Parents: Tom and Dianne Cook
FFA Chapter: Ionia Heartlands Institute of Technology
Supervised Agricultural Experience
My adventure into the world of livestock ownership started with my family's dairy farm, Cook Dairy. I am the fifth generation to live, work and grow up on our farm and I have fallen in love with it. I have been able to witness the evolution of our family's farm from a small 150 cow organic farm to its current 300-cow rotational grazing setup.
Every step of the way I have been actively involved on the farm from a very young age. Due to this high level of involvement, I have cultivated a deep love for agriculture, especially for livestock.
At the age of nine, I invested in my own animals, starting my small herd of dairy cattle and purchasing my first horse. I also invested in my very own adventure raising dairy goats.
I have grown my herds from just one dairy calf and dairy goat to well over 30-head of dairy animals, including a small productive herd of five Nigerian Dwarf goats along with two horses.
I am an unpaid farmhand on my family's farm where I work in exchange for the resources needed to sustain my livestock. Additionally, the dairy heifers I purchase for my herd soon turn into productive milk cows. I have been able to learn just how hard working on and running an agriculture business can be, due to the large emotional draw it can have being a sole-proprietor of a business.
My career goal is to be a farmer — hopefully, a dairy farmer. To achieve this goal I would like to take over my family's dairy farm. To be able to make a career out of farming, I must gain a lot more experience through working with my dad as well as other farmers on different farms. I plan on obtaining an Agribusiness Management or Ag Economics degree in the future to help further my knowledge.
I am currently serving as the Ionia FFA Chapter2018-2019 President and Region V's 2018-2019 Treasurer. I have been involved in our chapter's committees from our canned food drive to our annual petting zoo. As an individual, I work towards bettering other chapter members so that they become more involved in all things FFA.
- 2017 Livestock Judging Contest
- 2017 Discussion Meet
- 2017 Poultry Contest
- 2018 State Convention
- 2018 Greenhouse Management Contest
- 2018 Dairy Judging
- 2018 Livestock Judging
- 2018 Washington Leadership Conference
- 2018 National Convention
- 2018 Poultry Contest
- 2018 Extemporaneous Public Speaking
- 2018 Regional Camp
- 2018 SLCRO
- 2018 Discussion Meet
I have helped prepare lunches at IM KIDS 3RD MEAL for several afternoons. I have volunteered to help clean up our local highways, write cards for soldiers and helped run our FFA chapter's petting zoo. I volunteer at our fair to work shifts in the office or food stand, helped run Agroliquid’s Green Thumb Expo and have visited the elderly in nursing homes.
School and Extracurricular Involvement
I am a member of Pewamo-Westphalia's National Honor Society, Quizbowl team, and the Ionia County Youth Advisory Council. I serve on my county's fair board as well as our dairy committee and am the president of my 4-H club, Pewamo Producers. I am a board member for Michigan's Junior Holstein Association and am a member of the 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC).
Awards and Honors
- 2017 National Dairy Management Contest High Individual
- 2017 fourth overall individual and fifth place oral reasons in dairy judging at NAILE
- 2017 Grand Champion Market Goat at the Clinton County Fair
- 2017 Region V discussion meet winner
- 2017 Honor Roll
- 2018 Greenhouse Management Contest state winning team and individual
- 2018 Extemporaneous Public Speaking gold award
- 2018 Michigan Dairy Ambassador
- 2018 Grand Champion Dairy Cow, Heifer, and Steer at the Clinton County Fair
- 2018 Dairy Achievement scholarship recipient
- 2018 Honorable mention Dairy Quizbowl team at NAILE as well as 4th high individual
- 2018 third place individual in dairy judging at the All American
- 2018 All American individual in dairy judging at WOE
- 2018 Honor Roll