Selling premium, value-added meat and poultry to consumers requires a good amount of marketing, which is not something that comes naturally to us here at White Oak Pastures. Fonts, color schemes, photos and logo designs weren’t handed down from previous generations like land stewardship and livestock husbandry. But, as we’ve done with so many changes during our rapid growth, we adapted to and embraced this new component: logo design.
A byproduct of our red meat abattoir is a lot of intestines and guts. It’s not as much waste as there would be in an industrial plant that processes up to 100 times more animals than we do, but it’s still a lot. Most people would throw all those intestines away. We’re full-circle at White Oak Pastures, so we feed ‘em to black soldier fly larvae, which our poultry devour, and then fertilize our land with their feces. Win win win win win!
Over the years, we have accumulated a number of animal welfare and land stewardship certifications. Will likes to say he’s like a Boy Scout collecting merit badges. We feel that we owe it to our customers to meet the standards of all of these organizations, and pay their verifiers to audit us to their standards. This is because so much of our product is sold online and through distributors to consumers who live a long way from White Oak Pastures. Farmers who sell their products directly to consumers may not need these third-party verifications, since they know their customers personally.
We all know a thing or two about grazing: basically, we think of livestock on pasture eating grass. Using holistic planned grazing, we can add biodiversity and shape the land to achieve a desired usage. Browsing, on the other hand, isn’t as well-known. Browsing is when livestock eat the leaves, stems and fruits of trees and shrubs. Much like we browse around a store when shopping, animals walk through a wooded area picking off their favorite vegetation. Sheep and cattle are typically better grazers, while goats are more effective browsers.
For years, we have wanted to make the change to non-GMO feed for our poultry, pigs, and rabbits, but we struggled to find a feed mill that could handle our volume. Recently, we were able to find a supplier to consistently deliver non-GMO feed to White Oak Pastures, and we are proud to announce that our poultry, eggs, pork, and rabbits are now non-GMO and verified by the Non-GMO Project.
At White Oak Pastures, we have expertise in three areas: animal welfare, regenerative land management, and rural communities. As farmers, we aren’t experts in nutrition. When osteopathic physician and natural health advocate Dr. Joseph Mercola came to visit, we shared our knowledge of farming with him, and he shared his knowledge of nutrition with us. Here are a few of Dr. Mercola’s thoughts on the health benefits of grassfed and pasture-based food and farming.