Operating the Biggest Organic Farm in Georgia: White Oak Pastures | Fast Forward


TODAY FAST FORWARD IS
VISITING WHITE OAK PASTURES, THE BIGGEST ORGANIC FARM
IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA. AND THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE
I WANT YOU TO MEET. Will: I’M WILL HARRIS. I
OWN WHITE OAK PASTURES. Jenni: I’M JENNI HARRIS… THE MARKETING MANAGER. Tripp: I’M TRIPP ELDRIDGE. I’M THE ORGANIC FARM MANAGER. John: I’M JOHN… I DATE THE FARMER’S DAUGHTER. ANYONE ELSE? Jodi: THE FARMER’S DAUGHTER. YOU KNOW, THIS COULD BE
ONE HECK OF AN EPISODE. ♪ MUSIC ♪ WELCOME BACK
TO FAST FORWARD. TODAY I WANT YOU TO FORGET WHAT
YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT MODERN
FARMING BECAUSE THE STATE OF THIS
ART IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT. I’LL LET THE OWNERS
TELL YOU ABOUT IT. Will: WHITE OAK PASTURES
IS OUR FAMILY FARM, STARTED BY MY GREAT
GRANDFATHER IN 1866. Jenni: WHITE OAK PASTURES
IS LOCATED IN BLUFTON, GA, IN THE SOUTHWEST
CORNER OF THE STATE. IT EMPLOYS 85
FULLTIME… EMPLOYEES, AND PEOPLE CAN BE
FOUND DOING ANYTHING FROM REPAIRING TRACTORS TO MASTERING THE
SKILL OF BUTCHERY TO CRUNCHING NUMBERS
IN ACCOUNTING TO FULFILLING ORDERS
IN ON LINE SALES. Will: THROUGH THE 146 YEARS
WE’VE BEEN IN BUSINESS, WE HAVE BEEN A SUSTENANCE FARM FOCUSED ON HUMANE
ANIMAL HANDLING AND ENVIRONMENTAL
SUSTAINABILITY, GONE INDUSTRIAL, AND NOW ARE BACK
REFOCUSED ON GOOD ANIMAL AND LAND STEWARDSHIP. SOUNDS LIKE A
BUSINESS PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION. Will: OUR BUSINESS WAS
BORN ON THE INTERNET. Will: EVEN THOUGH WHAT
WE DO IS VERY, VERY OLD WE DO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY. Amber: TECHNOLOGY IS A REALLY
BIG PART OF WHAT WE DO AT WHITE OAK PASTURES. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A HUGE
PART OF OUR MARKETING. WE HAVE AN ONLINE WEBSITE
WHERE YOU CAN GO AND YOU CAN PURCHASE ALL YOUR
PRODUCTS FROM OUR ONLINE STORE. Jenni: WE DO HAVE A BIG
SOLAR VOLTAIC ARRAY AND AN ANAEROBIC DIGESTER AND A REALLY EXTENSIVE SCALE
AND INVENTORY SYSTEM. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, EVERYTHING’S DONE WITH
A MAN AND A KNIFE, AND IT’S TAKING IT BACK TO THAT
OLD ART OF TRUE BUTCHERY. WHICH IS A GREAT
WAY TO INTRODUCE THE FIRST EVER FAST
FORWARD MEAT OMETER! YOU’RE THE EXPERTS. NAME AS MANY CUTS OF
MEAT AS YOU CAN. AND…GO! Jenni/Will: FILET, SIRLOIN,
TRI TIP, RIB EYE, STRIP, FLANK STEAK, SHANK, SKIRT STEAK,
OXTAIL, TRIPE, RUMP ROAST, GROUND BEEF. I’M OUT. Will: NECK BONE. BACKBONE. AND WE HAVE A WINNER! LET’S GET BACK TO WORK. TELL ME MORE ABOUT
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR FARM AND
MOST FARMS TODAY. Tripp: WHITE OAK PASTURES
IS A MULTI SPECIES FARM THAT RAISES A BROAD RANGE OF
DIFFERENT ANIMALS FOR MEAT. THE ENTIRETY OF THE
PASTURE ON THE FARM IS CERTIFIED ORGANIC… Will: WE RAISE OUR
LIVESTOCK HERE ON WHAT’S CALLED THE
SERENGETI PLANES ROTATIONAL GRAZING MODEL. WHAT THAT MEANS IS
BIG RUMINANTS, IN OUR CASE CATTLE, FOLLOWED BY SMALL RUMINANTS, FOLLOWED BY BIRDS. WE BELIEVE THAT GOOD
ANIMAL WELFARE MEANS CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT IN
WHICH ANIMALS ARE ALLOWED TO EXPRESS THEIR
INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIORS. WHAT WILL IS
TALKING ABOUT IS MONO CULTURAL VERSUS
POLY CULTURAL FARMING. AND IF YOU’RE PAYING ATTENTION, YOU MIGHT SEE SOMETHING COMING. Jenni: THIS TEACHABLE MOMENT
BROUGHT TO YOU BY WHITE OAK
PASTURES. Jenni: MONO CULTURE
IS A REAL FOCUS ON RAISING ONE TYPE OF THING
WHETHER IT’S JUST CATTLE, OR JUST SHEEP. AND THEN POLY CULTURE WOULD
BE KIND OF THE FULL GAMUT, RAISING SEVERAL DIFFERENT
TYPES OF SPECIES. Will: NATURE WANTS A WHOLE
CORNUCOPIA OF PLANTS, AND ANIMALS, AND MICROBES, EACH BENEFITING SYMBIOTIC
RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OTHERS. AND THAT’S WHAT WE
TRY TO EMULATE HERE IN THE PASTURES. John: AT WHITE OAK THEY LET
A CHICKEN BE A CHICKEN AND A COW BE A COW AND JUST LET THE ANIMALS
DO WHAT THEY DO, AND WHAT THEY’RE
SUPPOSED TO DO. WELL IT’S GOOD TO KNOW
THERE’S A PLACE WHERE COWS AND CHICKENS CAN JUST
RELAX AND BE THEMSELVES. AND WHILE WE’RE KIND OF IN
THE TEACHABLE MOMENT MOOD… EARLIER YOU MENTIONED
BEING SUSTAINABLE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Will: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
IS MANAGING THE LAND AND THE HERDS IN A WAY THAT YOU
DO NOT DIMINISH RESOURCES. YOU DO NOT POLLUTE. IT’S SOMETHING THAT CAN
OPERATE IN PERPETUITY WITHOUT INPUTS THAT
ARE DIMINISHING. AND IT WON’T CAUSE A TOXIC
PROBLEM IN THE ENVIRONMENT. SOUNDS LIKE THAT’S
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKE’S WHITE OAK PASTURES
A GREAT PLACE TO WORK. Amber: I WAS EXCITED
AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF SUCH A GREAT
ORGANIZATION THAT REALLY CARED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL
SUSTAINABILITY AND GIVING BACK TO THE LAND. YES GOOD! WHAT ELSE DO THE EMPLOYEES
LIKE ABOUT THIS PLACE? Charlie: OUR BOSS MAN. HE’S THE GREATEST! SMART ANSWER. Charlie: ON A SERIOUS NOTE,
YEAH, WE ARE TREATED WELL. ANYONE ELSE? Amber: IT HAS A FAMILY
FRIENDLY FEEL TO IT. Tripp: THE MANAGEMENT OF THE
FARM HAS SO MUCH INTEGRITY. AND THAT MEANS A LOT TOO. John: I JUST THINK OF IT AS I’M
GETTING A BENEFIT OF BEING PAID
MONEY TO JUST GO DO STUFF I LOVE, DOESN’T MAKE ME FEEL
LIKE I’M GOING TO WORK. IT JUST YOU KNOW FEELS
LIKE A GOOD FUN DAY. Will: I CAN’T IMAGINE
HAVING TO WEAR A SUIT AND SIT IN A CUBICLE. AND FLUORESCENT LIGHTS
GIVE ME THE HEADACHE. AND YOU KNOW TO BE ABLE
TO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING AND AS SOON AS YOU
STEP OUT THE DOOR YOU’VE MADE YOUR COMMUTE. I CAN’T IMAGINE DOING
ANYTHING ELSE. WOW, AFTER AN ANSWER LIKE
THAT, NEITHER CAN I. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN
I’LL STOP LOOKING FOR THE BEST JOBS IN GEORGIA ON THE NEXT EPISODE
OF FAST FORWARD. ♪ MUSIC ♪

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