There are numerous songs, sayings and ways to convey the quick passage of time. No matter whether you prefer to say Don’t blink, Time and Tides or Time flies, when you take time to reflect on the past, it always seems to have went by very quickly. As I sit down to write my last National Sorghum Producers Chairman’s column, I can easily convey that two seemingly busy years have flown by and are quite a blur in my memory.
While reflecting on the last two years, it would be easy to let the negatives outweigh the positives within agriculture. Farm profitability has seen significant challenges, weather has been extreme and markets and trading have been very volatile. However, my memories of this period will always be of the way agricultural organizations, such as NSP, worked so diligently to make a positive impact during tough economic times. A few significant highlights for me have been the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the creation of the Market Facilitation Program and the signing of the China Phase One and USMCA trade agreements. All of these milestones have been very impactful on sorghum producers, and I will be forever proud of the work our organization did behind the scenes to see them to fruition.
I continually talk about how involvement and engagement are paramount to the success of an organization, and NSP is no different. If it weren’t for producer members, industry partners, dedicated staff and producer leaders, NSP would not have the voice and resources to affect meaningful change in farm policy. I feel extremely blessed as a chairman to be surrounded by an amazing team of leaders and staff who share a common, passionate vision for the future of the sorghum industry. Sorghum People are just as hardy as the sorghum plants we grow, and I’m exceedingly proud to be a part of the team.
Lastly, I will say that any chair is only as strong as the four legs that hold it up. My family has been extremely supportive throughout my tenure as chairman. Time away from your family and farm operation can be stressful, but having a strong support system has made my life easy. Amanda, Eli, Mom and Dad, I cannot thank you enough for the love and support you have shown to make my dreams into reality.
I always end my column by saying how optimistic I am about the future of sorghum, and I’m more excited than ever. As a producer, I am pleased to see markets are steadily improving, crop genetics are advancing quickly and sorghum acres are increasing. From a leadership standpoint, I believe NSP is primed for great things in the near future. It has been an absolute pleasure to serve as your NSP Chairman, and I humbly thank everyone who has helped make it all possible.
Dan Atkisson, Chairman