This "National Eagle Day", and with the 4th of July just around the corner, we want to provide an update about a very American symbol, who has made a home on our farm: the bald eagles at White Oak Pastures.Around 2010, we introduced chickens to our farm, starting with a small flock of 500. Soon after, we added other poultry - ducks, turkeys, geese, and guinea hens, as well as thousands of more chickens. Soon after that, another kind of bird - bald eagles - was spotted on our farm.
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.
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!
We are extremely honored to be featured in National Geographic's new book "Big Chicken" by award winning author and journalist Maryn McKenna. Maryn's work has appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, the Atlantic, Scientific American and National Geographic. She is a TED speaker and specializes in food and public health policy. Maryn's book "Big Chicken" has already appeared in several prominent magazines such as the most recent publications of National Geographic and The Atlanta.
We are excited to announce that our 2017 Holiday Turkeys are now available for pre-sale! These birds are very special to us, as they spend their time rebuilding the soil as they scratch and peck for bugs and grubs. White Oak Pastures turkey production began in 2010 with only 500 Holiday Birds, which were brooded just behind the processing abattoirs. It didn't take long for these great distance rangers to completely cover the area of our processing abattoirs. We learned these birds have a great desire to range much farther than our other poultry species. We have since relocated them to a different part of the farm! Our turkeys are Certified Non-GMO, Step 5+ in the Global Animal Partnership, Certified Humane and Animal Welfare Approved.
“I’d still be doing the same thing if I was the only person on earth”, says Graham Phillips, our Egg Production Manager, about his choice to be a farmer. “A lot of my interests come back to farming for the environment and farming for flavor. I see the two as being fundamentally intertwined- you don’t get a quality product by not supporting the environment”.