NSP Sets Sights on New Strategic Plan

National Sorghum Producers recently held a strategic planning meeting where new mission and vision state­ments, a long-term strategic plan and membership rates were established. The NSP board of directors feel the new changes reflect the current needs of sorghum farmers and the industry, which will help cultivate change needed to advance the sorghum industry into the next decade.

Article By Sam Barnett

National Sorghum Producers recently underwent strategic planning and evaluated the principles gov­erning the association in order to better promote change within the industry through advocacy and leadership. Ensuring the association is serving its mem­bers effectively is a top priority.

The association has new mission and vision state­ments, a long-term strategic plan and membership rates and options. The NSP board of directors feel the new changes reflect the current needs of sorghum farmers and the industry, which will help cultivate change needed to advance the sorghum industry into the next decade.

“It is important NSP re-evaluate our strategic plan to keep pace with an ever-changing world,” said NSP Chair­man Dan Atkisson, a sorghum farmer from Stockton, Kan­sas. “The sorghum industry, like most of agriculture, is always evolving, and keeping our vision and mission up-to-date sets a clear path forward for our organization.”

Redefined objec­tives within the stra­tegic plan include legislative, funding, messaging, crop sustainability and traceability, research and management.

“Strategic planning is never an easy process,” Atkisson said, “yet our board of directors is very focused on pro­ducer profitability and the overall health of our industry, and we hope to accomplish meaningful goals through these different objectives.”

Legislative Objectives

Going forward, NSP will identify, cultivate and maintain relationships in Washington, D.C., develop and implement policy objectives, deliver consistent trade policy and regulatory wins to growers, develop and maintain adequate resources to make a positive differ­ence on Capitol Hill and expand the Sorghum Political Action Committee. Sorghum PAC iniatives will include a long-term plan with annual goals for fundraising and giving. Contributions to key legislators will be evaluated, as well, according to annual policy objectives. Key staff and Sorghum PAC contributor champions will be critical to future success.

Funding Objectives

Funding priorities include expand the association’s for-profit subsidiaries, evaluate revenue and expense streams, create a task force to evaluate activities that are financially marginal and evaluate and prioritize major office updates.

Messaging Objectives

NSP will develop a long-term com­munications plan, including evaluation of the future of Sorghum Grower magazine. This will include digital options, advertising considerations, circulation and a potential re-design after a readership survey.

Crop Sustainability and Traceability Objectives

Keeping with organization sustainability efforts, NSP will provide verification and proof sorghum is sustain­able and work with grassroots conservation programs to carry out programs and measurement objectives.

Research Objectives

NSP will continue to seek funding for sorghum research through policy support and relationships in Washington, D.C., and leverage research funding to USCP investments.

Management Objectives

Finally, NSP management will evaluate leadership positions within the association for functionality and effectiveness, establish annual goals for each depart­ment and perform quarterly department planning meetings with the CEO.

“While our mission and vision statements remain very similar, our objectives have pivoted to better serve our membership,” Atkisson said, “and I look forward to implementing this new strategic plan.”

Membership Rates and Options

In addition to the new strategic plan, the associa­tion recently made changes to membership. In order to continue to provide NSP members with the quality level of representation expected from the association, the NSP board of directors, through careful consideration, approved a membership fee adjustment with the addi­tion of two new membership levels.

“It has been almost 20 years since NSP has increased membership dues, and while we recognize we are facing a critical time period in farm country, we also believe in the value our organization provides during times like these,” Atkisson said. “We value our mem­bers continued support to make our organization stron­ger and more viable into the future, and we promise to work diligently to raise revenue through other means so as not to put this responsibility solely on the back of our industry’s farmers.”

Membership Benefits

Legislative Contributors can expect the same ben­efits of membership as in the past, including subscrip­tion to Sorghum Grower magazine and weekly subscrip­tion to the Sorghum Notes e-newsletter.

Legislative Partner membership also includes sub­scription to Sorghum Grower magazine and weekly sub­scription to Sorghum Notes with the addition of access to NSP’s newly launched Milo Mobile polling system that allows members to have input into prganization policy decisions. Plus, Legislative Partners’ names will be displayed in Sorghum Grower annually to recognize their contributions.

Legislative Champions will receive everything from previous levels, plus heightened involvement in leg­islative activities and recognition in Sorghum Grower annually as a Legislative Champion.

Changes to membership were effective May 1, 2019. The new NSP strategic plan was approved by the board of directors August 7 and will go into effect at the start of the new fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2019. Visit SorghumGrowers.com to learn more.


This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 Issue of Sorghum Grower magazine in the NSP Update department.