The Cooper Family Foundation, Oakwood, Ohio, has given to the USPOULTRY Foundation to endow the Virgil H. Cooper Turkey Fund to support industry research and recruiting. The fund is in memory of Virgil Cooper, founder of Cooper Farms.

The Fund is in support of the Ensuring the Future campaign, which was initiated to enhance the sustainability and prosperity of the poultry and egg industry through the U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation. To date, more than $7.7 million in commitments have been pledged for the campaign.

The first funded project of the Virgil H. Cooper Turkey Fund will support an important piece of turkey research at Ohio State University. The project by Dr. Ramesh Selvaraj titled, “25-OH Cholecalciferol (HyD) Supplementation to Improve Anti-coccidial Defense in Turkeys,” will investigate the immune enhancement against coccidiosis in turkeys supplemented with the intermediate form of vitamin D.

“The Cooper family members are proud to continue the tradition started by our founders, Virgil and Virginia Cooper, of being very supportive of the communities in Ohio and the national organizations like U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, whom have helped us be successful over the last 76 years,” commented Gary Cooper, COO, Cooper Farms.

“The purpose of the foundation is to attract bright young people to the poultry industry and fund important research,” said campaign co-chairman Elton Maddox, president and CEO of Wayne Farms. “Today, our foundation is the primary funding source for those two critical industry needs. The Ensuring the Future campaign is a unique opportunity to invest today to ensure the continued success of the poultry and egg industry tomorrow.”

“The tremendous support from Cooper Farms and other Foundation donors means that we can significantly increase the funding invested back into vital research and youth programs that help attract students into careers in the poultry and egg industry,” said John Starkey, president, USPOULTRY Foundation.