About Us

  • Mission: The Sorghum Checkoff commits to reveal the potential and versatility of sorghum through increased shared value.
  • Vision: Sorghum producers benefit from an innovative and competitive industry.
  • Purpose: We exist to do as a group what we cannot do individually.

The Sorghum Checkoff is a producer-funded organization dedicated to improving the sustainability of the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education.

Established in 2008, the Sorghum Checkoff helps U.S. sorghum farmers communicate with consumers about the value of sorghum as a healthy, versatile grain.

Explore checkoff history and how it works.

  • We focus on providing a sustainable return on investment for sorghum producers as a primary consideration.
  • We commit to effectively leverage producer dollars to enhance the opportunity for producer profitability by advancing demand for sorghum through research, promotion and information.
  • We will provide leadership and vision for the sorghum industry.
  • We will be transparent so our integrity is clear and recognized.
  • We strive to be the foremost resource of relevant and meaningful information about sorghum.
  • We aspire to be a catalyst for positive change that develops a dynamic sorghum industry that benefits producers.

USCP Bylaws

USCP Strategic Plan

Our Story

2008

The approval process for the Sorghum Checkoff began in February 2006. The proposed order was published in the Federal Register for public comment on November 23, 2007. The final order was published on May 6, 2008.

Our Story

2009

Sorghum Checkoff collections began July 1, 2008, and the board of director’s first meeting was held in November 2008. The Sorghum Checkoff programs officially began in March 2009.

Our Story

2012

First Leadership Sorghum class.

Our Story

2013

Sugarcane aphid was first discovered in U.S. sorghum, initiating the development of SCA tolerant hybrids.

Our Story

2017

Initiation of doubled haploid technology into sorghum breeding, which can greatly decrease the time required to introduce a new hybrid to the market.

Our Story

2018

U.S. sorghum reached the billion-bushel export mark to China.

Our Story

2021

U.S. sorghum exports for the first week of April were a record-breaking 33.9 million bushels, topping the previous record by more than 10 million bushels, which took place in August 2020.

Board of Directors

Our checkoff program is led by a board comprised of 13 U.S. sorghum farmers from top producing states. Members are nominated by a Certified Producer Organization (CPO) and appointed by the USDA Secretary of Agriculture. Learn about requirements and how to become a director on our board.

Kent Martin

Chairman

Alva, OK

Charles Ray Huddleston

Vice Chairman

Celina, TX

Texas: 2020-2023

Adam Schindler

Secretary

Reliance, SD

At-Large: 2018-2021

Boyd Funk

Treasurer

Garden City, KS

Kansas: 2018-2021

Craig Poore

Past Chairman

Alton, KS

Joshua Birdwell

Malone, TX

Texas: 2019-2022

James Haase

Eads, Colorado

At-Large: 2020-2023

Kendall Hodgson

Little River, KS

Kansas: 2019-2022

Jim Massey

Robstown, TX

Texas: 2018-2021

Ethan Miller

Columbia, MO

At-Large 2020-2023

Klint Stewart

Columbus, NE

At-Large: 2020-2023

Shayne Suppes

Scott City, KS

Kansas: 2020-2023

Jeffry Zortman

Fowler, Kansas

Kansas: 2019-2022

Our Team

Tim Lust

CEO

Norma Ritz Johnson

Executive Director

John Duff

Executive Vice President

Clint White

Director of Communications

Justin Weinheimer

Crop Improvement Director

Doug Bice

Market Development Director

Brent Bean

Agronomy Director

Kira Everhart-Valentin

Sustainability Director

Brent Crafton

Director of Feed Ingredient Utilization

Shelee Padgett

Director of Emerging Markets & Grower Leader Development

Zach Simon

Director of Ingredient Utilization & Pet Food

Hailey Gilbreath

Communications Manager

Jessi Lopez

Administrative Manager

Lanier Dabruzzi RD, LD, MS

Director of Food Innovations & Institutional Markets

Our Brand Partners

We offer a cooperative branding program – Sorghum: The Smart Choice® – to help companies promote sorghum to customers. Want to become a brand partner? Here’s how.