Kathleen Cooper
40 Under 40, Class of 2022

Kathleen Cooper


Costa Farms

Job Title

Research & Development Manager


  • Works with breeders to solve grower issues such as daylength requirements, pests, diseases and heat tolerance.
  • Responsible for new variety trials and evaluates over 1,500 new trial codes — from propagation to production to performance trials.
  • Named Costa Farm’s Employee of the Year for 2021.


Can’t Live Without: Kathleen loves living near the water. “Whether it be the beaches in Miami, rivers in North Carolina, or the beach in my hometown Myrtle Beach, I love spending time by the water.”

Fun Facts

A Deep-Rooted Family Tree That Knows How to Spell: Kathleen’s great-great-aunt Helen lived to be 112 years old, and she is a distant cousin of Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune.