Posted by Anne Decker
"Who’s more stupid than a turkey? They guy who takes care of them."
So says Gary Cooper, COO of Cooper Farms, one of the largest turkey farms in the country. Gary's grandmother started raising turkeys on her home farm outside of Continental to earn a little spending money. Gary's father took over the flock in 1938 and quickly expanded it to 300 turkeys. By 1944, the flock had grown to 10,000 and the family purchased their first hatchery in Oakwood. The operation has continued to grow to its current 2,300 employees, and is now run by the second generation - Gary, his sister, Diane, and brother, Jim. Cooper Farms has five facilities in northwest Ohio and southwest Michigan and produces an astounding number of poultry and hogs: they hatch 15 million turkey poults a year, produce more than 115 million dozen chicken eggs a year, and raise and sell more than 200 million live pounds of hogs per year. Much of the deli turkey, chicken and ham that you purchase comes from Cooper Farms, which also pasteurizes and packages its meats. "It's one of those American stories. We're still very much family owned, family operated."
Also at Monday's meeting, we welcomed new members Russ Decker and Shanna Barns. For fellowship, Butch Kirk showed an awesome video of a 90,000 pound asphalt oxidizer that his company built being lifted by a crane and set onto a truck for transport to Medina. John Ficorilli asked for suggestions for social events that members would be interested in attending. And Derek Stemen announced that nominations are being taken for the Jefferson Awards, which honor volunteers at the local and national levels.