As the world sets back more into motion, so does Team Sorghum. In fact, writing this column, I was getting ready to head to Ag Media Summit in Kansas City to interact with ag journalists and colleagues—a networking and continuing education opportunity I look forward to annually. We had team members in Manhattan, Kansas, with Leader-ship Sorghum Class V, not on Zoom for the first time, learning about public research and risk management, and sorghum had strong representation at the U.S. Grains Council summer annual conference where trade, partnerships and worldwide demand-building efforts were being discussed.
There is no lack of movement in Washington, D.C., either. In fact, your National Sorghum Producers board leaders travelled there mid-July for the first time since January of last year. It was a timely visit to Capitol Hill. Leadership advocated for disaster assistance for 2020 and 2021 crop years, which was advanced by the House Agriculture Committee the following week. The legislation will add drought, and is a valuable bipartisan effort, particularly as our farmers in South Texas and the Gulf Coast have received significant rainfall during harvest—the total impact still unknown. You can read more about the 2020 WHIP+ Authorization Act on page 8. Infrastructure, which the Senate went to debate on when this issue went to the press, was also a key issue sorghum leaders discussed with Members of Congress as well as proposed changes to the tax code and the detrimental impact they will have on family farms—more on that on pages 6-7.
The first week of August, both the NSP and United Sorghum Checkoff Program boards of directors convened for their respective board and budget meetings, laying the financial groundwork for plans the following year and beyond. While the work never stopped in the last year—in fact, we are quite proud of the strides we were able to make during that time—we can-not wait to get to work for the U.S. sorghum farmer. Through adversity, there is opportunity, and our industry is brimming with plenty of that right now. The face-to-face value is not lost on us either, and we look forward to seeing our farmers, partners and other members of the sorghum community more as time and opportunity allow. Thank you for your ongoing support, and if you find value in the work we do but are not a member of our organization yet, please join us. Together, we can accomplish much more.
Jennifer Blackburn, VP of Communications