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Cooper Farms- A Staple in the Agricultural Industry

Cooper Farms is a food and farm company founded in Oakwood, Ohio where the organization raises turkeys, chickens and hogs in their state-of-the-art facilities and produces quality meat products for a variety of private label and foodservice brands. Over the last 84 years, they have grown and innovated to be the seventh largest turkey producer, one of the 25 largest egg providers and in the country and one of the top 30 hog producers. Their commitment to excellence and quality sets them apart, and their dedication to their communities and team members is second to none.

Virgil and Virginia Cooper started their company in the small town of Oakwood in 1938 and, in a

matter of three years, had grown their turkey flock to the point where none of the local

hatcheries could handle their needs. By the end of 1944, Virgil bought one of their suppliers'

hatcheries for himself. His brother started an appliance business with him in the same building,

and with that, Cooper Farms was off and running. Over the next 75 years, the Cooper family

would expand their reach, buying farms and expanding their enterprises into both hogs and

eggs. By the time Virgil retired, his children, Jim, Dianne and Gary were ready to take over the family business and have continued the success and expansion of the company to this day.

The most recent expansion to the Cooper Farms legacy has come in the their egg division. The demand for cage-free eggs has forced the egg market to adapt, and Cooper Farms has been at the forefront of this movement. The recent opening of their state-of-the-art Golden Heritage Cage-Free Egg Farm has added nearly 2 million cage-free egg layering hens, and allowing them to meet the needs of customers across the country. “We are in an ever-growing cage-free egg market,” said COO Gary Cooper. “We have been trying to get involved in this market for a while now and were told we were too small to even consider. With the production capabilities at Golden Heritage, we now have the capacity to supply the growing cage-free market and continue to grow with it.”

As the company has expanded, its obligation to commit itself to being an environmentally

responsible company has grown as well. Cooper Farms has taken that responsibility seriously,

making itself 98 percent landfill-free. More than 20 percent of the energy used by the company

is created using renewable sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Their water

consumption is also being reduced, and through treating their own reused water, have begun

saving more than 480 million gallons of water a year. The 2020 responsibility report

transparently laid out all of the company's responsibility initiatives and is a part of what makes

them proud in their work in the industry.

Cooper Farms also understands its responsibility to the communities it serves. The farm

donates hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to area foodbanks and has donated

thousands of dollars to local causes, including a $750,000 donation to Camp Lakota, a Boy

Scout Camp here in Defiance. Annual scholarships support education, a topic for which the

company remains passionate. These causes mean a lot to the Cooper family, a trait that can be

traced all the way back to Virgil and Virginia Cooper, who were strong supporters of their


Most importantly, Cooper Farms understands its obligations to its workforce, both current team

members and those who will move into the agricultural industry in the future. The company’s

strong internship program helps students start their career alongside passionate leaders in the

farm and food industries. Cooper Farms puts team member first, offering a strong benefits

package, competitive pay, and flexible schedules to succeed. To learn more about joining the

Cooper Farms team go to

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