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Sorghum Checkoff Offering Leadership Class-Carolina Producers Encouraged to Apply

Since the inception of the grain sorghum checkoff in 2008, acres have increased steadily. The 2012 growing season has brought sorghum to the Carolinas in a big way, further increasing the reach of the grain’s production. This year will also mark the first year that the National Sorghum Checkoff will host a leadership class, beginning this fall providing 15 producers from across the country an opportunity to learn about the grain, from seed production to final usage. Tim Lust is CEO of the National Sorghum Checkoff:

“We started the national checkoff program a few years ago, and many of our leaders have been leaders at the state or national level. But we will continue to have the need for leaders and one of the concerns for some is that they understand the sorghum industry in their area but not over all, so this is an opportunity to have a year long program that exposes producers to the different portions of the industry and around the country.”

As far as the ‘class’ schedule, Lust explains what’s in store:

“We will start in the fall with a tour of the seed industry, looking at how we work with private industry and how seed gets to their field. We have a session in Washington DC learning about the regulatory side that discusses how we work with USDA. We have a segment on the Gulf that will focus on international markets. Lastly they will participate in a board meeting with the United Sorghum Checkoff board meeting.”

Growing sorghum has made a big splash in the Carolinas this year, and first-timers are certainly welcome to apply for the first leadership class, according to Lust:

“We see North Carolina as a growing area with new opportunity and see some leaders coming from that area, we are excited to have them come from a wide geographic area.”

If a producer is interested in applying for the class, there’s several ways to make an interest known, explains Lust:

“The toll free number is 877-643-8727 or they can send an email to or they can go thru the sorghum check off website.”

Application deadline is July 20, selections will be notified by August 3rd, with the first meeting in late September. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.