Who We Are
Townsend’s Sorghum has been produced on the same farm in Jeffersonville, Kentucky since the late 1800s. Townsend’s Sorghum is currently being produced by the fifth generation family patriarch Danny Townsend. Danny took the reins of the family business in the mid-1980s. Since that time, Townsend’s Sorghum has been instrumental in sorghum’s revival.
In the old days of sorghum production, producing sorghum syrup was very labor intensive. When it is time to harvest the sorghum cane, the first step in the process was to cut each plant by hand. Once the plant has been cut down, the plant was topped. When a plant was topped, it meant the seed heads at the upper most part of every sorghum cane plant was cut off by hand. This was where the producer got next year’s crop of sorghum seeds. The leaves were then cut off so you had a long “sorghum cane sticks.” From there, the sticks were fed by hand into squeezing mechanism called a mill. The mill was similar to an old wringer mechanism on an antique washing machine. The squeezing mechanism was turned by a mule that was attached to a “sweep pole” about thirty feet long. As the mule walked in a circle, it caused the rollers of the equipment to squeeze the juice out of the cane. The juice was then boiled over a wood fire where all the impurities were then skimmed off the top. As the impurities were boiled off, water in the plant evaporated, and the juice thickened to the consistency of syrup. The sorghum was then put in bottles, jugs, and barrels to be sold.
Today, mechanized equipment has replaced some of the back breaking labor required to harvest and squeeze the plant. In addition, Danny Townsend has created a state-of-the-art production facility (they only use the mule for festival appearances) where he is able to supply his customers with great tasting Townsend’s Pure Cane Sorghum all year round. Danny has always been an innovator. He is a charter member of the National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association. In addition, many of Danny’s planting and harvesting techniques have been instrumental in bringing sorghum back from the brink of extinction. In addition, Townsend’s Pure Cane Sorghum has been voted National Champion Sweet Sorghum, not once, but twice.
Danny Townsend and his family have always strived to produce the best tasting, healthiest sorghum available. Don’t take our word for it. Order a jar or two of Townsend’s Pure Cane Sorghum and see for yourself.