For more information, contact: 

Clint White
Director of Communications
United Sorghum Checkoff Program

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2023

Sorghum Checkoff Elects Kendall Hodgson as new Chairman and Swears in New Board Members

LUBBOCK, TX (December 18, 2023) – During the United Sorghum Checkoff Program’s (USCP) annual December meeting, four new Board directors, appointed by U.S.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, were sworn in. Two other producers assumed their second terms having been reappointed to their roles by Secretary Vilsack. The Board also elected Kendall Hodgson of Little River, Kansas as the 2024 Chairman.

“I am honored to lead this organization into a new era of growth and innovation,” newly elected USCP chairman Kendall Hodgson said. “Sorghum is a crop with incredible potential, and I am excited to work alongside our leaders and producers to further elevate its impact. Together, we will cultivate opportunities, foster sustainable growth and strengthen the sorghum industry.”

The newly elected USCP Executive Committee and newly appointed Board Directors include:

  • Chairman – Kendall Hodgson, Little River, Kansas
  • Vice Chairman – Ethan Miller, Columbia, Missouri
  • Treasurer – Kim Baldwin, Inman, Kansas
  • Secretary – Zack Rendel, Miami, Oklahoma
  • At-Large Member – James Jay Haase, Eads, Colorado
  • At-Large Member – Ethan J. Miller, Columbia, Missouri
  • At-Large Member – Tracy Zink, Indianola, Nebraska
  • Kansas Member – David K. Schemm, Sharon Springs, Kansas
  • Texas Member – Brian Adamek, Victoria, Texas
  • Texas Member – Scott Irlbeck, Lubbock, Texas (2-Year Term)

“Amidst the challenges of the persisting drought, innovation thrives in the heart of challenges,” USCP Executive Director Norma Ritz Johnson said. “We are ecstatic that this group of producers and board members embody the resilience that will steer the sorghum industry towards a horizon of groundbreaking possibilities.”

Five of the newly appointed or reappointed directors to the Board will serve three-year terms and one member will serve a two-year term. The terms of the members appointed to three-year terms start December 2023 and end December 2026. The term of the member appointed to a two-year term starts immediately and ends in December 2025.

The 13-member USCP board is composed of nine sorghum farmers who represent the three states with the largest sorghum production – Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas – and four at-large national representatives. More information about the board is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) United Sorghum Checkoff Program webpage and the board’s website,


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