Posted on May 02, 2019
Jace Gibbs, a native of Scott City, Kansas, and member of Leadership Sorghum Class IV, finds pride in maintaining the land his grandfather started farming over 50 years ago. The family farm started on eight quarters near Scott City in the 1950s where Gibbs’s grandfather instilled a love of farming in his son and grandson.
“Grandpa raised three girls, my mom being the youngest one, and my uncle Ron on those eight quarters,” Gibbs said. “We’re still farming those quarters today. It’s kind of neat knowing grandpa was out there farming 65 years ago with a cabless tractor and a one way.”
Gibbs farms with his uncle Ron Suppes and cousin Shayne Suppes. Sorghum serves as an integral crop rotation with wheat and fallow rotation. Seventy-five percent of the sorghum they currently grow is food grade with plans to grow 100 percent food-grade sorghum in the near future.
Gibbs’s cousin Shayne was a member of the inaugural Leadership Sorghum class. Through that experience, Shayne met neighboring farmer Earl Roemer, who is president of Nu Life market. Nu Life Market processes and sells sorghum consumer food products in Scott City. This relationship exposed the family to a new market opportunity and influenced them to make the change to grow high quality food-grade sorghum.
You have a lot more pride in it when you’re growing not just for quantity but for quality also,” Gibbs said of the change. “It’s been pretty fun.”
With encouragement from his family, Gibbs chose to pursue Leadership Sorghum in order to hone his skills and increase his knowledge about the sorghum industry. Gibbs has also been involved in the wheat industry and is passionate about enhancing his leadership capabilities to advocate for the agriculture industry.
“If our voice isn’t heard, somebody else is going to have a voice for us,” Gibbs said. “I think it is very important for farmers to get involved in leadership.”
Gibbs plans to use his advocacy skills to promote agriculture and represent his region of Kansas.
“People don’t realize what’s going on out here in Middle America,” Gibbs said. “They need to be more familiar with our farming operations and practices in this region and throughout the U.S.”
Equipment Color: Mostly green – the dealership in town is green and that is what his uncle and grandpa have historically run.
Tractor Tunes: Whatever he can pick up on AM radio
Favorite Season on the Farm: Planting season. Planting seeds and doing everything he possibly can to give those seeds the best chance to grow to their fullest potential. Then hoping and praying that the weather cooperates and he reaps a big reward at the end of the growing season.
Favorite Part of Farming: The teamwork involved with five people getting everything done on time
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and just about anything outdoors
Jace 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.