Our farm has had a baby boom this last year! We pride ourselves on rural revival. White Oak Pastures' regenerative farm model contributes to rural revival in South Georgia through job creation. This is a main tenant of our farm's mission. We are so proud to welcome a new generation to the families supported by White Oak Pastures. We all talk about our place of work as a "family". We welcome these little ones to our "farm-ily" with open arms.
Helaine works in poultry processing and has recently been given a supervisory role by Lisa Brown. She is one of our Poultry Plant Mentors!
After driving an hour and twenty minutes one way to Phenix City, AL from Cuthbert, GA, for four years to work in a poultry plant, Helaine Gudes wound her way to White Oak Pastures and closer to home. March 2, 2018 will mark Helaine’s second year with us here on the farm. Continue reading to understand what is truly the most important thing to Helaine and why White Oak Pastures is the perfect place for her to be!
After her parents told her “White Oak Pastures is right up your alley”, Laura McDonald updated her resume and personally handed it to Stokes Rodgers, when the main office was located at the processing plant. Laura said that Stokes looked at her resume, and in her amazingly accurate impersonation of Stokes, said ‘This needs to go to Jean’. Laura asked who Jean was and again, she imitated Stokes’ matter-of-fact reply saying “I’ll take care of it”, and he did. And funny enough, they now share an office.
Lashona Butler, our Dining Pavilion and Food Truck Manager, has worn more than a few culinary hats in her life. Lashona came to White Oak Pastures in 2012 and hasn’t stopped learning, progressing, and developing strategies. Not only is she enhancing White Oak Pastures, but she is inspiring her staff to strive for excellence! This falls right in with her description of White Oak Pastures as “Innovative”. Take the time to read about the woman preparing White Oak Pastures’ specialized Pavilion meals and our more southern quick-serve Food Truck meals, which have equally savory food!
Please tell us a little about the history of your business and what you do?
Established in 2012, Fresh Harvest provides home and office deliveries of local organic produce, meat, eggs, milk, and more throughout Greater Atlanta. Over the past few years, we've also developed our own garden space in Clarkston, GA--hosting community dinners, cooking demos, and gardening classes.
White Oak Pastures has several second-generational family members employed here on the farm. Deion Wallace, IFC Supervisor, is one of them.
During high school, Deion was an athlete: a defensive back and wide receiver in football, a shooting- guard in basketball, and a sprinter in track. After graduating high school, Deion didn’t have to look far to see what the next step in his life would be. Having a mother who was already employed at White Oak Pastures allowed him the opportunity to seek a career here. Deion stated that there was a probationary period but he “was pretty good at what I did,” working alongside his mother in the chicken plant, which led to a permanent position.
“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 the two men who worked hard to give your holiday turkeys the best possible life on pasture. James Barbary and Trevor Cates are the field crew members who are primarily responsible for caring for our turkey flocks. James Barbary has worked at White Oak Pastures for over two years and two holiday turkey seasons. He brings his positive attitude and care for the birds to work every day, and we are so grateful that he has joined our turkey team.
“Before I came to White Oak, I was working at the chicken plant at Baker Hill, Alabama doing sanitation work. I’m originally from Colman GA, my daddy is originally from Bluffton. I moved back here about four years ago. I wanted to be closer to my family and I met a girl and got married. We moved into the family home. And I’ve been here ever...
Lisa Brown, our Poultry Plant Manager, has worked at White Oak Pastures since 2012. Next month will mark her sixth year with us. Learn more about Lisa, our Manager of the Month.
“I started in the poultry plant on the bottom of the line plucking feathers. I then worked my way up to the viscera table, where I worked for two years. I was introduced to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) books and started working with the HACCP program and the line. HACCP are the rules and guidelines that you follow to work under the United States Department of Agriculture. I started learning that, along with other office responsibilities until there was a management position available. I went for it, and got it!
How did you get into the field you work in now?
I was premed in college, so I completed all my requirements and majored in Anthropology and Human Biology. I also had a string of really great environmental studies professors which resulted in me picking up a minor in Environmental Studies. My botany professor was incredibly inspiring- Dr. Eloise Carter. She actually just Snapchatted me a handful of muscadines. Over the summers I was part of something called OIEE- the Oxford Institute for Environmental Education. I was a Teaching Assistant, it was a program for grade school teachers to come through and figure out how to incorporate environmental studies lessons in any subject- math, literature, social studies, etc. I did that for a few years and really enjoyed it. Toward the end of my...