Sorghum Checkoff Accepting Applications for Leadership Sorghum Class III

Sorghum farmers interested in participating in the Sorghum Checkoff’s Leadership Sorghum program can now apply online to become a member of Class III.

Leadership Sorghum is a farmer-focused program to develop the next generation of leaders for the sorghum industry.

“Leadership Sorghum not only benefits the sorghum industry by developing leaders for tomorrow, but it also provides the producer with valuable educational experiences,” said Shelee Padgett, Leadership Sorghum program director. “Many Leadership Sorghum alumni have entered leadership roles on both state and national levels since completing the program.”

Through five sessions over the span of 15 months, Class III will be exposed to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic research to international marketing. Through both hands-on and classroom style education, participants will gain an understanding of how sorghum moves through the value chain, how checkoffs and stakeholder 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.

“The sorghum industry relies on producers committed to the education and promotion of sorghum,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “Providing these leaders with educational opportunities to further hone their skills will in turn further the industry.”

Eligible applicants must be farmers actively engaged in sorghum production in the United States. Fifteen growers will be accepted into the program’s third class. Men and women are encouraged to apply.

Full consideration will be given to all applicants, regardless of age, gender, race or occupation. Every effort will be made to select a class, based on the applicant pool, which is representative of the entire sorghum industry, its diversity and rural community interests.

Applications and recommendations for Leadership Sorghum Class III are due April 30, 2016. Following the application deadline, all applications and references will be reviewed by a selection committee. Finalists may be contacted via telephone to arrange an interview. Class members and alternates will be notified of acceptance by June 30, 2016. The online application, reference forms, program criteria and class schedule are available at