40 Under Forty: Heidi Cooper, 31


General manager & farmer's wife

Cooper's Hilltop Farm, LLC, Rochdale

Lives: Rochdale village in Leicester

Birthplace: Burnsville, Minn.

Colleges: University of Minnesota Duluth, College of St. Catherine in Minnesota

After marrying into the farm celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, this mother of three transformed the retail side of the organization while advocating for the Massachusetts farm industry on a regional and state level. In her time as general manager, Cooper's farm transitioned from offering only fluid milk and cream products to growing and retailing its own beef, pork, chicken, eggs, lamb and veal. The result was a 17-percent increase in customers served daily and a 36-percent increase in annual retail revenues from 2014-2017. Cooper is the Massachusetts Young Farmers & Ranchers chairwoman and sits on the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation statewide board, as well as its Worcester County board. In this capacity, she lobbies the Massachusetts legislature on behalf of the agricultural industry. For Young Farmers & Ranchers, Cooper pioneered its Harvest For All initiative, calling on farmers to donate goods to local communities. In 2017, Cooper rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge with the MFBF team, personally raising $7,800 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

From 40 Under Forty judge Milka Njoroge: “Heidi is active in the community, an advocate for the agricultural community and believes in giving back through Harvest for All.”

What will the inscription say on the statue they eventually build of you? Unapologetically herself, she never took s*** from anyone.

Whose career would you most like to emulate? Ree Drummond. She's a blogger, author, food writer, chef, photographer, and lives on a working ranch with her handsome husband. She's my spirit animal.
Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty
Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance
Che Anderson - City of Worcester
Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.
Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.
Sam Bitar - Webster Five
Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP
Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives
Derek Canton - paerpay
Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.
Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics
Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching
Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm
Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting
Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.
Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning
Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College
Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering
David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care
Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank
Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill
Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.
Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority
Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp
Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions
Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants
Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank
Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.
Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective
Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester
Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency
Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP
Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities
Jessica Morris - MCPHS University
Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)
Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central
Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.
Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System
Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.