Four Kansas State University researchers are among those that will have proposals funded through the Sorghum Checkoff program, the Checkoff board announced this week.
In all, the board announced the investment of $1.85 million to 16 projects targeted at furthering sorghum growers' productivity and profitability. The funds were approved at a Dec. 10 meeting of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program board of directors.
For the past several months, the board, external committee members and staff have been reviewing projects in the crop improvement, high value and renewable priority areas.
The Sorghum Checkoff received 86 requests totaling $16.8 million dollars.
"Response from this RFP process reflects the energy sorghum growers are generating in both our public and private research communities," said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. "Producer leaders take seriously their responsibility to move the industry forward through investing dollars in the right projects."
The Sorghum Checkoff board of directors worked through proposals in a committee and board leadership process that included advice and expertise from external committee members.
"External committee members and staff are critical to the process," said Jeff Casten, Sorghum Checkoff board member from Quenemo. "Advancing the sorghum industry requires technical science, which requires specific expertise. As a producer, I am grateful for the time and energy our external members and staff dedicate to this important process."
During the Sorghum Checkoff's December board meeting, producer leaders made a final decision on the projects to address key priorities for the sorghum industry.
Kansas State University projects receiving funding include:
Bob Goodband, $64,865 for livestock nutrition study
Sajid Alavi, $68,550 for the companion animal industry
Greg Aldrich, $119,700 for the companion animal industry and
Donghai Wang, $140,000 for biofuels enhancement.
In other awards, Gary Pederson, USDA ARS was funded $100,000 for new genetic introduction;
William Rooney, Texas A&M AgriLife Research was funded $264,885 for new genetic introduction; Dr. Patrica Brown, University of Illinois was funded $29,906 for new genetic introduction; Dr. Nancy Turner, Texas A&M AgriLife was funded $9,000 for food development; JPZ Consulting was funded $69,800 for the companion animal industry development; Sung Woo Kim, North Carolina University was funded $98,103 for livestock nutrition; Vicki Schlegel, University of Nebraska was funded $226,696 for food development; Davina Rhodes, University of South Carolina was funded $26,000 for food development; Rebecca Lochmann, University of Arkansas was funded $29,628 for livestock nutrition; Gillian Eggleston, USDA ARS was funded $19,600 for biofuels enhancement; Robert Moreau, USDA ARS was funded $314,083 for co-product enhancement and Joseph James, Agri-Tech Producers was funded $275,000 for biofuels enhancement.
Funding of these proposals is contingent on approval from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
"The funded projects are a key part of the Sorghum Checkoff strategy to moving the industry forward," said Stewart Weaver, Sorghum Checkoff chairman and grower from Edmondson, Ark. "The board is excited to see the dividends that our investment in these projects pays to sorghum farmers.