Washita County couple named OKFB’s top young farmers and ranchers
Contact: Hannah Davis
Nocona and Jordan Cook were named Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award Winners at the organization’s 2018 annual meeting on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Norman, Oklahoma.
The Cooks received the recognition for their dedication as young agriculturalists, raising cattle and growing wheat, hay, cotton and other crops in western Oklahoma’s Washita County.
Both Nocona and Jordan were raised in Washita County – Nocona on the east side near the town of Cloud Chief and Jordan on the west side near Burns Flat. Today, they live in Cordell and each morning, they drive separate directions to work on the land and with the cattle they grew up around.
“Every morning I go one way and she goes the other,” Nocona said. “Then we swap back and forth. If they’re really busy I’ll come over and help them, and if I’m really busy during wheat harvest, she comes over and helps us. It’s kind of a unique situation.”
Nocona works alongside his family as the fifth generation on the land, raising wheat, alfalfa, cotton, millet and other crops in addition to running a commercial cow herd. He also raises stocker cattle on wheat pasture during winter months. Nocona is working to diversify the family farm to care for the land and create new opportunities in agriculture.
“It’s something that I’m really proud of to take something that’s been so successful for so many years and make it my own operation and keep it successful by trying other things and growing other crops,” Nocona said.
Jordan is a third-generation breeding stock producer with a registered Angus cattle herd raising high-quality animals that her family sells at their annual production sale. Jordan focuses on data-driven animal care measuring a variety of traits through feed efficiency testing, DNA testing, ultrasound scans and blood testing.
“My mom puts it, ‘You can’t open new doors with an old key,’” Jordan said. “We do the DNA testing on the bulls. That’s really helped advance our operation.”
Her family also tracks their cattle’s performance through the feedlot to harvest to ensure that the genetic advances of the family’s cattle translates to quality beef for consumers.
Even though both Nocona and Jordan had the choice to move away from agriculture after college, neither could imagine doing anything else or raising their two boys, Denton and Baylor, any other way.
“It’s just something that you grow up with and you have a passion for,” Nocona said. “I knew from the time I was big enough to know what was going on that that’s what I wanted to do for a living.”
In addition to their own farming endeavors, Nocona runs a custom haying business and does custom farming for other agriculture producers. He also transports cotton for the local cooperative and serves as fire chief of the Cloud Chief rural volunteer fire department, which he started in 2008.
Jordan has a passion for educating youth about agriculture’s importance, and she serves on the local fair board and helps with county Farm Bureau educational events. She is an active member of both the Oklahoma Angus Association and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.
As Achievement Award winners, the Cooks received a John Deere XUV 560E courtesy of the OKFB YF&R state committee and an expense-paid trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, for the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting. The Cooks will compete on a national level for the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award during the AFBF Annual Meeting.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is the organization’s largest yearly gathering of farmers and ranchers. At the event, members vote on grassroots policy, elect leaders and award outstanding individuals. OKFB has a presence in all 77 Oklahoma counties and serves as the voice of agriculture and the rural way of life. To learn more, visit www.okfarmbureau.org.
Jordan and Nocona Cook of Cordell, pictured along with their sons Denton and Baylor, were named the 2018 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award Winners at the organization’s awards banquet on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the 2018 OKFB annual meeting in Norman.