White Oak Pastures has been a leader in illuminating the role meat production plays in climate change for years. But recently, we've been hearing that industrialized agriculture products made in a lab are the going to be future of meat. Fake meat companies like to say that they are a better choice for the environment, but at White Oak Pastures, we've been busy fact-checking their impossible claims. Most recently, on an episode of CNN Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Will Harris destroyed the myth that they are benefiting future generations, pointing out that the trendy plant-based proteins are contributing to climate change while our grassfed cattle help reverse it.
If most consumers knew what I know, they would buy their food directly from a farm.
There are a lot of good reasons to know where your food comes from. The most obvious is that its not a good idea to put anything in your mouth unless you know where it has been.
There are also health, safety, and nutritional concerns. Consumers understand these, and they are certainly important, but there is another whole dimension that I don't think most consumers have contemplated: Consumers literally shape the world with their food dollars.
This "National Eagle Day", and with the 4th of July just around the corner, we want to provide an update about a very American symbol, who has made a home on our farm: the bald eagles at White Oak Pastures.Around 2010, we introduced chickens to our farm, starting with a small flock of 500. Soon after, we added other poultry - ducks, turkeys, geese, and guinea hens, as well as thousands of more chickens. Soon after that, another kind of bird - bald eagles - was spotted on our farm.
It's one thing to hear about regenerative land management, and it's another thing to learn, see, and experience hands-on. That's why we're offering an intensive on-farm workshop, Regenerating Land Through Livestock Impact, on April 4th, 2020.
"To manage land without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, one must understand how livestock can shape pasture production," says Will Harris. "Nature abhors a monoculture, which means it's beyond important for us to understand how animals can be used as tools."
Join us at our annual producer-focused workshop to learn how our management staff tackle the challenges of being "grass farmers".
Now let's discuss the livestock side of managed grazing. At White Oak Pastures, we are doing managed grazing in a way that moves animals through the pasture in appropriate stocking densities. "Stocking densities" means the appropriate number of animals per acre. We move them at a certain rate so they are not overgrazing.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we are excited to share our hard work with our customers for the holidays. Our Certified Non-GMO, Certified Humane, GAP Step 5+ turkeys are never treated with steroids or antibiotics. Our birds are able to express their natural instincts as we raise them on pasture and they, in turn, contribute to land regeneration and rural revival. We take care of our animals and they take care of us. Read on to learn more about the life of a White Oak Pastures turkey.
We receive 4200 day-old chicks from our hatchery each week. Before hatching, chicks absorb their remaining egg yolk into their abdomen. The absorbed yolk provides several days of nutrition once the chick hatches. This is key for shipping day-old chicks because they do not need nourishment while they travel. When the chicks arrive at our farm, they are immediately transferred into our brooders. We have worked hard to prepare the brooders for their arrival. Everything is in order, newly cleaned, and cozy.
The breed we raise, the Red Ranger, is an extremely mobile bird. This quality has its pros and cons. The birds grow at a slower rate because they are very active. “In allowing it to go wherever it wants, it runs off into the pasture and burns some serious calories. It's getting vitamins, minerals, and plant secondary metabolites from foraging in the pasture. But being further from the ideal feed source, it will not quickly get plump”, says Jeff Lackey, our Poultry Production Manager. Because our birds are athletes, we have put together cooking tips for their leaner, healthier meat. A benefit of the Red Ranger’s active disposition is its significant and visible impact on our pastures. They are very thorough grazers and scratchers. As our birds disturb the surface of the pasture, they...