National Sorghum Producers Leadership Development Next Leaders
About Leadership Development

Developing the Next Sorghum Leaders

The United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) is developing the next-generation of leaders for the sorghum industry with its Leadership Sorghum program.

  • Program Mission: Leadership Sorghum seeks to develop the next-generation of leaders for the sorghum industry.
  • Program Objectives: Recruit new leadership and prepare participants interested in pursuing leadership roles within the sorghum industry. Expose participants to and educate them about the sorghum industry.

Congratulations Leadership Sorghum Class V Graduates!

David Barrett - Sinton, TX | John Browning - Plainview, TX | Matthew Crane - Pritchett, CO | Daniel Hopper - Leonardville, KS | Winter Johnston - McConnellsburg, PA | Deanna Lanier - Valley Center, KS | Matt McCune - Plainville, KS | Brant Peterson - Johnson, KS | Gage Porter - Mercer, MO | Dale Stoltzfus - Schuylkill Haven, PA | Ciera Ware - Ralls, TX | Brian Younker - Spearville, KS | Kirk Zerr - Quinter, TX

Leadership Sorghum

About The Program

National Sorghum Producers Leadership Development What Youll Gain

What You'll Gain

Throughout the program, Leadership Sorghum class members are exposed to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic and applied research to international marketing. Through both hands-on and classroom-style education, participants will gain an understanding of:

  • How sorghum moves through the value chain
  • How checkoffs and interest organizations interact on behalf of the industry
  • What the future holds for the crop

The program also provides professional development training and networking opportunities.

Leadership Sorghum

Program Details

The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is accepting applications for Leadership Sorghum Class VI, a program designed to cultivate the next generation of sorghum leaders.

Applications Closed

Following the Leadership Sorghum application deadline, all complete applications and references will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Sorghum Checkoff board members and alumni of the Leadership Sorghum program. Finalists may be contacted via telephone to arrange an interview. Class members and alternates will be notified of acceptance by November 2022.

  • Program Eligibility

    As stated in the USDA-approved Leadership Sorghum criteria, eligible participants must be (1) farmers actively engaged in sorghum production and (2) citizens of the U.S.

  • Time Commitment and Schedule

    Leadership Sorghum requires five trips over 14 months, totaling 15 days. Applicants must agree to attend all sessions except in the case of family illness or emergency.

    Class VI Tentative Schedule 

    • December 2022: USCP & NSP Board meetings – Location TBD
    • March 2023: Commodity Classic, Orlando, FL
    • September 2023: Seed and research, Location TBD
    • December 2023: Ports, Location TBD
    • February 2023: Washington, D.C.

    For any questions, contact Shelee Padgett,

  • Program Expenses

    USCP covers expenses for travel, lodging and meals based on USDA per diem requirements.

Leadership Sorghum

The Results

National Sorghum Producers Leadership Development Grass Roots

Building Grassroots

Leadership Sorghum prepares sorghum farmers to be an advocate for sorghum and agriculture on a local, regional and national platform.

To date, Leadership Sorghum has resulted in 45 farmers from 13 different states. Leadership Sorghum alumni are more involved in state and national organizations and committees as a result of the program.

National Sorghum Producers Leadership Development Industry Gains

Industry Gains

Leadership is vital to the success of any industry, and Leadership Sorghum provides the necessary resources to lead our industry in the future.

The first three classes of the Leadership Sorghum program have facilitated growers from 11 states who all bring different perspectives to the sorghum industry, including their cropping systems and their own farming operation structure.

Leadership Sorghum highlights the Sorghum Checkoff by showcasing where producers’ dollars are being invested and the level of synergy that exists within the sorghum industry.

Leadership Sorghum Testimonials

Featured Participants