Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer has appointed a Board of Directors for the national Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information Program, or national sorghum checkoff.

“We are thrilled that the national sorghum checkoff now has a producer board to represent the thousands of sorghum growers around that nation that will ultimately benefit from this program,” said Toby Bostwick, National Sorghum Producers (NSP) Chairman of the Board from Melrose, New Mexico.

The Checkoff Board of Directors consists of 13 producer members. Term lengths in years are in parentheses. Representing Kansas are Jeff Casten of Quenemo (2); Bill Greving of Prairie View (4); Gary Kilgore of Chanute (3); Earl Roemer of Healy (2); and Greg Shelor of Minneola (4). Representing Texas are Bill Kubecka of Palacios (4); Dale Artho of Wildorado (2), and Billy Bob Brown of Panhandle (3). Representing Nebraska is James Vorderstrasse of Hebron (3). At-large seats are filled by Troy Skarke of Claude, Texas (2); Louise Rigdon of Blackwell, Oklahoma (3); Stewart Weaver of Edmonson, Arkansas (3); and Jerry Van Zee of Platte, South Dakota (4).

The concept of a national sorghum checkoff program has been fostered by the NSP Board of Directors for more than two years. The NSP Board voted to pursue the implementation of a national checkoff on sorghum to provide the sorghum industry with a critical mass of research funding after the industry experienced several years of decline, partly due to minimal investment in research to improve the crop. During its public comment period in the Federal Register, the Order received 87 percent positive feedback.

“Now that the national checkoff Board is in place, NSP will focus its mission on legislative and regulatory representation for sorghum producers,” said Bostwick. “Now more than ever, NSP needs the support of its producer members in the form of individual and elevator memberships.”

“We are excited about the future of the sorghum industry and NSP looks forward to working closely with the checkoff Board for the advancement of this industry.”

NSP represents U.S. sorghum producers. The organization works to ensure the profitability of sorghum production coast to coast through legislative representation, regulatory representation, and education. To learn more about NSP, visit www.sorghumgrowers.com.