Emerson is credited with saying, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” White Oak Pastures is excited to be a part of our interns’ journey but wanted to get a glimpse of the paths that a few of them have followed, and the destinations a few have reached.
Lewis Rickerson, purveyor of antiques and pecans from his own business, came to White Oak Pastures to supplement his income. Lewis states that trying to describe White Oak Pastures is “impossible, because it just can’t be described in one word.” I am confident in describing Lewis as one who has never met a stranger and one who is always friendly, informative, and helpful. If you haven’t met Lewis in our General Store in downtown Bluffton, I invite you to drop by and meet this southern gentleman.
Inspiration can come from people, places, or things, and we never know when or from where our inspiration may come. For Denna Peterson, it emerged from the process of remodeling. She started making her own chandeliers and furniture, then moved on to painting the inside of her home. Her husband, Chris, swore they were losing square footage in the house because of the numerous layers of paint. An acquaintance commissioned Denna to collect oyster shells to form “oyster trees.” Denna had never created anything like that, but said she would “give it a whirl”. This was the first piece of art Denna sold.
Who would have thought that a small jelly kitchen in the Mitcham family’s backyard would grow into a major company? I’m quite certain Robert, Sr. and Patsy Mitcham did not know that Robert’s agricultural experience and teaching, along with running the canning plant at that school and the canning plant for Rabun County would turn into this!
Graham Phillips first came to White Oak Pastures as an intern with the World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms. He returned in 2017 to management as our Egg Production Manager. His role evolved into a grazier position and from there he became our Regenerative Land Manager. Graham is also the White Oak Pastures Savory Institute Environmental Outcome Verification Hub Verifier and is working to build our Livestock Guardian Dog program.
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!
Having a big, beautiful, leather bag is something people tend to love. If you look at current trends, there is a return to classic shapes and quality materials, which never, ever go out of style. With the leather from our grass-fed cattle, we are offering an unprecedented, unequaled line of products.
Alena Ivakhnenko reveals ways in which we use our hides and the opportunities available for others to purchase quality custom made leather goods. White Oak Pastures offers artisans and leather enthusiasts the option to purchase the most exclusive leather hides from Grassfed, Certified Humane, Pasture-Raised cattle on a regenerative farm.
Alena Ivakhnenko, our lead craftswoman, was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, where memories of helping her grandmother cultivate their vegetable garden, along with her love for the outdoors, was of paramount significance in guiding her future. Her family made a move to Salt Lake City, Utah where she graduated from Westminster College in 2010. Continue reading to be inspired by the opportunities bestowed upon Alena, whose desire to unite food and food systems greatly enhances what she contributes daily to White Oak Pastures.
After moving back from Dothan, Alabama to live with her family, Kyndall Bright came to White Oak Pastures in the summer of 2016. When asked to describe White Oak Pastures, ironically, Kyndall’s reply was simply “family”, which seems to be a shared sentiment amongst those here on the farm. She recruited her sister, Kayla, who has also joined the White Oak Pastures team. Kyndall shares her story as she plans another move straight to Bluffton to be close to her extended family here on the farm!
Jeff Lackey, manager of poultry livestock production since 2016, describes White Oak Pastures as “Enviro-agrarianism”. Prior to White Oak Pastures, Jeff became increasingly interested in raising livestock, producing food, and improving the environment. Those three things led him to White Oak Pastures and Jeff has fascinating information to share!