Farm: Cooper Farms
Location: McAlpin, Suwannee County
Date of Origination: 1963
Commodities: Cattle and hay
Don Cooper and his family own and operate Cooper Farms in McAlpin, Florida. The farm has been in the family over 50 years and was started by Mr. Cooper in 1963. They proudly produce cattle and hay.
Mr. Cooper has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the farm for a decade. BMPs are a set of guidelines that advise producers on how to manage the water, nutrient, and pesticides they are using to reduce agriculture’s impact on the state’s natural resources. Cooper Farms uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) for the application of fertilizer throughout their pastures. Mr. Cooper uses a rotational grazing system for the cattle to improve pasture longevity, more timely utilization of forage, and to conserve the surplus of forage. Controlled burns are used to suppress invasive species and enhance the palatability and nutritional value of edible plants for cattle. Mr. Cooper has strategically placed watering troughs for the cattle so that there is a reliable drinking source throughout the year.
Mr. Cooper is actively involved in his local community, serving as a Farm Bureau member and a member of the Suwannee County Cattlemen’s Association. He and his family attend Beth Haven Missionary Baptist Church in Lake City.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Cooper responded, “for future generations of our children”