Sorghum Smart Talk

40 Episodes

By: United Sorghum Checkoff Program

Sorghum Smart Talk features useful information and provides credible resources relating to the sorghum industry to benefit sorghum growers and industry stakeholders.

Waxy Sorghum 101 with Brent Bean, Ph.D.

On this week’s installment of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Sorghum Checkoff Director of Agronomy Brent Bean, Ph.D., to discuss waxy sorghum. Bean breaks down what makes waxy sorghum unique from grain sorghum, potential market opportunities and offers advice to growers who may be interested in growing waxy varieties. He wraps up the episode with last-minute consideration for the 2021 growing season, covering mostly fertilization options. Listen in!

Seed Availability for #Plant21

On this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, Corteva Strategic Account Manager Russell French discusses sorghum seed availability as growers begin to finalize planting decisions in northern Texas. Russell provides growers with planting considerations, hybrid selection and what the particular weather patterns could mean for seed supply. Tune in!

Partnering for Conservation & Sustainability

On this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Sorghum Checkoff Sustainability Director Kira Everhart-Valentin, Pheasants Forever Chris McLeland and Kansas sorghum farmer Garrett Love to talk about the sustainable relationship between sorghum operations and upland game bird populations. To learn more about this upcoming partnership from the perspective of our checkoff, a conservation group and a sorghum farmer, tune in! We might be a little biased—but this is an episode you won’t want to miss. 


Meet Your USCP Executive Director: Norma Ritz Johnson

On this installment of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with the newest edition to the Sorghum Checkoff, Norma Ritz Johnson. After working for the Lubbock community for over a decade, Norma started serving as the checkoff’s executive director earlier this year. She brings a culmination of prior sorghum experience, expansive leadership capabilities and industry rapport to the Sorghum Checkoff’s team. We are excited to welcome Norma to the team—we hope you are, too!

Sustainability Takes Center Stage with Dave White

We had Dave White from the 9B Group on this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk. Dave works for a benefit corporation focused exclusively on improving public health through agricultural channels. For Dave's insight into proposed climate initiatives and what could be expected in the sustainability space, tune in.

Not Just A Farmer with Daniel Sell

On this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Daniel Sell—better known as Farmer Dan. Daniel describes his family’s farming operation in the Texas Panhandle, his experience on social media and how he advocates for agriculture to diverse audiences. To learn more about Dan and his online presence, listen in!

Talking Trade with Patrick Wade

On this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Policy Director Patrick Wade about his role on the agricultural technical advisory committees for trade and what free trade could mean for American sorghum producers. To learn more about emerging market opportunities, the potential for existing market expansion and what is on the docket for trade policy, listen in.

2021 Outlook with Sorghum Checkoff CEO Tim Lust

We kick off 2021 with Sorghum Checkoff CEO Tim Lust on the year’s first installment of Sorghum Smart Talk. Sorghum just closed out one of the most exciting years to date, and the industry is looking forward to all the new things 2021 could bring. Lust discusses price, basis, exports, markets and more. You don’t want to miss this one!

Wrapping Up 2020 with Craig Poore

As 2020 comes to a close, the Sorghum Checkoff welcomes 2021 with open arms. On this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Sorghum Checkoff Past Chairman Craig Poore from Alton, Kansas. Craig shares how his operation fared in 2020, reflects on his time with the Sorghum Checkoff and what he looks forward to in 2021 for the sorghum industry.

Women in Agriculture with Miranda Barrett

On this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Miranda Barrett from Texas’ Coastal Bend. Barrett talks about her journey from a nurse in Houston, Texas, to a farmer in South Texas. She reflects on how her role has changed since she arrived on the farm, and what she is looking forward to in the future. Tune in!

An Agronomist’s Perspective with Brent Bean, Ph.D.

We visit with Sorghum Checkoff Agronomy Director Brent Bean, Ph.D., on this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk. Bean advises growers to consider the area’s projected weather forecast, different hybrids and the application of new technologies. Listen in to learn more!

Looking At 2021: Tom Chistiansen with Foresight Brokerage, LLC

On the final episode of a three-part series looking at sorghum in 2021, we have Tom Christiansen from Foresight Brokerage, LLC, on to talk about what could be on the horizon for coarse grains—specifically sorghum—in the upcoming season. He discusses risk management, global demand and what farmers can be to protect themselves from market volatility.

Looking at 2021: Part 2

On the second episode of our three-part series covering sorghum markets, we visit with a very special guest. This week, we talked with Paul Huang of Jun Jie Agricultural Trading Company, the largest Chinese importer of U.S. sorghum. Paul discusses the need for American sorghum in recovering, emerging and strengthening Chinese markets, and says, “if you can grow it, we will buy it.” Listen in!

Looking Into 2021: Part 1

On the first installment of a three part series covering all things sorghum markets, we visit with Dr. Dan O’Brien from Kansas State University. O’Brien breaks down how the 2020 season went, predicts how the 2021 season will go and encourages farmers to act now. Listen in!

Modern Pet Food with Greg Aldrich

National Sorghum Producers Executive Vice President John Duff and Sorghum Checkoff Market Development Director Doug Bice co-host this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk to discuss pet food with Kansas State University Research Professor Greg Aldrich, Ph.D. The trio tackles the nutritional benefits of sorghum in campion animal formulations, how the pet food industry has changed in the past six months and what might be around the corner for sorghum in pet foods.

Sustainability & Conservation with Kira Everhart-Valentin

Sorghum Checkoff Sustainability Director Kira Everhart-Valentin joins us on Sorghum Smart Talk to chat about sustainability, conservation and potential industry partnerships. Everhart-Valentin explains that sorghum is well positioned to take advantage of both current and future initiatives, what the sustainability space may look like in a few years and what the Sorghum Checkoff is doing across the industry to promote sorghum’s sustainable properties.

Make Sorghum Harvest Fun Again with Alan VanNahmen

With sorghum harvest creeping further north, we have Kooper Kutter Product Development and Marketing Manager Alan VanNahmen on this week’s episode to discuss their ARRO conversion. VanNahmen explains that ARRO is making sorghum harvest fun again but converting a corn head to cut sorghum and other agronomic crops. To learn more about their kits, how the conversion works and how you can get one—or a few—on your farm, listen in!

Sorghum Hits the Shelves with Earl Roemer

This week's Sorghum Smart Talk features Nu Life Market President Earl Roemer. Earl is a fifth generation farmer from Scott City, Kansas, who has always been interested in value-added agriculture opportunities. This interest led him to create Nu Life Market, a sorghum-based food company providing both bulk and retail products to consumers. To learn more about the company’s start, Roemer’s market projections and what the future of consumer foods may look like, tune in!

Craig Poore: Meet Your USCP Chairman

On this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we get to know United Sorghum Checkoff Program Chairman Craig Poore. Poore, hailing from Stockton, Kansas, manages a diversified agronomic operation and cow-calf program. Learn more about Poore’s family, his involvement with the sorghum industry and his take on the American agriculture.

At the Sorghum Checkoff, we are so grateful for our farmer leaders and all they do to advance the checkoff’s mission and vision. On behalf of the sorghum industry, we thank you!

Opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley with Bryce Wilde

With exciting export activity in the Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, we thought it would be fitting to have Bryce Wilde from Lyford, Texas, on to discuss the Port of Brownsville’s potential impact on the grain trade in South Texas. Wilde describes his operation, their decision to install on-farm storage and their role with West Plains LLC and Brownsville’s port. Sorghum farmers in deep South Texas now have the option to move grain to a port that offers full functionality in close proximity, leveraging their ability to create profit. 

How Far We've Come with Brent Bean and Justin Weinheimer

This week, we visited with Sorghum Checkoff Agronomy Director Brent Bean, Ph.D., and Crop Improvement Director Justin Weinheimer, Ph.D., about the sorghum industry’s battle with the sugarcane aphid. When these pests appeared in 2015, they created the perfect storm to be extremely detrimental to the domestic sorghum supply. Thanks to the Sorghum Checkoff's work in conjunction with private industry, public institutions and the sorghum supply chain, the industry was able to recover in a big way and farmers are more effectively managing the pest. Learn more about how far we have come in combating the sugarcane aphid on...

Leadership's Influence on Markets with Jim Massey and Verity Ulibarri

On this week’s Sorghum Smart Talk episode, we are joined by Sorghum Checkoff board members to discuss their recent elections to the U.S. Grains Council’s board of directors. Jim Massey from Robstown, Texas, talks about his service as the new sorghum sector chair and Verity Ulibarri from eastern New Mexico speaks about being elected as an at-large board member. The pair emphasizes the importance of leadership at every level, how leadership influences markets and what producers can do to get involved.

A Grain Trader's Perspective with Bob Vanderloo

Cargill Sorghum Product Line Manager Bob Vanderloo talks about the importance of market consistency, sorghum demand and grain trading on this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk. Vanderloo urges producers to take advantage of markets created by checkoffs, trade associations and federal agencies to create profit and avoid market volatility. Tune in to learn more about meeting international sorghum customer’s expectations!

Market Expansion with Florentino Lopez

On this edition of Sorghum Smart Talk, we have Sorghum Checkoff Executive Director Florentino Lopez on to discuss the Sorghum Checkoff’s recent initiatives to expand into Asian markets. Lopez dives into Vietnamese aquaculture, Chinese liquor and Indian market penetration. To learn more about the regulatory process of getting into these countries, the impact it could have on domestic grain demand and future Sorghum Checkoff initiatives, listen in!

AgBiTech with Brock Welch

We visited with AgBiTech Technical Agronomist Brock Welch on this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk. AgBiTech is a global leader and innovator in biological pest control solutions. Topics of discussion include the company’s background, technologies and global applications. To learn more about AgBiTech’s commitment to sorghum growers, listen in!

Marketing with John Miller

On this week’s edition of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visited with John Miller, owner of Southwest Agribusiness Consulting, Inc., to discuss the recently released acreage report and what it means for farmers and the grain market. Topics of discussion include risk management, marketing considerations and ways farmers can take advantage of current market conditions. To learn more about marketing your grain sorghum, tune in!

Herbicide Tolerance Technologies with Justin Weinheimer and Barry Lubbers

On this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Sorghum Checkoff Crop Improvement Director Justin Weinhiemer, Ph.D.,  about new herbicide tolerance technologies in sorghum followed by Advanta’s North America Business Director Barry Lubbers who  talks about their product -- igrowth™. In this two-part episode, we discuss Sorghum Checkoff efforts to bring this new technology to growers, and we dive deeper into Advanta’s seed product launched this summer. To learn more about the technologies, stewardship and what you can expect from Advanta in the future, listen in to this week’s episode!

Sorghum’s Role in Conservation with Chris McLeland and Ryan Heiniger

There are very few combinations that make as much sense as quail, pheasants and sorghum. On this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Ryan Heiniger and Chris McLeland to discuss what role sorghum plays in wildlife conservation. To learn more about this collaboration, tune in to this week’s episode.

Meet the New Team Members with Kira Everhart-Valentin & Clint White

In this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk we welcome two new staff members to Team Sorghum, Kira Everhart-Valentine and Clint White. The Sorghum Checkoff recently launched an initiative to increase market value for growers by positioning sorghum as a sustainable solution for food, feed and energy sectors that serves the global community and its needs for nutrition and environmental health. The board also named Kira Everhart-Valentin as the organization’s first sustainability director.

Additionally, the Sorghum Checkoff recently hired Clint White as Director of Communications. White will be responsible for the planning, development and implementation of a...

Farm Conservation with Dan Atkisson & Sharonte Williams

Over the last couple of years, the sorghum industry overall has renewed a focus on conservation and sustainability. The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) plays a critical role in that, and this podcast is the first in a series to discuss this effort and farming practices that promote conservation and sustainable practices.

Risk Management in a Challenging Market with Rich Morrison

Presented by National Sorghum Producers in Financial Partnership with RMA.

Private Whole Farm Revenue Products with Jim McCanlies

Presented by National Sorghum Producers in Financial Partnership with RMA.

Whole Farm Revenue Protection with Chris Cogburn

Presented by National Sorghum Producers in Financial Partnership with RMA.

Crop Insurance Strategies with Chris Cogburn Part 2

Presented by National Sorghum Producers in Financial Partnership with RMA.

Crop Insurance Strategies with Chris Cogburn Part 1

Presented by National Sorghum Producers in Financial Partnership with RMA.

Penetrating the Japanese Market with Food Grade Sorghum

Sorghum Checkoff Board Director Shayne Suppes traveled to Japan to promote U.S. sorghum to the emerging Japanese market. Suppes reconnected with Asian buyers he met during Export Sorghum, an exclusive, one-day educational seminar for grain buyers from around the world, while promoting American grain with particular focus on food-grade varieties. The expedition was coordinated by the U.S. Grains Council. Listen to this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk to hear the details and successes from Suppes.

Food Aid Potential for Sorghum in East Africa

Adam Schindler, sorghum farmer from Reliance, South Dakota, and USCP board member, and National Sorghum Producers representative Linsey Ogden, joined us on this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk to discuss their recent mission to East Africa coordinated by the U.S. Grains Council focusing on food aid market opportunities. These efforts could have potential for U.S. sorghum farmers to help feed the world while also gaining a market opportunity for their crop. Listen in to learn more about their excursion and ongoing market development for sorghum in food aid.

Leadership Sorghum Roundtable

In this special episode we sit down with eight Leadership Sorghum class members and alumni to hear about their experiences in the program and how it has impacted them. The Leadership Sorghum program has graduated 59 farmers from 13 different states and numerous alumni are involved in state and national organizations to date. 

If you are interested or know someone who would be a good candidate for Leadership Sorghum Class V, contact Shelee Padgett at or visit for more information.

Leadership Sorghum Class is a program designed to foster the next g...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Team Sorghum and Terry Swanson

Team Sorghum would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! In this special seasonal episode we visit with Terry Swanson, a farmer and rancher from Walsh, Colorado, and National Sorghum Producers past chairman. Swanson has been involved in sorghum industry leadership at the state and national levels and shares his experiences with us in those roles. He also shares his family’s Christmas traditions, reasons to be thankful and his optimism for 2020, putting 2019 behind us.

Milo Insulation with Tom Martin

On this week’s episode of Sorghum Smart Talk we talk with Tom Martin about his business, Milo Insulation. Based out of Tulia, Texas, the company sources its product locally by direct contracting with sorghum farmers throughout Texas to make chemical-free, economically responsible insulation products. Be sure to tune into this week’s episode to learn more about Martin’s passion for sorghum in the industrial industry.


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