Kiowa County family wins national sorghum award

Alice Mannette
Pratt Tribune
Ki Gamble, Greensburg, stands out in his Kiowa County fields where he had pledged to do the little things right in farming and growning sorghum. Gamble Farms was recently named National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest winners.

The Gamble family are once again winners. For the past 11 years, at least one member of this Greensburg family has won the National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest.

Kim and Ki Gamble, along with their adult children, Kasey Gamble and Katelynn Alderrfer, work hard planting and growing their crops on their 10,000-acre farm. Ki Gamble, a fourth-generation farmer, said growing sorghum — or, as he calls it, milo — is just what the family does. 

The national winners of the sorghum contest were recently released, and this year's national winners included Kim and Kasey. Although there might be a different name on the winner's slots, the four family members farm alongside one another, putting their heads together when growing their crops. 

The Gambles do not treat their competition crops any differently than their cash crops. But even so, they must be doing something extraordinary, even if the climate and soil work well for milo.

"We just try to do all the little things right, so we can have a successful crop," Ki said. "Good Lord willing, he keeps the little things right with heat and bugs and rainfall."

This past year, the Gamble Farm walked away with two national awards from the 2020 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest. Kasey, with a yield of 181.6 for Dryland No Till - West, became a national third-place winner. His mother, Kim, won first place in the nation for Irrigated - West, with a yield of 223.51.

In addition, the farm received first place in Kansas, as Kim walked away with the top yield in Irrigated West, with a 223.51 yield, and Kasey, Katelynn and Ki were State second- and third-place winners. Kasey came in second in the state for Dryland No Till - West with a yield of 181.6. Ki was third in Kansas for Irrigated - West, with a yield of 196.54. His daughter received third for Dryland No Till - West, which yielded 181.43.

In addition to sorghum, the Gambles grow alfalfa, corn, sunflowers, soybeans and wheat. They also run a cow/calf operation and use horses to help them with the cattle. 

The family works hard soil testing and scouting for weeds and insects throughout the season. Along with planting and harvesting in a timely fashion, the Gambles work to  make sure their dryland strip-till milo is planted in heavy residue.

Kansas is the largest grain sorghum producing state in the U.S. This gluten-free grain has 750-1,250 seeds per head. Following rice, wheat, corn and potatoes, sorghum is the fifth highest-consumed product worldwide.

As far as celebrating, the family will keep their noses to the grindstone.

"It's just another day in the life of a farm," Ki said. "But they (Kasey and Kim) are disappointed that they don't get to go to San Antonio (for the awards)."