Posted on Mar 25, 2019
Mike Brooks of Walsh, Colorado, is doing his part to put Colorado sorghum on the map. Brooks quickly stepped into leadership roles after returning to the farm following graduation and is expanding his involvement as a Class IV member of Leadership Sorghum.
Brooks farms with his father and brother on their family farm in the southeast corner of Colorado where they grow grain and forage sorghum, corn, wheat and cattle. The Brooks family has farmed for several generations and it is a lifestyle Mike is passionate about pursuing.
“I never thought I’d do anything but farm,” Brooks said. “If you asked me what else I would do, I’d have no idea.”
Brooks attended West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, and enjoyed learning about agronomic principles, but he is happy to be back on the farm putting those principles into practice where the learning is far from over, he said. Brooks said his first few years have been spent learning is to be conservative and prepare for a bad year while also not failing to invest in things like good seed and fertilizer that can put him ahead should conditions change to favor.
Brooks is also passionate about representing his area, the largest sorghum producing county in Colorado, and has pursued leadership opportunities to give Colorado sorghum a voice. This drove his motivation to apply for Leadership Sorghum along with a desire to strengthen his leadership skills. Brooks currently represents Colorado on the National Sorghum Producers Legislative Committee and is a board member for the Colorado Sorghum Association.
Brooks said Leadership Sorghum is helping him serve in those roles more effectively, and the program can help others who want to transition into other sorghum or commodity leadership roles.
“I like how it gives you a little taste of everything,” said Brooks. “From the legislative side to the research side, you get to experience it all and see what you want to get more involved in.”
The opportunity to become a leader and a voice for the sorghum industry would not have been possible for Brooks without the help of his family.
“Not everyone has the opportunity to start farming,” Brooks said. “It takes help. I owe my dad everything when it comes to farming. When I grew up I was always on the tractor with him. Since I could walk, that’s where I’ve learned everything I know about farming.”
Equipment Color: Green
Go to tractor music: Usually country, sometimes rap to mix it up
Favorite season on the farm: Harvest in the fall
Favorite part of farming: He loves waking up and getting to do what he loves every day, it doesn’t feel like going to work for him
Mike is a member of Leadership Sorghum Class IV, 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.