It was 1938 when Virgil Cooper set out to raise his first flock of just 500 turkeys for the holidays and started what is now Cooper Farms. As they celebrate their 75th anniversary the Cooper family is humbled by the growth they have seen and thankful to all those who have helped them reach this amazing milestone.
“I doubt my parents could have ever imagined the company being what it is today,” said Gary Cooper, COO. “We have learned that through hard work and commitment to your word, opportunities can come your way and you can become more than you ever dreamed. Our small town turkey farm has now become the 12th largest turkey producer in the U.S., and is also one of the largest hog producers in Ohio.”
Though the company has grown, the Cooper family will always remember the core values of a family that have brought them to where they are today, ones which include more than just blood relatives.
The contributions everyone has made as individuals and as a team are what have brought Cooper Farms such success. The Cooper family is proud to share that success with both the team members and the communities.
“Family was always important to mom and dad and it remains important to all of us,” said Jim Cooper, CEO. “Dad always made sure that his employees were happy and felt like they were a part of the Cooper Hatchery ‘family’ and we work to do that still today. We try to take the time to show them how much we appreciate what they do through special events, appreciation lunches and our benefits programs.”
Not only are the team members recognized as vital to the success of Cooper Farms, but so are the communities where they are located. Each year Cooper Farms and the Cooper Family Foundation provide thousands of dollars of support to local schools, fire departments, boy/girl/cub scouts, 4-H and many other organizations that help the communities and children thrive.
“My dad was always one who gave back to the community,” said Dianne Cooper. “When I was a kid in girls scouts, if we went on a trip dad would always show up with treats for all the girls and he did the same for the boys. And as a whole like to do that today too; we like to give to the local groups and help our community however we can.”
Cooper Farms is now run by Virgil and Virginia Cooper’s children, Jim, Dianne and Gary and is still privately owned by the Cooper family. Several of the third generation family members also work for Cooper Farms in various positions throughout the company, with some of fourth generation recently joining the company.
Over the years, Cooper Farms grew and diversified. What started as a simple hatchery has grown to four locations. The Live Animal Division encompasses two locations; in the Oakwood, Ohio area are the turkey and hog breeding farms as well as the hatchery which hatches 15 million poults (baby turkeys) a year. In the Fort Recovery area are the nearly 300 family contract farms which grow the turkeys and hogs to market weight and house chickens for table eggs. The Food Processing Division has the processing plant in St. Henry, Ohio and a Cooked Meats Plant in Van Wert, where deli products are made.
The National Provisioner featured Cooper Farms on its May 2013 cover, in time for its 75th anniversary celebration. Read more about Cooper Farms’ innovation mindset by clicking here: Cooper Farms: Power Play.
Source: Cooper Farms