LUBBOCK, Texas (June 2, 2020) – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program has selected 13 members to Leadership Sorghum Class V, a program designed to develop the next generation of sorghum leaders and industry advocates.

“The Leadership Sorghum program has become a staple for recruiting new leaders to the sorghum industry and fulfilling those roles on state, national and associated boards and committees,” Sorghum Checkoff Board Chairman Craig Poore, a sorghum farmer from Alton, Kansas, said. “As a past graduate, I believe leadership is vital to the success of any industry, and congratulate these individuals for being selected to the program.”

Leadership Sorghum Class V will consist of 13 farmers from five states who will participate in the 18-month program. Those selected include:

David Barrett from Sinton, Texas
John Browning from Plainview, Texas
Matthew Crane from Pritchett, Colorado
Daniel Hopper from Leonardville, Kansas
Winter Johnston from McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania
Deanna Lanier from Valley Center, Kansas
Matt McCune from Plainville, Kansas
Brant Peterson from Johnson, Kansas
Gage Porter from Mercer, Missouri
Dale Stoltzfus from Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania
Ciera Ware from Ralls, Texas
Brian Younker from Spearville, Kansas
Kirk Zerr from Quniter, Kansas

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

Participants of the Leadership Sorghum program will gain an understanding of how sorghum moves through the value chain, how checkoffs and interest groups interact on behalf of the industry and what the future holds for the crop through hands-on and classroom-style education. Leadership Sorghum Class V will complete professional development training and have several networking opportunities, as well.

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