MERCER COUNTY, OH. (WANE) – Cooper Farms has six barns, each with about 6,000 turkeys in each. They’re one of the highest-ranked turkey farms in all of America, sitting at number nine and it’s just near the Indiana border in Northwest Ohio.
Gary Cooper said they raise six million turkeys a year, totaling about 270 million pounds of live-turkey. Some have even met President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama ahead of Thanksgiving in years past.
100 thousand of the six million turkeys come from the Mercer County farm. The family business started in 1938 and they now also raise hogs and chickens for table eggs. They’re recognized for their ethical standards and their friendliness to the environment. None of the animals are fed steroids or hormones and the turkeys aren’t caged.
When farmer Dan Stose opens the big barn doors every day, he gets quite the welcome with a loud sound of unanimous turkey calls. Since those turkeys are a little older, some may give him a peck or two. “It’s really not until the last couple weeks when they really start to feel like they might be able to take you on.”
Dan said he knew he’d be a farmer. “Once it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood”
For the rest of employees and the Coopers, raising turkeys is an all-around family affair. “We really take a lot of family pride in it. We all grew in these areas and we want to give back to the community. It’s really important, about the environment, and we just do a lot of things that we want to make sure that we are good citizens in our communities,” Gary Cooper said.
2018 is the 80th anniversary for Cooper Farms.