Herding our hoofstock is not an easy task. Our animals are raised on terrain ranging from brambled woodland to open pasture. We often need to sort and separate the herd into smaller groups based on factors such as age, gender, and genetics. We find our herding dogs indispensable in these complicated tasks, especially when moving our goats and sheep which are notoriously hard to work with. Dogs are an efficient, finessed, low-stress way to move large groups of livestock.
White Oak Pastures had a wonderful Saturday evening with the Albany Museum of Art and Albany Technical College Culinary Arts Department putting on a benefit dinner for the museum. Our very own chef Reid Harrison prepared the first four courses with White Oak Pastures protein- duck, goat and lamb. He also helped direct the enthusiastic culinary students. This evening was a great success for everyone. It was the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Museum, the Culinary Arts students were able to experience the organization and care that go into a large, on-location, fine dining event, and White Oak Pastures was able to share our unique pasture-raised products as well as several of Chef Reid's most popular recipes which we are very proud of. The event featured local chefs Todd...
We use animal impact daily to improve the health of our soils and forage. However, we also use our livestock as landscapers. We frequently use our goat herd to clear shrubbery from vacant lots in downtown Bluffton. If you have visited the farm store, you’ve likely driven by our goats hard at work. This March however, we have been busy with and excited to used our cattle to help clear some of our newly acquired land.
During this month, our cattle moved through the pecan orchard and several of our new, overgrown vacant lots. They grazed what they could, but we insured they had adequate nutrition by supplementing them with our high quality, organic haylage. The more woody and fibrous plant matter which cattle are not evolved to digest- they viewed as a playground. Our cattle clearly...
Will Harris drew this diagram with a pen on a crumpled piece of paper one August 2016 afternoon. He wanted to visually explain his land management system on the 2500 acres here at White Oak Pastures. Our Multimedia Manager Laura Mortelliti added a few bells and whistles to the imagery, but the concept is fully Will's and we are excited to share it with you.
“Damn, that's a nice bumper”. It was a rainy, muddy, cold weekend in December 2007. Will Harris had just finished showing Brian Sapp around the farm, which, at that point, Brian describes as “just feeding cattle and the plant was a concrete floor”. Brian’s lifelong passion for fabrication led him to craft replacement bumpers as a hobby. When Will kicked the bumper on Brian’s 2004 Chevy pickup, his eyes “got big as half dollars”. Will then told Brian, “You may never strike an arc on this farm, but I know from that bumper that I want you to work for me.” Will could tell from how well the bumper was made that Brian would put effort and hard work into everything he did.
If you know about White Oak Pastures, then you have probably heard about our “Bald Eagle Situation”. Whether you’re familiar with the story or not, you should read the excellent piece by our friend
As our Hog Production Manager, Aaron manages our 200 Iberian hogs and our 500 American heritage breed hogs. Our hogs are all Certified Humane, Global Animal Partnership Step 5+ Certified, holistically managed, non-GMO fed and pastured raised. Our hogs are mobile land-renovation units- they help us clear and rehabilitate land in many versatile ways.
If you visit our General Store in Bluffton you’ll notice our leather workshop tucked in the back corner. Our leather crafter Alena works here daily and has hand-made almost every leather product on our shelves. Alena grew up in the Ukraine and spent most of her childhood in her grandmother’s garden. There she developed a deep connection with agriculture and the natural world.