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Sorghum Checkoff Selects Leadership Sorghum Class V Members

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

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 www.LeadSorghum.com.

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