Cody Goodknight, a cattle producer and row-crop farmer from Chattanooga, Okla., has been named winner of the 2017 Tomorrow’s Top Producer Horizon Award. He received recognition in late July in Nashville, Tenn., in front of more than 150 of his peers.
The Tomorrow’s Top Producer Horizon Award recognizes a producer under the age of 35 who demonstrates excellence in the business of farming. This includes marketing, farm finance and technology, as well as family and employee relations. Young farmers across the country submit applications, which are judged by a panel of industry experts.
Goodknight is the fifth person in his family to hold the reins of Goodknight Farms, an operation founded in 1911. Since joining the farm full-time in 2008, he has expanded the business, created new income streams, built a strong team and increased professionalism in the century-old organization.
Goodknight and his father, John, have an equal partnership. Goodknight is the manager of the operation, which includes 3,200 acres of wheat, cotton, sesame and grain sorghum; 1,600 acres of range and grassland; and a cattle operation with 200 bred heifers and 800 stocker calves. Goodknight custom farms an additional 3,000 acres locally and harvests wheat and cotton for customers in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.
The farm has two full-time team members, a part-time bookkeeper and seasonal help. John retired in 2013. Goodknight’s fiancée, Kara Eschbach, recently joined the team.
Goodknight serves on the boards of his local Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers and the Comanche County Cattlemen’s Association. He also donates time to his local FFA chapter, 4-H program and the Saddle and Sirloin clubs.
As part of the award and for demonstrating excellence in farming, Goodknight received trips to the 2017 Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference in Nashville, Tenn., the 2017 Top Producer Seminar in Chicago and other prizes from the award sponsor, DuPont Pioneer.