Food shopping has seen some of the most radical changes in decades over the last four weeks - changes none of us ever dreamed possible. These changes forced us to take our farm operations back to the drawing board and rethink how we manage fulfillment. Over the last thirty days, we added 16 full-time employees to help keep up with the demand in our online store. That's 16 full-time jobs created in one of the poorest counties in one of the poorest states, thanks to you, all of our customers. These opportunities don't come by often, and we are so grateful to be able to help reduce the panic-buying.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas behind us, I begin reflecting on the year that has come and gone. There are always things I wish I had accomplished, but also those projects for which I’m proud to have completed. This valuable reflection allows me the opportunity to set goals (or resolutions) for the New Year.
I hope while you all are planning your resolutions, you’ll consider committing to only eat pasture-raised meats and poultry. Even though there are more reasons than any of us could possibly count, I’ve put together my top 6 reasons to eat pasture-raised in 2020 below.
Mallory Middleton, Staff Lead at the White Oak Pastures General Store, keeps our downtown Bluffton store humming along. Mallory is responsible for regular store duties - selling local Georgia products, grassfed beef tallow products, pastured meats, organic vegetables from the farm, and much more - as well as training new employees.
Mallory Middleton grew up in the southwest Georgia area, first hearing about White Oak Pastures when she was graduating high school and a friend mentioned the farm. During her time at the farm, Mallory has seen and worked with many different departments, including the Organic Garden, Tallow Department, and the Internet Fulfillment Center.
Jacqueline DeWitt first became connected with White Oak Pastures through her work with Whole Foods Market, where she worked selling fish and building an educational farm for many years. When the farming project wrapped up, Jacqueline came to White Oak Pastures as an intern. Although she already had experience in organic vegetable farming, Jacqueline was interested in learning more about livestock and land management.
Olivier Deslandes has been interested in holistic farming practices for many years, following the work of the Savory Institute since 2015. In fact, it was on the Savory Insitute's social media that Olivier first saw information about White Oak Pastures (we work with the Savory Institute in our Land to MarketEcological Outcome Verification program). When he saw that White Oak Pastures had an internship program, he signed up in May of 2017.
Since then, Olivier has worked in multiple departments at White Oak Pastures, spending two years as the hog program assistant manager. He currently works with the cattle department and pasture management. "Working with animals while having a positive impact on the environment in general to me is exciting," says Olivier, "the sheer variety in tasks...
Rebekah Hall became involved with White Oak Pastures in March 2018. "I have always been interested in how the farm operated and wanted to learn more about it," she says. As shipping manager, Rebekah certainly gets to do just that.
Rebekah oversees packing and shipping for all of our different products at our on-farm fulfillment center. This is the last step for a long journey for our product, and Rebekah is one of the people responsible for your White Oak Pastures package arriving at your door safely and in good condition.
Word of Mouth is how Aurelius Morris heard about an available position at White Oak Pastures. The specific opportunity was in the poultry processing department, a field in which he had prior experience. But even though Aurelius had experience with chickens, he describes White Oak Pastures as “educational”. There is a world of information to learn here at White Oak Pastures. A farm raising animals in the most humane manner while continually acquiring new land to regenerate, all the while adhering to our no-waste tenet has an extensive amount of diverse information that our employees need to know. It sounds as if Aurelius is interested. Proud of earning the title of Employee Of The Month, Aurelius may have received this honor not only for his work performance but perhaps because he...
Indiantown, Florida may be a small town, but this village seven hours south of Bluffton, Georgia is the home of Payson Park, one of the top thoroughbred horse racing facilities in the United States. Frontman Davy Jones, a member of the Monkees band, kept a stable of thoroughbred horses there until his death in 2012. But, most importantly, Kiersten Cartwright, our Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Food Safety Coordinator and Animal and Poultry Welfare Officer was raised there amongst the 500 head of Brangus cattle her parents owned. This particular breed of cattle was the result of breeding Angus and Brahman cattle to utilize the superior qualities and traits of each. Kiersten helped work these cattle while showing swine, steers, and heifers for eleven years...
Employment opportunities in South Georgia can be challenging, but when Bobbie Lee Williams rode by White Oak Pastures, he was intrigued by the men and women driving tractors and by all of the animals. This was enough to entice him to seek employment on the farm. “The people here are friendly and everybody has made me feel welcomed. Everybody gets along with one another and helps each other out.”
“I lost my father when I was eleven years old. All I ever had in my life was my mother, Teresa Huff, so that’s who keeps me going and motivated. She works at a financial company, and my step-dad runs a lawn and tree service. He was raising hogs, so I guess it grew on me.” That may be why Jamaal gravitated towards White Oak Pastures. “I liked to be around animals and wanted to learn techniques to raise them.” Jamaal works in our Poultry Production Department caring for our pasture-raised chickens and says, “White Oak Pastures is family.”