Sorghum Checkoff Board Directors Sworn in, Officers Elected

LUBBOCK, Texas –Five Sorghum Checkoff board directors were sworn in during the December 2019 board meeting in Lubbock, Texas.

Returning to the board is Kent Martin of Carmen, Oklahoma. Newly appointed to the board are James Haase of Eads, Colorado; Jeffry D. Zortman of Fowler, Kansas; Kendall Hodgson of Little River, Kansas; and Joshua Birdwell of Malone, Texas.

The newly sworn in board members were appointed by the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in August and will serve a three-year term.

"We are pleased to welcome both the new and returning directors to the Sorghum Checkoff," said Sorghum Checkoff Executive Director Florentino Lopez. "The board of directors provides leadership and vision for our efforts to increase shared value, enhance opportunity for producer profitability and advance demand for sorghum producers."

New leadership was also elected during the December board meeting. Craig Poore of Alton, Kansas, will serve as chairman, Kent Martin of Carmen, Oklahoma, as vice chairman, Boyd Funk of Garden City, Kansas, as treasurer and Jim Massey of Robstown, Texas, as secretary.

"The opportunity to serve at the helm of this organization is an honor, and I would like to thank outgoing Chairwoman Verity Ulibarri from New Mexico for her leadership the past two years," Poore said."As we step into these leadership roles, we know the great responsibility we have to all producers and this industry and look forward to carrying out the strategic goals established by the board of directors."

Martin Kerschen of Garden Plain, Kansas; Clayton Short of Assaria, Kansas; and Daniel Krienke of Perryton, Texas, completed their terms as board directors. The exiting board directors were honored for their service to the Sorghum Checkoff at a ceremony on Dec. 11.

"We extend our deepest appreciation to Martin, Clayton and Daniel for their many years of service on the board," said Sorghum Checkoff CEO Tim Lust. "Their countless hours of dedication and hard work will continue to generate results into the future for sorghum farmers and this industry."

For more information on how to become a Sorghum Checkoff board member, click here.

Newly Sworn in Board Directors

Newly sworn in Sorghum Checkoff board directors from left to right: Kendall Hodgson of Little River, Kansas; Kent Martin of Carmen, Oklahoma; James Haase of Eads, Colorado; Joshua Birdwell of Malone, Texas; Jeffry D. Zortman of Fowler, Kansas, with USDA-AMS representative Jason Julian.


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