Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 22, 2013

LaGrange County council has new president

LaGRANGE — The new LaGrange County Council President is Peter Cook, owner of Cook’s Bison Ranch in Wolcottville. At the council’s opening meeting of 2013 all present voted Cook in as their next president. The position was vacated by the departure from the council of Jac Price. Price is now serving as president of the County Commissioners.

At first glance, Cook seems like a casual laid-back young man more prone to driving a tractor than driving the political process. But he is a very dedicated public servant.

“I’ve served with Peter now for over three years on the County Council,” Charles Ashcraft said. “I was the one who nominated him for president.” He said Cook has always pursued information and attended meetings that went beyond the necessary, routine, committee assignments.

“He regularly makes an effort to attend other county board meetings in order to get information that might impact issues he would be voting on in council.”

Ashcraft said Cook is very thorough and, as far as he knew, has never turned down any job handed to him by the council. “He is always ready to take on whatever is needed at the time,” he said. “So I think he will do a great job as the president.”

Another Cook supporter on the council happens to be his cousin, Steve McKowen.

“I am glad he is on the council,” McKowen said. “I have known him all my life. He has a really good business sense and our council can benefit from it. He is approachable and has a good head on his shoulders.” McKowen says both he and Cook took office in order to watch the county spending policies and the best way to achieve that is being on the council.

Thirty-eight year old Cook earned a bachelor of science degree in business from Indiana University South Bend. Erica, his wife of 13 years has a degree in education. They have two children Luci, 9, and Levi, 5. They met during his college days in her home town of South Bend. Erica says her main responsibility, besides raising their children, is arranging their numerous agro/farm tours.

Cook’s origins are in farming. He and Erica farm and run a bison breeding and meat processing operation (www.cooksbisonranch.com), along with his parents, Wayne and Sharon, his two sisters Susan Corkins and Annette Moore. Together they farm and ranch about 1,400 acres between their operations in Indiana and North Dakota. He is also kept busy as president of the National Bison Association.

 A few years back, he wasn’t even thinking about politics, until he was approached by the late Roger Boots. “My dad and Boots’ wife are cousins,” Cook explained. “He served on the council and told me he thought I could do some good by serving on a few committees.” Boots laid down a challenge and Cook took him up on it.

“I served on the soil and water board for six years and I now serve as president of the county’s convention and visitor’s bureau,” Cook said. “When Roger passed away, I ran for council and lost to Mike Strawser. Shortly after that Kay Myers was elected auditor and left her seat on the council. I ran and was elected.”

Cook said what keeps him excited about public service is the interaction between state, county and local government. It is both interesting and challenging.

“It can be really frustrating to try and establish policies that are in the best interest of our county and then the state steps in demanding that you choose from three mandatory options,” he said. “We don’t like any of them. The state doesn’t offer you an alternative, plus they don’t give you much time to reach a decision. After you respond, then the state takes their good old time and might not get back to you with their response for months. Meanwhile you don’t know if you are doing what they want and doing it the way they expect you to do it.”

Admitting he is on a learning curve, Cook acknowledges he has learned you can’t run politics like a business.

“I am learning all the time,” he said. “Besides, I have many people I can turn to for some good common-sense advice.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charlotte.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County looking for loving, permanent homes. This month the HSEC has a Hot Dogs and Cool Cats special. Adopt in July and receive 25 percent off your adoption fee for dogs and cats under 5 years old or 50 percent off those 5-years-old or better.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140723 Sanders fair faces FAIR FACES: Austin Sanders enjoys success, versatility as 10-year 4-Her

    It’s tough to say in which Elkhart County 4-H Fair livestock barn you’re most likely to find 10-year 4-H member Austin Sanders.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Goshen City Hall GOSHEN BOARD OF WORKS: Gravel lot approved for Forest River

    GOSHEN — The employee parking areas for a new manufacturing facility within the Century Drive Industrial Park on Goshen’s south side will be allowed to remain unpaved, though that doesn’t mean the city has to like it.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140722 fair food drive 03 Fair's food drive falls short of world record, but is still a success

    For a 24-hour period, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair “All IN” food drive committee attempted a “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest single-day food drive. Their goal: 560,000 pounds of food collected from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140722 fair special needs awareness 02 Many enjoy Disabilities Awareness Day at the fair

    Barry Malone stepped off the Orient Express roller coaster ride, grinning. “That I was fun. I liked that,” Malone said with a laugh. “That was a good ride, too.” Malone attended the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Monday and participated in the Disabilities Awareness Day activities and events at Heritage Park, just inside the main gate.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN131016 county commissioners ELKHART COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Volume cranked up on noise violators

    Elkhart County Commissioners Monday approved the adoption of an ordinance amending the current Elkhart County Noise Ordinance to include stricter penalties for repeat violators.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140721 fair ride 01.jpg SLIDESHOW: Francesca Battistelli at the fair Christian artist Francesca Battistelli performed at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Sunday night.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade 43 THE PASSING PARADE GOSHEN — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade wound its way from downtown Goshen to the fairgrounds Sunday afternoon, bringing smiles to the faces of adults and children alike with horns, sirens, candy and fun floats. Gail Janssen, of Goshen, said that

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts