Knock Named NCFC Farmer Co-op Director of the Year

Mar 06, 2024

Wally Knock Receives Award
The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) announced Agtegra Director Wallace “Wally” Knock of Willow Lake, South Dakota, as the 2024 Farmer Co-op Director of the Year. The announcement was made at the NCFC Annual Meeting on Feb. 15 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Knock joins Jeff Lakner of Wessington, South Dakota, and Hal Clemensen of Aberdeen, South Dakota, as the third Agtegra Cooperative board member to receive the prestigious award.

“I would like to thank everyone who was involved in nominating me for this award,” said Knock. “I am the third person in the last 10 years to receive this award for being involved in Agtegra’s board, and it doesn’t just come by chance that those things happen. It has a lot to do with the culture of this cooperative and the board that encourages that kind of engagement and puts us out there to advocate for co-ops and farmers.”
Knock operates a diversified crop and livestock farm near Willow Lake with his wife, Kathy, son, Jared, and daughter-in-law, Katie. Together, they grow corn, soybeans, wheat and forage and have a cow-calf, contract hog finishing and sheep operation.

Having been a member of Agtegra Cooperative for 45 years, Knock has served on its board for 22 of those years. As a member of Agtegra’s Governance Committee, Knock has been a frequent spokesperson and resource at community and member meetings for several mergers and unification efforts with other co-ops and their members.

“Wally’s impact has been felt far and wide, from the Agtegra boardroom to his local community to Washington, D.C.; no one represents the farmer co-op ideal as well as Wally Knock,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC.

Currently, Knock also serves as a director on the Land O’Lakes corporate board. Previously, he served as secretary for Agtegra’s board for over 10 years and as committee chair and board member with several other organizations, including Dakotaland Feeds and South Dakota Value-Added Agriculture Center. Outside of the agriculture industry, Knock has served on the Willow Lake school board where he was the chairman for 18 years in addition to his current service as a commissioner for Clark County for the last six years.

“Everybody at Agtegra congratulates Wally for this well-deserved award. It’s very fitting for him to be recognized for his contributions to the cooperative system,” said Agtegra Board President Rick Osterday.

In addition to the recognition at NCFC’s Annual Meeting, the award comes with a contribution made in Knock’s name to a land grant college or university.

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