October 10, 2021
On Monday, September 27, Senator Theresa Gavarone from Ohio’s 2nd District spent the day in Paulding County, learning how Ohio’s pig farmers proactively manage natural, organic nutrients from manure to enhance soil health while providing wholesome, healthy pork for the Buckeye State.
A resident of nearby Wood County for more than 35 years, Senator Gavarone learned about the history of Cooper Farms, a story that began more than 80 years ago, and how it has grown into a top pork and poultry company based across Western Ohio with over 300 contract growers continuing to support the family farm.
“We are always very proud to show visitors around our 83-year-old, fourth-generation agriculture-based family company, said Cooper Farms’ owner Gary Cooper. “We are especially happy that Senator Gavarone took the time to learn the positive truth about modern livestock farming, as she asked a wide variety of questions and spent all afternoon touring our farms and turkey hatchery.”
Senator Gavarone visited one of Cooper Farms’ 20-year-old sow farms in Paulding County, featuring an anaerobic lagoon utilized for manure management. Representatives from Cooper Farms also took the opportunity to share with Senator Gavarone about recycling manure to provide organic nutrient sources for sustainable crop production. They also explain how soil and manure testing goes a long way in preserving soil health and improving water quality in our state.
Senator Gavarone experienced firsthand the benefits of grower partnerships in large-scale production. Visiting one of Cooper Farms’ contract growers and current Ohio Pork Council president, Ryan McClure, at McClure & Son Farm, she got a glimpse of their 4,800 head wean-to-finish pig farm. Observing from McClure’s viewing room, Senator Gavarone listened as he explained his family’s journey farming in the Western Lake Erie Basin. They discussed crop rotation, nutrient management, ODA permit requirements, and manure storage.
“I had a wonderful time at Cooper Farms touring their facility last week,” said Senator Gavarone. “Cooper Farms produces a wide variety of the food we all have in our kitchens while maintaining sustainable practices to protect our natural resources. Its growth from a traditional family farm is inspiring, and they contribute substantially to Ohio’s rich agricultural history.”
Ohio’s pig farmers are committed to producing the state’s best pork while conducting their farms under sustainable and efficient practices. The Cooper Farms Team demonstrated how essential it is for Ohio’s lawmakers to see entire farming operations, including production partners, and helping them to understand the science and the “why” behind modern animal agriculture production practices.