geopolitical tensions that, when combined, have created a “perfect storm.” We at NSP want you to know we understand the difficulties sorghum farmers are currently facing, and we are doing all we can to assure you are not working with “one hand tied behind your back” because of policy restraints. We are in continuous communication with USDA, EPA and elected officials to help them understand what farmers across the U.S. are facing this growing season. We have your back and will continue to promote, advocate for and defend the sorghum industry from the field to the halls of Congress.
Jennifer Blackburn, Vice President of Communications & Editor