New Energy, New Leadership

National Sorghum Producers congratulates incoming board leadership and new members and acknowledges the service of members concluding their terms.

Article by Jennifer (Blackburn) Warren

The National Sorghum Producers board of directors elected officers and new directors at its annual board and budget meeting in August. Craig Meeker of Wellington, Kansas, was selected as chairman of the organization, replacing Kody Carson from Olton, Texas. Amy France of Marienthal, Kansas, was elected vice chair.

“I am incredibly humbled I have the opportunity to serve as chairman of the National Sorghum Producers,” Meeker said. “As I look forward to the things we have coming in the near future, I think we have a great opportunity to lay a firm foundation through the farm bill process to ensure sorghum farmers have a sustainable industry moving forward. With the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant NSP recently received, it gives me great excitement to think about how we can leverage this initial investment to move the sorghum industry forward. I know with dry weather, it’s easy to get down; however, I am an optimist, and I think most farmers see the great potential sorghum has. I look forward to guiding the association in a great future.”

Meeker was first elected to the NSP board in 2018 and has served as vice chairman since 2020. He is a sixth generation farmer with his father, wife and three children in south central Kansas, growing grain sorghum, wheat, cotton, corn, soybeans and a small cow-calf herd. Meeker is a graduate of Leadership Sorghum Class III and led the NSP Legislative Committee the past two years.

France and her husband Clint are third-generation farmers, working alongside their oldest son on their family farm in western Kansas. They grow grain sorghum, corn, wheat and raise black angus cattle. She has served on the board since 2018.

“I am excited to welcome Craig and Amy to new leadership roles,” NSP CEO Tim Lust said. “Their drive and passion for the industry will be crucial as our industry moves through a challenging but exciting year.”

The NSP board of directors elected two new members—Garrett Love from Montezuma, Kansas, and Kent Martin from Alva, Oklahoma. Larry Richardson from Vega, Texas, was also re-elected. Love and Richardson will serve a three-year term beginning Oct. 1, and Martin will take his seat on the NSP board in December once his term is complete on the United Sorghum Checkoff
Program board of directors.

Love farms in southwest Kansas and has spoken to the potential of sorghum as a sustainable solution for not only his family farm, but farms across the country. He has also served in several capacities within the government, including as a State Senator from 2010 to 2017 where he served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee from 2012 to 2016. He was the youngest State Senator in Kansas history. He was also appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve on the Farm Service Agency State Committee in Kansas from 2018 to 2021, serving as chair from 2018 to 2020.

Martin is a diversified farmer, as well as an agronomic and environmental consultant, in northwest Oklahoma, and he worked as a university professor in crop and soil sciences. Martin has served on many state and national organizations, including as chairman for the Oklahoma Sorghum Association and past chairman of the Sorghum Checkoff.

“We are excited to welcome Kent and Garrett, and for the return of Larry, to the NSP board of directors,” Lust said. “I have had the pleasure of working with all three individuals in various capacities during my tenure as CEO of NSP and the Sorghum Checkoff. Larry is a leader in the sorghum seed industry, and the knowledge and experience Kent and Garrett bring as farmers, plus their respective backgrounds in research and government affairs, will prove as great assets to the NSP board.”

The NSP board recognized two leaders who ended their terms as directors on Sept. 30. Dan Atkisson of Stockton, Kansas, served on the board since 2014 and was elected as chairman from 2018 to 2020. Atkisson helped lead the organization during the China trade crisis and during the passage and implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Bobby Nedbalek of Sinton, Texas, served on the board since 2016, serving as a key representative with South Texas lawmakers and Texas port locations where NSP secured important trade and infrastructure wins during his tenure.

“We are sincerely grateful for the leadership and perspective Dan and Bobby have provided through their service to the sorghum industry,” outgoing NSP Chairman Kody Carson said. “These men have dedicated a significant portion of their time to the improvement of the sorghum industry, advocating on behalf of U.S. sorghum farmers across the nation. I deeply respect their contributions to our industry, and I wish my friends well as they move on to the next chapter.”

New directors and officers took their respective positions on the NSP board Oct. 1. Visit to learn more.