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.
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 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.
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.
White Oak Pastures has become a platform for promoting the literal practice of holistic management. We are a working farm, but our scale has allowed us to also be a leading figurehead in the holistic agriculture world.
From our tour to our workshops, from our internships to our employment opportunities, from our Savory Institute involvement to our speaking opportunities, from our blog to our educational videos, every day we act as a hub for holistic management knowledge dissemination.
Will Harris speaks on The Evolution of the Land to Market Program:
“Allan Savory changed the way I look at land,” said Will Harris, who often calls Savory the “father of holistic range and pasture management.” White Oak Pastures is proud to be one of a very few global Savory Hubs, and only one of two East of the Mississippi River. White Oak Pastures has recently adopted many of Savory’s practices, which stem from using animal grazing to positively impact land.
Will Harris answers the trending question: "What farmers wish you knew about farming."
When I was an industrial farmer, I'd have said that I wish that you knew how hard it is, how stressful it is, how complicated it is, how much work there is, or...it's hot, cold, wet, dry, dirty, nasty, shitty, greasy, etc, etc, etc...
Now that I farm differently, that is not what I would wish for you to know.
“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