Adam Cook, YF&R Leadership Class President 2018-2020
Adam Cook is a fifth-generation farmer from Gilchrist County and is the new president of Florida Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Class of 2018-2020.
He and his wife, Ashley, operate Cook Farms which provides custom harvesting, fertilizer application services and produces corn, hay, Bahia grass seed, small grains and cattle on 1,400 acres in Gilchrist, Alachua and Levy counties.
The Cooks received FFB’s 2018 Achievement in Agriculture Award at the state Annual Meeting in October and will travel to New Orleans in January to represent Florida at AFBF’s National Young Farmers and Ranchers Competition.
The Gilchrist County native began farming when he was just 16 years old. “All I’ve ever wanted to do is farm,” he said. “My parents provided me a base to start with and I would not be where I am today without them.”
Adam and Ashley along with their daughter, Blakely, live on the farm which has been in Adam’s mother’s family for more than 100 years. Since receiving a County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) award in 2014, the Cooks have nearly tripled their operation in size and diversity.
The couple has entered into the outdoor recreational industry by developing two unique enterprises: guided turkey hunts and deer corn sales. Adam explained that hardwood bottoms and merchantable timbers create an oasis for Osceola turkey on their properties.
The Cooks book around 10 hunts per year bringing in a considerable revenue for the farm. “Although the farm has grown in size, custom harvesting remains our most viable enterprise,” Adam said.
Cook Farms typically harvests 2,500 acres of Bahia grass seed annually and has established a customer base that extends throughout a 75-mile radius.