National Farmer Day: Training the Next Generation

Corinne Kocher

October 12th is National Farmer Day, and we're taking a moment to think about the state of today's farmers.

  • The 2017 Census of Agriculture reports that the average age of an American farmer is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012
  • One in four producers is a beginning farmer with 10 or fewer years of experience and an average age of 46.3

Where There Is Will, There Is A Way

Monica McLendon

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...

What To Expect From The Unknown

Monica McLendon

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...

Where Are They Now?

Monica McLendon

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.

Green, Growing and Always Learning

Laura Mortelliti

“The Internship Program at White Oak Pastures was once just an idea.  How many countless emails and phone calls were intercepted as students and other like-minded people began begging for the opportunity to come learn with us?  We heard you.  Now we offer one of the most comprehensive regenerative ag internships in the country.  We are not perfect.  But we are better than we were this time last year.  Success is such a personal measure.  Our success is perpetuated each time an intern leaves here with new knowledge, a realized concept, or the desire to go further and know more”.

~Laura McDonald, Human Resources Manager at White Oak Pastures

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