As Bob Dylan said in his 1963 ballad, the times they are a-changin. It is happening all around us, and with the connectivity of our modern world, the impact spares almost no one. You’ve probably heard us refer to 2018 as a “roller coaster” more than once in the last year, and, with all honesty, I don’t think I have ever been more ready to put a year behind me and welcome the next. It was challenging—2018—but certainly a year of growth not only for me but for my fellow staff members and our outstanding farmer leaders, as well. Winston Churchill said to never waste a good crisis, and the events that unfolded for sorghum in 2018 certainly elevated awareness of our crop worldwide. National Sorghum Producers was able to create change for sorghum farmers through this by capitalizing on trade assistance, ethanol regulations and farm policy that, hopefully, help you continue to operate in 2019.
In this issue of Sorghum Grower we also explore a few of the changes happening in agriculture, focusing on mergers and acquisitions that impact sorghum farmers (Page 10). We also dive into fundamental changes happening on the farm and how the future might look. There are some new kids on the block—backed by venture capitalists and considered disruptors in the agriculture industry. Not everyone is welcoming them with open arms, and certainly there is weight to both sides of the argument. But as we explore change happening in agriculture, this shift toward approaching farm purchases like a consumer seems almost revolutionary, making the concept worth exploring.
There is another form of change I want our readers to consider, and that is the way you consume information. This year our quarterly magazine will reach 50 issues. Research tells us it has become the No. 1 information source for sorghum farmers, and trade publications are still important despite the growing presence of digital communications. Our communications portfolio continues to grow and diversify. In fact, we started the podcast “Sorghum Smart Talk” this fall to continue to meet the information needs of our growers in new ways. Our goal remains to be the premier source of information for U.S. sorghum farmers, and as change is happening in the ways we communicate, it is important we continue to grow and adapt. So, let us know how we’re doing with Sorghum Grower! I would love to hear from you—just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSP values our readership, and we sincerely hope you have a prosperous and blessed 2019.
Jennifer Blackburn, Sorghum Grower Editor