Commodity Classic in The Big Easy

National Sorghum Producers and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program participated in a successful return to Commodity Classic March 10-12 in New Orleans.

Article By Lauren Pritchett

National Sorghum Producers and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program participated in a successful return to Commodity Classic March 10-12 in New Orleans.
Highlights from the event included NSP Chairman Kody Carson’s on-stage dialogue with general session host Mark Mayfield and leaders from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Corn Growers Association.

NSP also hosted its annual Sorghum Yield Contest Gala, recognizing winners of the 2021 contest, and the event concluded with the return of the Sorghum PAC Casino Night & Auction, which broke a live auction record.

Classic Trade Show

The show saw nearly 8,000 attendees, including both farmers and exhibitors, and the trade show was sold out with roughly 400 exhibitors on the floor.

NSP and USCP exhibited, highlighting sorghum’s natural sustainable attributes, and visited with sorghum farmers and prospective farmers from across the nation with new and existing interest in the crop.

The USCP booth was visited by two international groups from China interested in discussing opportunities to purchase sorghum for export and to hear perspectives on the upcoming sorghum crop.

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) visited the NSP booth at the close of the trade show after he met with sorghum board of directors leadership to discuss current issues and sorghum priorities.

General Session

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack took the stage during the General Session as a keynote speaker on Friday, March 11. Vilsack addressed his vision for the USDA and the role of American agriculture in the nation’s economic vitality. He included his thoughts on better market opportunities, export performance, rural development and climate programs.
After Vilsack’s address, NSP Chairman Kody Carson joined leaders of NCGA, ASA, NAWG and AEM to discuss issues like supply chain disruptions, regulatory challenges and the current sorghum demand picture. He also unveiled our new industry trademark The Resource Conserving Crop™ and took the opportunity to speak on behalf of growers, discussing climate change and sustainability and what that means to him. He received applause from the crowd after his comments:

“When I think of sustainability, what is it? We’re barely holding a line. We’re keeping our head above water. We’re paddling enough so we don’t go back, but we’re not really getting ahead. The American farmer is better than that. For years we have taken the soil on our farms, and we’ve made them as good as when we came onto it, or better, to hand to the next generation of stewards. We are asked, as producers, to feed more people across the world than ever before, and we’re doing that. We’re giving the U.S. consumer the safest and most abundant supply of food the world has ever seen, and we’re doing it with one hand tied behind our back through regulatory restrictions or policy mandates, but we’re accomplishing this. On my farm, I have taken the stance that The Resource Conserving qualities of sorghum fit my needs. [You] must go out and figure out what fits your needs, but then let’s all then come back together. We’ve got a unique group up here because we have a camaraderie and a respect that I think we need to take advantage of right now, that we as U.S. farmers have to band together right now and tell the non-ag [audience] and the rest of the world that we aren’t just sustainable. American farmers are so much better than that already.”

NSP Yield Contest Gala

This year’s NSP Sorghum Yield Contest Gala, sponsored by Pioneer®, gave sorghum growers the chance to showcase their yield achievements during the 2021 crop year. NSP Chairman Kody Carson and Vice Chairman Craig Meeker recognized national and state winners in six categories, congratulating each winner as they received their award (profiles of national winners can be found here).

Sorghum PAC Casino Night and Auction

Immediately following the gala Friday night, NSP kicked off its annual Sorghum PAC Casino Night & Auction, sponsored by Sorghum Partners and ADAMA, which set fundraising records once again. This year, casino night consisted of live, online and silent auctions, which have all increased in earnings over the past four years.

“I feel we are very fortunate to have very giving growers, board members, industry partners and staff,” NSP Industry Relations Director Jamaca Battin said. “The Sorghum PAC Casino Night & Auction returned in a triumphant way, and our fundraising efforts accomplished a great deal in reaching our purpose to more effectively promote legislative lawmakers who understand and advocate on behalf of sorghum priorities.”

NSP is expecting an increased revenue this year of more than $50,000 to Sorghum PAC at the conclusions of Casino Night & Auction and the Second Annual Sorghum PAC Golf Tournament, which will be held April 30 in Wellington, Kansas.

2023 Commodity Classic

The 2023 Commodity Classic will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 9-11, 2023. Join NSP in taking part in Commodity Classic events along with the NSP Yield Contest Gala, Sorghum PAC Casino Night & Auction and future learning sessions. For more information visit,


This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 Issue of Sorghum Grower magazine.