“I’ve always been easy going. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to help you. That’s just the way I am”. Meet David Taylor, jack-of-all-trades and Employee of the Month at White Oak Pastures. Read on to get to know David and why he’s so special to our farm.
How did you get into your field of work?
I’ve done everything from rewiring the electronics on irrigation systems, to working on farm vehicles, hydraulic systems and programing computers. I’m just a farmer. If something broke down, you just fixed it.
I started farming with my dad when I was ten years. I went to college at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), only to find out that they were teaching what I had been doing all my life. That’s when I decided to come back home and buy my own farm. I farmed for fifty years and had about 5,000 acres. I didn’t know it back then, but I was the largest landowner in Calhoun County. While I was farming, I worked with Dickie Gin Company, a cotton manufacturer. I helped build equipment and write the warehouse computer program for this whole area, the Southern United States.
I stopped farming in 2008 after I had a couple bad years and I got behind. Cotton will hurt you if you don’t make two bales an acre. First, I had nematodes, which took the cotton yields down to almost nothing. We changed over to corn, and two hurricanes came through and destroyed all 3,000 acres of it. I lost money for two or three years. If you lose too much money in farming, you can’t make it up. So finally, I filed bankruptcy in 2009. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was let my workers go. After that, I worked on peanut pickers and installed new irrigation systems. There’s not a whole lot I haven’t done.
Then I came out here with Will. I’ve known Will all my life. I went to school with him but he was two years above me. I’ve worked at White Oak Pastures for about three years. Here, I started out on the Fence Crew and was with them for a year, then went to the Mechanic's Shop.
Can you describe your job?
I’m just a “fix-It” man. I take calls from everybody all over the farm. I just repair everything when they break something. When they tear something up, I fix it. I’m more or less a trouble shooter. That’s what I’ve done all my life. I figure out what’s wrong with it and trace the problem back down to what started it and I fix it. Right now, I’m working on a cooler for the vegetable farm that isn’t working. I put tires on the tractor for Ryan, our Permaculture Manager, and I gotta fix the sink at the restaurant. If something breaks down, they call me. I keep everybody going.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The thing I like most about my job is the people I work with. I don’t get mad about anything and I don’t fuss about anything. If I’m straight with them, they’ll be straight with me. We cut up, back and forth all the time.
What is the biggest challenge you face at your job?
Biggest Challenge? I don’t know if I can answer that one. I have no answer for that one. There is no challenge. You put our mind to it, you can do it.
What has been your proudest moment since working here?
I guess getting Employee of the Month. Getting the recognition that I didn’t expect. The thing I'm proudest of in my life are my two daughters.
What is your favorite food in the dining Pavilion?
Stuffed chicken or turkey breast on a bed of rice or noodles.
Choose one word to describe White Oak Pastures.
What’s the best, and worst, part of living in this part of GA?
I know you won’t believe this; but, the weather. I don’t like the heat and I don’t like the cold. But, it doesn’t get that hot and it doesn’t get that cold. Weather doesn’t bother me, but if you go down the coast, you gotta worry about hurricanes coming through and blowing your house away. Go up north and you gotta worry about snow and freezing cold. Right through here is just perfect. If you don’t like the weather here in Georgia, wait a few days. It will change. I don’t like the gnats. Alabama has less gnats, but there are less gnats here than there are in Morgan. There are less mosquitoes here than in Morgan.
What is your favorite meal to cook at home (with White Oak Pastures products)?
Steak and Baked Potato
What’s your favorite job?
I have to say farming. I have to love it because I did it for fifty years. That’s what came natural.
What is your dream job?
I was thinking flying an airplane and scuba diving, not sure which one I enjoy better.
What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?
Flying and Scuba Diving