Jacqueline DeWitt first became connected with White Oak Pastures through her work with Whole Foods Market, where she worked selling fish and building an educational farm for many years. When the farming project wrapped up, Jacqueline came to White Oak Pastures as an intern. Although she already had experience in organic vegetable farming, Jacqueline was interested in learning more about livestock and land management.
Today, Jacqueline uses her varied experience to work on many different projects all over the farm. Jacqueline manages diverse projects ranging from the composting program, the black soldier fly project, tree planting, land monitoring, and White Oak Pastures' Land to Market field verification. Jacqueline typically spends her mornings in the field, tending to the compost or tree planting. Her favorite regular farm chore? "Growing the black soldier flies," she says.
In the afternoon, Jacqueline can frequently be spotted in the office doing project work or research. Jacqueline manages new tests and projects, looking for ways to improve the farm that might not strictly fit into the other livestock departments. For example, Jacqueline is currently experimenting with a new potential project, "pasture cropping grains" on the farm, "to provide local organic grains for our poultry." (This would be a huge development for our pastured poultry department - we're happy Jacqueline is working on it!)
Because Jacqueline works in many different departments on the farm, she has a lot to keep track of. "Keeping everything that is going on in perspective in order to figure out what projects are most valuable to everyone else is a challenge," she says, but she uses her varied background to navigate through the many departments.
While Jacqueline loves her job, she admits that if she could trade places with one person at White Oak Pastures, she would trade places with Rysa Ruth, in the leather shop. "I’d like to learn the craft. And her workspace smells so much better than mine." (We must admit, the smell of compost is… distinctive.)
Although she misses the international cuisine available in bigger cities, Jacqueline's favorite meal in Bluffton is one made with all the organic garden's fresh vegetables. She enjoys the community of Bluffton and White Oak Pastures as well, and in her free time, Jacqueline likes to do any kind of outdoor recreation activities, "particularly if it is better done with dogs."
We appreciate Jacqueline's dedication, because due to her hard work, our farm can pursue these new, interesting projects. We love having her on the team, and we can't wait to see what comes next!