Members of the worldwide sorghum (Sorghum spp.) community, including private sector and international scientists as well as community representatives from closely related crops such as sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and maize (Zea mays), met in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 9, 2004, to lay the groundwork for future advances in sorghum genomics and, in particular, to coordinate plans for sequencing of the sorghum genome. Key developments that made this workshop timely included advances in knowledge of the sorghum genome that provide for the development of a genetically anchored physical map to guide sequence assembly and annotation, the growing role of the sorghum genome as a nucleation point for comparative genomics of diverse tropical grasses including many leading crops, and the need for dramatically increased sorghum production to sustain human populations in many regions where its inherent abiotic stress tolerance makes it an essential staple. This report reviews current knowledge of the sorghum genome, a community-endorsed schema for integrating this knowledge into a finished sequence, and early plans for translating the sequence into sustained advances to benefit a worldwide group of stakeholders.