Whether on the plains of South Dakota or the expanses of north Texas, U.S. sorghum farmers are advocating for the importance of trade to their operations. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recognized two sorghum industry leaders – Kathy Brorman and David Fremark – for five years of service during the organization’s 16th International Marketing Conference and 59th Annual Membership Meeting earlier this year.
Brorman farms with her husband in Hereford, Texas, where they raise grain sorghum, seed milo, corn, wheat and cattle. She was elected to the Texas Grain Sorghum Board and from there became a Council delegate, serving on the Western Hemisphere Advisory Team (A-team). Brorman recalled traveling to Panama as one of her most meaningful Council experiences.
“Getting to see how the Panama Canal works and how that affects our ability to get exported grains delivered in a timely manner and just being able to ship across the world was amazing,” she said. “It makes you realize how many moving parts there are to make this happen – first from the farmer’s field to marketing and to the end consumer.”
Fremark operates a third-generation farm in South Dakota, where he raises sorghum, corn, soybeans and spring and winter wheat in addition to managing a feedyard and cow-calf operation. Fremark served on the United Sorghum Checkoff Program board, including two years as chairman, which brought him to Council meetings and activities, including the Asia A-team.
Fremark spoke to the Sorghum Checkoff about how his leadership experience has expanded his view of the sorghum industry and the people and time involved in making markets happen.
“As a board member, you have to take time away from your operation, time to travel and have someone who is doing the work at home while you’re away,” Fremark said.
“I’m amazed at the quality of people we have working on behalf of sorghum, whether it be board members or staff people. It amazes me how much this group cares.”
Kathy Brorman agreed that her involvement in the Council has broadened her horizons on work of the entire value chain to move grain to global markets.
“Being involved in the Council makes you realize there is more to agriculture than planting the seeds and harvest,” she said. “It takes some special folks that give up their time away from the farm to help make policies and educate not only farmers, but consumers and end-users all over the world.
“Without the Council’s dedication and work, we would not have the trade foundation around the world as we do.”
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.