Ivy McMickle - Hide Barn

Posted by White Oak Pastures Team
Nov 23, 2017 10:10:21 AM

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“Life has a way of changing your plans a million times. I had to change my definition of “success” and “happy” to be happy, and I have never felt better. I would not go back and change anything. I have my house with my husband, I have four babies (2 dogs and 2 cats) that look forward to seeing me every day, and I feel needed here at White Oak Pastures.”

Meet Ivy McMickle. She works at the Hide Barn, juggles tallow product creation and inventories our pet chews. Read on to learn more.


“I passed White Oak Pastures’ Hide Barn every day headed to my first job out of high school. I saw the hides hanging on the frames and thought, ‘I’m never going to work there. Never. I’m an animal person. I love animals. I love dealing with them. I love being around them.’ I’ve even thought of going vegan before. Once I came to White Oak Pastures and learned about it, I was proud to be a part of it. Now when I drive by White Oak Pastures, I feel absolute pride.”


“If I could describe White Oak Pastures with one word, it would be ‘merciful’. ‘Merciful’ because they would save a lot of money if they didn’t do things the way they do. They have chosen to do it differently for the animals, and to me, that is merciful.”

White Oak Pastures’ Pet Chew department, in which Ivy works, is a true testament to our belief in zero-waste. We sell everything from penises and testicles to ears, noses, hooves, and tails….everything. We have about 100 items. All the products in this pet chew room are to ensure that the animal is used to its fullest extent. The most satisfying part of my job is when it’s time to go home, the dehydrator is full and running, and I have no inventory because everything has been sold.”

 When asked about her proudest moment at work, Ivy replied “Frankly, my proudest moment is any time “Miss” Amber comes to me and compliments me. She looks me in the face and tells me I’m doing a good job. When I first started, I would give tours around the building and ”Miss” Amber told me I’d been getting a bunch of compliments.”

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Ivy’s favorite food in our on-farm restaurant is the fried chicken. “I’ve done more for my dogs and my animals with our pet chews than I have for myself. But, I did buy some boneless chicken breast and buffalo mix at our General Store and let it marinate.  Then I put it on the grill and made a sandwich!”

“If I could trade places with someone on the farm, it would be “Mr. Will”. Ivy states that he is able to ride around the farm and see what he has been able to do. “In his mind, he is able to see what the farm used to be and what it was.  Now he sees what it is today and how it has grown. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was able to watch his video “One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts”, and it was just mind-blowing what he talked about. I got to see White Oak Pastures through his eyes. His girls have seen what White Oak Pastures is, but they didn’t see what it was before Mr. Will, and Mr. Will did. I just wish I could see it through his eyes. “

“I’m very happy here. I’ve never felt more comfortable. Before Tristan and I got married, we had a bunch of support from all of the employees and “Miss” Amber came to our wedding.  White Oak Pastures actually gave us a wedding gift to help us get by. It’s great because I’ve worked at places where people didn’t really care if you came to work or not, or how you felt when you got there. Here, I can just go into work and “Miss” Amber will actually just talk to me. I can tell “Miss” Amber wants me to be here. I can tell she wants me to learn and to take charge and excel in this business, and I’ve never been given that opportunity before. I just feel grateful that I have been given this gift. I actually feel like I belong here. I feel like I can actually be a part of White Oak Pastures in the future. We were taught in high school that if you did not go to college, you could not be successful. When I graduated high school, I was an honor graduate and a beta graduate. It meant something to me, but not to anybody else, and I wanted to go to college. I was unhappy with the way that turned out, but the problem was with me. You have to be happy with what you have and I had to change my definition of “success” and “happy”. I have decided that White Oak Pastures is where I want to be, but if I’m going to be here, I want to learn everything.”


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