Amanda Cook of Chisago County placed in the Top 10 of the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Excellence in Ag Award, announced during the closing general session of the AFBF Annual Convention, held in Salt Lake City, Utah Jan. 19-23. 

“Competing in the Excellence in Ag contest has been an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience,” said Cook. “The process of preparing for the contest put into perspective the power of community and leadership development as a Farm Bureau member, and helped open my eyes to truly see the impact of my passion for agriculture. It was an honor to represent Minnesota at the national level.”

Amanda was able to tell her story of perseverance and passion to advance agriculture in multiple ways throughout her community. Amanda and her husband, Adam, currently own their multi-generation family farm where they raise sheep, sell wool and wool crafting kits, meat and other items in Center City. 

She is also a proven advocate for agriculture in her community, working to revive an agriculture education program that had been cut years before in her local schools, chartering a new FFA chapter, and starting an ag education exhibit at the Chisago County Fair. 

Cook added “competing at the national level has inspired me to continue to do great things in my community. I am so thankful for my Farm Bureau family that has encouraged and supported me through this process, and the staff who helped me prepare. I look forward to continuing to serve as an advocate for agriculture.”

The Excellence in Agriculture contest recognizes young farmers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who are actively involved in agriculture through participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.