The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research in Sorghum and Millet is a consortium of cutting-edge research aimed at improving the adaptation and resilience of sorghum and pearl millet to the semi-arid climates of West and East Africa.
SMIL links the U.S. universities, international universities, and research organizations in a global collaborative network to build long-term local capacity and technology delivery in Ethiopia, Haiti, Niger and Senegal.
SMIL was established in July 2013 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.A. to contribute technologies and knowledge towards the adaptation, resilience, and improved profitability of sorghum- and millet-based production systems and value chains to make sorghum and pearl millet sustainable crops of the future. SMIL is a continuation of INTSORMIL and supports research and development for smallholder farmers to increase sorghum and millet production while training the next generation of scientists and researchers within National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS).
Timothy Dalton, Ph.D.
Dr. Timothy Dalton serves as the Director of the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Dr. Dalton's research and development experience in sorghum and millet stretches back 20 years to a master’s thesis on dryland sorghum and millet farming systems in the peanut basin of Senegal, followed by an award-winning doctoral dissertation on the Ex Ante Economic Impact of Improved Sorghum Varieties on Soil Degradation in Southern Mali (partially funded by INTOSORMIL). Dr. Dalton is well-versed in interdisciplinary research and specializes in understanding the relationship between agricultural production, technological changes and the environment. Dr. Dalton has extensive professional experience in more than 20 African nations.
Dr. Dalton has considerable experience with CGIAR research institutes, the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of the CGIAR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, foundations, USAID and USDA. Dr. Dalton is a member of the multi-state research project, NC1034 Impact Assessment and Decision Strategies for Agricultural Research, and a member of the Council of Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics Blue Ribbon Panel on Development. In 2012, Dr. Dalton led the USAID-commissioned external evaluation of the Peanut CRSP and the AquaFish CRSP. Dr. Dalton is fluent in French.
Nat Bascom, M.S.
Nat Bascom serves as the Assistant Director of the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab. Nat holds a Master of Science degree inAgricultural and Biological Engineering (soil and water) and a Master of Science degree in Leadership Studies from Kansas State University. Nat is a versatile international development manager with over 30 years of experience working in West and East Africa in local organizational strengthening, partnership development, program planning, and technology delivery.
Nat is fluent in French and has experience in managing a regional office operation that supported program delivery with multiple implementing partners and range of donor organizations in Africa.
Dr. Benjamin Kohl serves as the Program Administrator for the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab. Ben holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Development from Kansas State University. Ben brings over 20 years of experience in higher education student recruitment and service; teaching and learning services; grant research administration; and marketing, sales, project management and training.
Ben has served as Vice President for Business Development for a software company, where he supported 12 Feed the Future Innovation Lab management entities with data collection and reporting systems. Before serving in small business development roles, Ben served as Assistant Director for the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Enrollment Management Coordinator for the Department of Housing and Dining Services at Kansas State University. Ben has visited 22 countries and has been on the campus of 111 universities.
Kinzey Cott, M.S.
Kinzey Cott serves as the Fiscal Analyst for the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab. Kinzey provides financial analysis, accounting and travel support, and procurement for the SMIL USAID-funded grant. Kinzey holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. Kinzey's thesis is about private grain storage technology considerations and location optimization.
Kinzey has served as a Reconciliation Accountant for three Feed the Future Innovation Labs at Kansas State University. Before supporting Feed the Future Innovation labs, Kinzey served as the Event Staff Supervisor for Kansas State University Athletics, where she managed over 90 staff members.