Texas Sorghum Insider

November 6, 2013

Proposition 6 Passes – A little over 1 million of the eligible 13.4 million voters in Texas turned out to the polls yesterday to mark their ballots. There were nine constitutional amendments to vote “for” or “against” on, and while all nine passed, Proposition 6 garnered the most attention and campaign funds leading up to the election. Proposition 6 is a plan to take $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to start a low-interest loan program for water projects in Texas. The one-time payment will go into SWIFT (State Water Implementation Fund for Texas) and will be overseen by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). TWDB will evaluate and prioritize projects as aligned in the state’s official Water Plan, where those projects aim to meet the state’s water needs over the next fifty years by conserving or reusing water. The legislature made serving the interests of rural communities and Texas farmers a priority by directing the TWDB to undertake applying not less than 10 percent of the funds to projects serving rural communities and Texas farmers. The SWIFT does not affect how groundwater conservation districts manage local groundwater supplies and there is no provision within Proposition 6 or its enabling legislation that would require landowners to meter their wells. Proposition 6 passed by 73.37% with 836,424 voting “for” the amendment and 303,547 voting “against” it, or 26.62%.

Grain Berry – A Sorghum Food Product – Grain Berry is a new brand that currently uses sorghum grown in the High Plains of Texas to make nutritious products that can now be found at many grocery stores. You can watch a short commercial about Grain Berry by clicking here. The short clip features past TGSA board member and sorghum grower from Plainview, Texas, Glenn Schur. Grain Berry focuses their products on the nutritional value in sorghum. The company removes the outer layer of the grain berries (sorghum) to get the high antioxidant bran and they add that bran to their whole grain oats and whole grain wheat in their various food products. Their products contain antioxidant vitamins (C and E) plus others, while also providing whole grains and natural berries of grain. Grain Berry has more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries. . As noted on their website, the development of various chronic and degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease may be attributed to oxidative stress which comes from a lack of antioxidants in your diet. Grain Berry currently produces cereals (including flavors like apple cinnamon and honey nut), pancake mixes, muffin mixes and crackers. To learn more about this product or to buy it online, visit www.grainberry.com.

TGSB 2013 Elections – Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board (TGSB) will hold its biennial election on December 13, 2013. The current terms of five of the fifteen board members will expire at the end of this year. The North District will elect one director, the Central District will elect one director, and the South District will elect three directors. Elected directors serve a six-year term. Nomination forms have been sent out and must be postmarked to TGSB by November 13, 2013. In order to be nominated, you must get ten signatures from other sorghum growers in your voting district. Any person living within the district counties who is engaged in the business of producing, or causing to be produced, sorghum for commercial purposes, is eligible to  be nominated or vote, including owners of farms and their tenants and sharecroppers, if such person is subject to paying the assessment that is collected on sorghum in Texas. Nomination forms require you to get ten signatures from other sorghum growers in your voting district. If you did not receive a nomination form and would like to obtain one, you may find them at your local elevator, local county extension office or by contacting TGSB staff at morgan@texassorghum.org. Once nominations are received, the elections will be held by mail ballot. Mail ballots must be postmarked by December 13, 2013 to TGSB.

TGSA 2013 Elections – Texas Grain Sorghum Association (TGSA) is now in the process of board member elections. The current terms of three of their nine member board will expire at the end of this year. The North District will elect one producer-member seat, the Central District will elect one at-large member seat, and the South District will elect one at-large member seat. Producer-member seats are filled and voted on by sorghum producers who are TGSA dues-paying members (either through individual membership or if they take their grain to a TGSA e-member elevator) in their voting TGSA district. Producers who wish to be nominated must get five signatures from bonified producers from their district. At-large member seats are filled and voted on by TGSA e-members and TGSA corporate members. Any e-member or corporate member may nominate someone to represent the growers in their district (producer, elevator manager, industry member, etc.). After nominations are received, e-members get one vote for every $1-$1,000 TGSA receives back from the NSP e-membership program (20%) and will receive one vote for every subsequent $1,000 received to a maximum of four votes within their voting districts. Corporate members get one vote for every $1,000 contributed, and receive one vote for every subsequent $1,000 received to a maximum of  four votes within their voting districts. Nomination forms must be postmarked to TGSA by November 13, 2013. To obtain a nomination form, or for further information, please contact morgan@texassorghum.org.