Eight Kansas farmers have been selected to participate in the fourth class of the Leadership Sorghum program through the Sorghum Checkoff.

Fourteen farmers from five states were selected for the program, with Kansas filling over half the spots. That makes sense as Kansas is the top sorghum-producing state in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Leadership Sorghum uses hands-on and classroom-style education to help producers improve their 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. The program also provides professional development training and networking opportunities.

The goal is to train future industry leaders.

“Leadership Sorghum benefits the sorghum industry by developing leaders for tomorrow and prepares the producer to advocate on a local, regional and national platform,” said Shelee Padgett, Leadership Sorghum program director, in a release. “Producer leaders are essential to moving our industry forward, and we are excited for the opportunity to work with Class IV so they can become better equipped to advocate for their operation and our industry.”

Kansas farmers selected for Class IV include:


John Bergkamp, Garden Plain

Jon Berning, Scott City

Matthew Davis, Manhattan

Jaden DeVore, Cheney

Jace Gibbs, Dighton

Larry Kendig, Osborne

Cole Rohr, Quinter

Tony Watson, Healy