Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation Names Sabine Parish Cattle Producer Outstanding Young Farm Woman
By Tobie Blanchard, LSU College of Agriculture
NEW ORLEANS — On her farm in Sabine Parish, Megan Cook is checking cattle, mending fences and bailing hay—tasks she has done with her grandfather since she was a teenager.
Cook, a fifth generation farmer, was named the Outstanding Young Farm Woman at the 97th Annual Convention of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation on June 20.
She has 45 head of cattle and farms hay on her property in Many, La.
“Everyone down my road does some kind of farming,” Cook said.
Cook didn’t expect to be a farmer but bought the house and land next to her grandfather. She helped him out on his farm, and when he passed away unexpectedly she was the one who ran the farm.
“I waitressed, saved up all my money and eventually bought the cows from the estate,’ she said.”
Friends and neighbors helped her out initially, but Cook has been running the farm ever since. Her husband, Johnithan Cook, helps on the farm when he is home, but he works offshore and is gone six months out of the year.
“He is a mechanic. So, when I tear stuff up, he is the first one to fix it,” Cook said.
Most of the hard work just seems to happen while he is away, she added. Storms will pass and fences will break, but Cook is a hard worker and doesn’t mind the labor that comes along with raising cattle and hay.
“I have a passion for farming, I love it,” she said. “I guess I live through my grandfather.”
Cook also works part time at the local feed store, which keeps her involved with the small farming community in Sabine Parish. Even so, receiving the Young Farmers and Ranchers Outstanding Young Farm Woman award was humbling for Cook.
“I wanted to win it for my grandfather even though he passed 11 years ago,” Cook said. “That was a big deal for me. It brought tears to my eyes.”
As she moves forward with her grandfather’s legacy, Cook has advice for young women interested in farming.
“Don’t be afraid, “ she said. “You can do it.”
As the 2019 Outstanding Young Farm Woman Award winner, Cook received a $2,000 Farm Bureau Gift Card, courtesy of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company; a trip to the American Farm Bureau FUSION Conference in Louisville; a $1,500 equipment rental from H&E Equipment Services; $500 cash from BASF; a $250 VISA gift card from Conquest Completion Services; a $250 Choice Hotels gift card, courtesy of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation; and a $250 Farm Bureau Bank gift card from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Companies.
For more information, visit www.lfbfconvention.org.
Founded in 1922, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing more than 137,000 member families.