Sorghum Checkoff Announces Leadership Sorghum Class III

LUBBOCK, Texas – The Sorghum Checkoff is pleased to announce the members of Leadership Sorghum Class III. Leadership Sorghum is a program hosted by the Sorghum Checkoff that seeks to develop the next generation of leaders for the sorghum industry.

"The success of any organization can be directly traced to the people who lead it," said Sorghum Checkoff Chairman David Fremark. "The sorghum industry has moved forward with extraordinary success in the short life of the checkoff program. This success can be credited directly to the people who have been leading it. With that in mind, the Leadership Sorghum program was formed, and the USCP board believes the positive momentum created these last few years can best be sustained by investing in quality people. Providing these next-generation decision makers with the information and tools that propel sorghum to the next level of profitability is our goal."

Fifteen sorghum farmers from seven states have been selected to participate in the program’s third class:

  • Ted Bannister - Hays, Kansas
  • Delbert Ficke - Pleasant Dale, Nebraska
  • Chad Haden - Clay Center, Kansas
  • Allen Hensley - Alice, Texas
  • Heath Herring - Saint Joseph, Louisiana
  • Joe Krippner - Kimball, Minnesota
  • Gary Mach - Abbott, Texas
  • Jeffrey Mai - Garden City, Kansas
  • Craig Meeker - Wellington, Kansas
  • Ethan Miller - Columbia, Missouri
  • Zachary Rendel - Miami, Oklahoma
  • Daniel Riffel - Stockton, Kansas
  • Mark Scott - Manhattan, Kansas
  • Zachary Simon - Goddard, Kansas
  • William Spiegel - Manhattan, Kansas

Class III will begin the 15-month program in the Texas High Plains in September focusing on the sorghum seed industry and basic and applied research. Throughout the program, participants will be exposed to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic research to international marketing.

“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. “The sorghum industry relies on producers committed to the education and promotion of sorghum.”

Through both hands-on and classroom style education, participants will 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. For information about the Leadership Sorghum program, visit


The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is a producer-funded organization that is dedicated to improving the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education. For more information about the USCP and other research projects please visit