LUBBOCK, Texas (October 27, 2022) – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program has selected 15 members to Leadership Sorghum Class VI, a program designed to develop the next generation of sorghum leaders and industry advocates.

“The Sorghum Checkoff uses this program to prepare sorghum advocates and leaders at the local, state and federal level,” Director of Emerging Markets & Grower Leader Development Shelee Padgett said. “Leadership development is critical to the sorghum industry’s advancement, and we are so excited to equip Class VI with skills to advocate for their operations and the sorghum industry as a whole.”

Leadership Sorghum Class VI will consist of 15 farmers from 8 states. Those selected include:

  • Jimmy Diamond from Akron, Colorado
  • Jeremiah Nicholson from Dodge City, Kansas
  • Clint France from Scott City, Kansas
  • Brad Haynes from Hays, Kansas
  • Henry Martin III from Texico, New Mexico
  • Lee Dunn IV from Edenton, North Carolina
  • Brad Brainard from Enid, Oklahoma
  • Ashley Tucker from Enid, Oklahoma
  • David Hunsberger from Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
  • Hunter Bevill from Claude, Texas
  • Nicole Johnson from Canyon, Texas
  • David Barrett from Sinton, Texas
  • Trey Beyer III from Portland, Texas
  • Jessica Robertson from Robstown, Texas
  • Joel Huesby from Touchet, Washington

During the 14-month leadership program, class members will have the opportunity to experience various aspects of the sorghum industry in addition to personal development and networking opportunities. Through both hands-on and classroom-style learning experiences, class members develop an understanding of how sorghum moves through the value chain, how checkoffs and stakeholder organizations interact on behalf of the industry and what the future holds for sorghum. 

“Leadership Sorghum has exposed me to every aspect of the sorghum industry and I enjoyed meeting other producers who are as passionate about the crop as I am because it allowed us to bounce ideas off one another, helping all of us grow and market the crop more successfully,” Leadership Sorghum Class V Graduate Brian Younker said. “During our time together, we were able to network with sorghum industry professionals and learn everything from planting the seed to exporting the crop throughout the world. After completing Leadership Sorghum, I plan to continue to be involved with all things sorghum because it has and always will be a profitable crop for our farm.”

Participants of the Leadership Sorghum program will begin their experience with Session I in December at the annual Sorghum Checkoff board meeting. For more information about the Leadership Sorghum program, visit


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