2016 Farm Visit
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10th Annual Guided Farm Visit
Monday November 14. 7 am to 6 pm
$100 includes transportation, seminar by Will Winter (on bus), tour of farm by owner, Will Harris and others, and lunch.
White Oak Pastures: From CAFO to Beautiful
“I am not supposed to feed the world this way, I am supposed to feed my community.”
The Harris family has raised cattle on the same South Georgia farm for five generations. Stewardship of the land and respect for their livestock are among the most important lessons that have been passed from parent to child.
The family farm was started late in the 1800s. In the early part of the 20th century, they butchered a cow, several hogs and a few chickens every morning to supply four general stores, a hotel and a boarding house in the nearby town of Bluffton. The business grew even larger when a commissary was built on the farm. After World War II, the traditional system of producing and distributing meat was abandoned as science introduced new chemicals to the farm and the slaughtering process became more centralized and distant. During the latter half of the twentieth century, the farm only produced calves for the industrial beef production system. But in 1995 under the guidance of the current owner, Will Harris III, a transition began a return to a production system that is better for the environment, for the animals and people. After a risky, costly process, the farm and family have now come full circle. Will went from asking how many pounds of beef can I squeeze out of this farm, to asking how can I make this land better. They raise several species of livestock, process on the farm and market directly to consumers plus have a restaurant. These changes have brought the next generation back to the farm, have affected the community with 100 people employed and as Will says, “By rebuilding the soil, we are rebuilding the farming middle class.”
Come witness this fascinating story. The WhiteOak Pastures Farm visit will include a guided bus tour led by owner, Will Harris. While touring Highway 27, which dissects the 1,500 acre, 150 year old family farm, Will explains grazing methods, overall WhiteOak Pastures regenerative operation strategies, and an overview of our livestock management. The bus will arrive back at the farm processing abattoirs, where twenty-five department managers will be ready to discuss their business with you. These departments include: meat processing, accounting, marketing, human resources, IT, organic vegetable farming, tours and events, grassfed beef/lamb/goat production, pastured poultry/rabbit/hog production, egg processing, soap making, leather production, and more. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the on-farm dining pavilion. The Harris family is excited to share their passion with you.whiteoakpastures.com
7:00 a.m. Depart hotel.
9:30 a.m. Arrive White Oak pastures
9:30-noon Morning session.
Noon – 1:30 WAPF-style lunch.
1:30-3:30 Afternoon session.
6:00 Arrive at hotel.