The Grain Sorghum Board voted at their August meeting to elect Del Ficke of Pleasant Dale, Nebraska to fill a vacancy on the Board. Ficke will serve the remaining term of the Board-Appointed At-Large position, which runs until July 1, 2018. In expressing interest to serve on the Board, Ficke expressed his view that this as an important time to produce and promote sorghum in Nebraska. “The global community has seen the value of sorghum throughout history and, now more than ever, is watching and realizing the value of this crop,” stated Ficke. “With increased concerns of water usage and genetically modifying plants, sorghum is positioned perfectly and naturally to become the crop of choice for farmers across the country.”
Ficke follows his father’s tradition in raising sorghum as a part of the cropping system on the family farm. Sorghum is an integral part of the ration formulation for his livestock enterprise.
“We’re pleased to welcome Del to the Board,” said Chairman Duane Sugden of Sterling. “He brings a history and understanding of sorghum production and the role the crop plays in Nebraska’s diverse agriculture, especially in terms of water usage. It’s important that we have strong and enthusiastic leadership to represent farmers in that area. We’ll have that in Del Ficke.”
Ficke added, “With my history and passion for sorghum, and my beliefs we can raise healthier crops, I feel confident that I can contribute to (the) future of this amazing plant in Nebraska.”
Del is one of fifteen sorghum farmers from seven states selected to participate in Leadership Sorghum Class III. Leadership Sorghum is a program hosted by the national Sorghum Checkoff that seeks to develop the next generation of leaders for the sorghum industry.
Class III will begin the 15-month program in the Texas High Plains next month with a focus on the sorghum seed industry and basic and applied research. Participants in the program will be provided a broad overview and understanding of the sorghum industry from basic research to international marketing.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to see how sorghum moves through the value chain and how the checkoff programs and interest organizations work together to serve sorghum farmers,” says Ficke. “I’m honored to be elected to serve on the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board and hope that my experience in Leadership Sorghum will enable me to help chart the future for this crop.”
The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board is comprised of seven grain sorghum producers serving districts across the state. The Board administers the one-cent per hundredweight check-off assessed on sorghum sold in the state and invests those funds in the areas of research, market development, and producer/consumer education.