MEET Cole Cooper
Third-generation egg, chicken and turkey farmer from Fort Recovery, Ohio
Cole Cooper works hard year-round to improve the day-to-day functions of Cooper Farms where he is a third-generation farmer. Cooper Farms, located in Northwest Ohio, has raised turkeys, hogs, and chickens since it was established in 1930. The multigenerational business takes pride in its products and employees. Each year, the farm hatches 16 million turkeys and raises 6 to 7 million turkeys, weans over 700,000 pigs, and manages 5 million layers and 6.8 million pullets.
"Between our divisions, Cooper Farms employs over 2,000 team members," said Cole.
"One of my greatest rewards as a farmer is knowing that we're able to support our local communities by providing stable work for so many families."
How is your farm involved in the local community?
We donate through our Cooper Family Foundation and we partner with over 400 local families to raise our animals. Also, in 2018, we donated more than 210,000 pounds of farm fresh eggs and meat to people in need in our community.
What measures are taken on your farm to protect and preserve the environment?
All our farms are required to have a manure management plan, which requires them to check soils before applying manure, not to apply before or after a rainfall, and to monitor their mortality in their composters. We go to great lengths to train our families on this topic. We also live in these communities, so we care very much about our farm's impact on the environment and will do whatever it takes to ensure that it's a safe place for us all to live.
What measures are taken on your farm to ensure the health and productivity of flocks?
Biosecurity is the first and main defense against disease for anything coming on or off our farms. The health of our animals is one of our top priorities. We have a zero-tolerance policy for all team members, which means that all members of our team must follow our biosecurity protocols to ensure the health and safety of our animals.
What does it mean to work with your family?
Some days it's hard but when the dust settles, we all love and respect each other and are here to carry on what our grandpa started. For that, we are blessed.