It happens. Every. Single. Year. We blink, and here comes Thanksgiving, approaching faster than the previous year, and the rest of the year is history! White Oak Pastures has so much to be thankful for on any given year, but particularly this year with hurricanes Irma and Michael ravaging through our little town of Bluffton and the surrounding areas. We were not left unscathed, but we endured both, and for that, along with a number of countless blessings, we are thankful.
Last week, the White Oak Pastures farm family suffered through a direct hit from Hurricane Michael with sustaining winds up to 115 miles per hour. Will Harris shared that he has never witnessed a storm of this magnitude in Bluffton, Georgia in his entire life.
The livestock production staff, with the assistance from other farm departmental staff, worked endlessly in preparation to protect our livestock. Their tireless efforts paid off; however, we have incurred a substantial amount of loss. Although suffering from some livestock and structural damage, we are extremely grateful that our processing plants were strong enough to withstand Hurricane Michael.
Many of our customers know that our passion is raising livestock on pasture in a way that regenerates the land. Witnessing animals execute what they are meant to do, which is roam our pastures, leaving it richer and more suitable than it was, is something that’s deeply rooted in the history of our farm. In the 1990’s, my Dad, Will Harris, learned that there are passionate customers who care about the same things he does: the land and the animals. After years of research, Dad was convinced he had to build a processing abattoir for our livestock and create a brand.
It’s time to RESERVE YOUR BIRD! Secure one of our turkeys today for your Thanksgiving tradition. Don’t miss out on having one of our birds on your table.
White Oak Pastures Entitled To Compensation For Poultry Destruction By Bald Eagle Attacks
In a victory for White Oak Pastures and for small farms in America, The National Appeals Division (NAD) of the Farm Service Administration (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, determined that the farm is entitled to compensation for the loss and destruction of its poultry due to bald eagle attacks. To date, White Oak Pastures estimates that bald eagles have destroyed nearly 160,000 chickens, resulting in over $2,200,000 in losses. The decision followed years of disputes between the farm and the FSA, the organization responsible for compensating producers and farmers under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). The NAD ruling determined that FSA failed to follow its own rules for...
As I reflected on Will Harris’ explanation of the Internship Program at White Oak Pastures, a similarity ran through my mind. Will and Ray Kinsella, the farmer played by Kevin Costner in the 1989 film Field Of Dreams, share a common experience, so to speak. Ray was a baseball fan who either audibly or subconsciously kept hearing “If you build it, he will come.” “He” did come and brought enough men with him to play baseball games in the middle of the farm.
Like that farmer, Will Harris heard the call, but on a much larger scale, and he actually did hear them. He heard the voice of many, very loudly and clearly, time after time, asking to come to White Oak Pastures, and he stepped up to the plate. Will embraced his legacy, this farm, and built White Oak Pastures. Men and women, young and...
White Oak Pastures is a model of the highest standards of animal welfare, holistic farm management, and regenerative agriculture. Our Internship/Apprenticeship Program allows us to expose and train each intern in the different departments incorporated under the White Oak Pastures’ umbrella. Although production and processing are the two main components, there are subdivisions under each of these components. Our production model includes grassfed cattle, sheep, and goats with pastured poultry, hogs, and rabbits. We also have eggs from our pasture-raised poultry and certified organic vegetables. Because of these endeavors, we benefit from the “ripple effect” and can train interns in culinary arts, tallow, leather, and other artisan production, composting, carpentry, farm infrastructure...
White Oak Pastures embraces environmental regeneration that is ethical, economical, efficient, and beneficial. Our zero-waste philosophy encourages us to redesign life cycles for various uses. The goal is to keep as many valuable nutrients on our farm. Interestingly enough, we have incorporated zero-waste agricultural fashion and our customers are loving it!