Posted on Jun 15, 2017
Craig Meeker of Wellington, Kansas, is a sixth generation farmer in the south central part of the state. Before returning to the farm Meeker attended Wichita State University where he participated on the track team. Although Meeker enjoyed his time on the track, he knew farming was calling him home.
“I think certain people are put on this earth to do a certain thing,” Meeker said with a crack in his voice. “God put me here to tend to His farm land, and without my parents and grandparents and those before them, I never would have had the opportunity to do this.”
Meeker said farming is all he ever wanted to do in life, even as a young boy, and the farm is the only place he ever considered raising a family.
“When my wife and I were dating in college, we knew we wanted to raise our children on the farm,” Meeker said. “We wanted them to grow up with the same expectations and work ethic we had and couldn’t think of a better place than our family farm.”
Family is at the center of Meeker Farms and has been for generations, and Meeker feels fortunate to live out the legacy of the five generations before him.
Today, Meeker and his family run a grain and livestock operation that includes cattle, sorghum, corn, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa. He enjoys every part of the farming process from planting to harvest and delivery—his family by his side every step of the way.
“Our entire family is involved in the operation,” he said. “Harvest is a family affair, and from servicing combines to fixing and eating meals, we do it all together.”
Meeker joined Leadership Sorghum seeking an opportunity to improve their family farm and increase his knowledge of the sorghum industry. He said the Leadership Sorghum program provides him a better understanding of who his end user is and he enjoys focusing on the quality of sorghum so he can have a better end product to meet that user’s needs.
“They’re paying for the quality of the bushel,” Meeker said, “so I try to focus on our sorghum being the most wanted product on the market for buyers.”
Meeker is also interested in the global complexity of the sorghum industry. Since he only knows how sorghum is grown in the United States, Meeker wants to learn more about the production of sorghum and markets in other countries across the globe.
“It’s a global industry and I’m fascinated by its international use,” Meeker said. “Leadership Sorghum gives me the opportunity to learn more about new markets and operations.”
Meeker says Leadership Sorghum has shown him the importance of learning all aspects of the sorghum industry and the role international markets play as they provide new opportunities for growers. He hopes to grow in this program by becoming a better farmer and advocate for the sorghum industry.
Equipment Color: John Deere Green
Tractor Tunes: Full-time farm radio in the morning and classical rock in the evening
Favorite season on the Farm: Harvest
Favorite Part of Farming: Getting to learn about his own operation and others, as well.
Hobbies: Fishing and snow and water skiing.
Craig is a member of Leadership Sorghum Class III, a program designed to foster the next generation of sorghum leaders. The program exposes members to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic and applied research to international marketing. Through both hands-on and classroom-style education, participants gain an understanding of how sorghum moves through the value chain, how checkoffs and interest organizations interact on behalf of the industry and what the future holds for the crop. The program also provides professional development training and networking opportunities.