Animal Impact: Eating Like Our Pigs

Corinne Kocher

Hogs are known for their big animal impact. Pigs are omnivores - and nobody eats like an omnivore. Just think about how wide-ranging our own diet is! At White Oak Pastures, we use the animal impact of pigs to regenerate land and keep our soil and pastures healthy. So how do hogs fit into our planned grazing strategy?

This is part two of a three-part video series on how White Oak Pastures uses animal impact to holistically regenerate land that was previously industrially row-cropped into productive, pastured savannah. 

Study: White Oak Pastures Beef Reduces Atmospheric Carbon

White Oak Pastures Team

We know that many of our customers and supporters are aware that carbon emissions from industrialized beef production contribute a significant amount to man-made climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has estimated that livestock is responsible for at least 14.5% of greenhouse gases being released worldwide. With numbers like that, conventional wisdom holds that a diet containing meat isn't compatible with climate change activism. 

With our unconventional operation, we weren't convinced that was the full story; but, then again, we're not scientists. Luckily, there are some scientists out there interested in this question as well.

Animal Impact: Our Hard-Working Poultry

Corinne Kocher

Did you know it's National Egg Day? We're not exactly sure how to celebrate, but we think we'll probably cook up some pastured eggs our favorite way for breakfast (Sunny side up? Scrambled? Poached? Hard boiled? Hard to decide, so we might make them all).

National Egg Day, of course, makes us think about our birds and everyone who works with them at White Oak Pastures. Our pastured poultry staff is the largest field crew on the farm - with good reason.

At White Oak Pastures, we are home to many different species of livestock, but we raise five species of poultry alone: chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and guinea. While, logistically, this can be challenging, leveraging multiple species is central to our land management strategy - because they all have different impact on our pastures.

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How Our Farm Reverses Land Degeneration

Will Harris

Scientists tell us that the planet that we live on was once a lifeless rock, spinning around the sun. It would have been black, and brown, and gray, with a poisonous atmosphere. It would have been incredibly hot on one side, with the water vaporized, and incredibly cold on the other side, with the water frozen solid. And, again, lifeless. [think about the pictures that we see of the surface of Mars, or the moon].

Somehow life began. I won't debate on how that occurred, but the fact that we are here makes it inarguable that it did begin. And that was the beginning of many complex and interrelated cycles that transformed the earth from a lifeless rock.

We Finally Did It: Meat the Porken

White Oak Pastures Team

At White Oak Pastures, we are always looking for ways to better the land, animals, and people. This mission doesn’t stop when it comes to looking for creative ways to serve our devoted, passionate customers. Over the last 150+ years, we’ve been breeding our cattle for their maternal instincts because we understand how important certain genetic qualities truly are. Since we started marketing meat and poultry to the end customer, we’ve also tried to select animals that have adequate marbling and other taste features. At the end of the day, we know that our customers are the ones we must please, which has kept us marching down a path to find the perfect combination breed to give customers exactly what they want: the Porken. A holy union of poultry and swine, the Porken has two claw-like...

Our Waste Is Not Wasted

Monica McLendon

 

White Oak Pastures is a multifaceted regenerative farm raising ten different species for meat, with cattle and poultry as the largest in number. Only 55% of the cow is made up of cuts that are marketable. Because we are committed to adhering to our no-waste tenet, we were motivated to find ways in which to use the parts of the animals that aren’t consumed. Jacqueline DeWitt, our composting manager, explains the aspects of our composting program:

“In our system, we render fat from the cattle to make soaps and salves, sell trim to processors, tan hides, make pet chews, and feed our guardian dogs. Even after all of these measures are taken to use all parts, there are still 4 million pounds of animal remains each year that we can not process or use. So, we do the next best thing: We...

White Oak Pastures Eggs Now Available at Whole Foods Atlanta

Jenni Harris

Look for White Oak Pastures Eggs in your local Whole Foods Market in the Atlanta area! 

Managed Grazing - The Plant Side

White Oak Pastures Team

White Oak Pastures is practicing managed grazing and is managing the goals of holistic agriculture. This requires intricate integration of livestock and pasture management. Our role as land stewards is to carefully foster conditions such that our land is regenerated, it’s bioproductivity is increased, and our animals are healthy and profitable. Now we discuss the pasture forage side of managed grazing.

Managed Grazing - The Animal Side

White Oak Pastures Team

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.

Pasture Perspectives: Drone Videos of Regenerative Animal Impact

Laura Mortelliti

We are proud of our holistic land management and humane livestock handling practices. However, we also know that sometimes these ideas can seem a little abstract and difficult to visualize. So we've brought together these three videos, to demonstrate the work we do and how it is interconnected with regenerative land management.

A Little Bird Told Me...

White Oak Pastures Team

A central component of our farm’s mission is land regeneration. We methodically practice holistic management to transform land that was previously row-cropped, in the industrial model, into productive, pastured landscapes. This is a lengthy, arduous process that typically requires over half a decade to once again achieve full soil cover. Leveraging multiple species of livestock is the centerpiece of our strategy. Poultry, in particular, have a unique role in this process, and require careful consideration as we graze ruminants.

Planned Grazing Overview

Will Harris

Will Harris shares how he evolved from the principles of grazing he was taught at the University of Georgia in the 1970’s, to the holistic management platform he so strongly adheres to and endorses today. Planned grazing is one of the integral components of holistic management that helps generate the benefits of regenerative farming. 

“Planned grazing is such a big topic that it’s hard to know where to start, but I’ll just start”, says Will Harris, founder and leader of White Oak Pastures.

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Bacon-wrapped pasture-raised chicken legs and smoked sugar-free bacon. Ecological Outcome Verified, non-GMO and Animal Welfare Certified.
Non-dairy Grassfed Beef Tallow Butter Substitute Tallow Be Thy Name. Certified Grassfed. Ecological Outcome Verified. Animal Welfare Certified.


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