A New Perspective on a Life-Long Passion

Craig PooreBy: Kayla M. Wilkins, Communications Intern

From a five-generation farming family, one Kansas producer has a life-long passion for sorghum that continues to lead him to new ventures within the industry.

Craig Poore, Leadership Sorghum Class II member of Alton, Kansas, said sorghum has been a mainstay on his family farm for years. He  said between sorghum’s high-yielding capabilities and versatility, it cannot be replaced in his crop rotation.

“I would never in a million years think to quit planting sorghum,” Poore said. “Year after year, it performs.”

In addition to farming, Poore owns a cow-calf operation. He said the option to run his cattle on sorghum stalks makes for an added  advantage and increases diversity on his operation. However, it is not the only benefit sorghum provides the Poore family.

His wife was recently diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and the use of sorghum as an ingredient has provided another food option for her. With its gluten-free properties, sorghum is the perfect whole grain in their family kitchen.

He said they have been experimenting with sorghum in a variety of ways and have found it to be a tasty addition to many of their family favorites. He said this change has opened his eyes to how important it is to continue planting new varieties of sorghum to meet consumer needs in all marketplaces.

“There is going to be more opportunity in the future to plant new varieties and to get a premium as a sorghum producer for ethanol, feed and much more,” Poore said. “The sky is the limit.”

While Poore sees big things in the future for sorghum, it is the past that drives his passion for farming. He said seeing the growth and technological advancements made within the agriculture industry from when he was a kid to now is fascinating.

Because of Poore’s vested interest in sorghum, he took it one step further by becoming a member of the Leadership Sorghum Class II. He said being involved in the program has been an invaluable experience and has benefited him in more ways than one.

As an active member of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association board of directors and a newly appointed Sorghum Checkoff board member, Poore said Leadership Sorghum has been as asset to him. He said his involvement in the program has done a tremendous job of preparing him to be a better advocate for the sorghum industry in his role on the board and as a producer.

While he gained skills for his leadership role during the program, he said the class is not only for those hoping to assume a leadership position. He said it is also a great opportunity for all producers to expand their knowledge of sorghum and hopefully improve profits on their farm.

“If you are interested in the sorghum industry,” Poore said, “Leadership Sorghum broadens and sharpens your mind on where everything goes from seed, to elevator, all the way to food. It gives you the big picture.”

Craig Poore is a member of Leadership Sorghum Class II. The program was designed by the Sorghum Checkoff to develop the next generation of leaders for the sorghum industry. For more information about the program, visit www.leadsorghum.com. Leadership Sorghum Class III applications will be available in Spring 2016.