Monthly Archives: October 2016

Ignite the Consumer Revolution for Regenerative Agriculture

As one of 17 accredited Savory Global Network Hubs around the world, our goal is to help build awareness for the importance of holistic land and animal management practices that create environmental, economic and social benefits. We are inspired by the growing movement comprised of farmers and ranchers who are regenerating their soils, watersheds, wildlife habitats and human communities by practicing Holistic Management.

However, the story doesn’t end there. Consumers need better access to products grown regeneratively. Farmers and ranchers need more opportunities to sell their products in a way that recognizes their dedication to regenerating the environments we all depend upon. And bold brands that are striving to make real change in the marketplace need access to the raw materials that will enable them to deliver environmentally beneficial products everyone can feel proud of.

We hope to help ignite a consumer revolution that demands good stewardship of our lands and proper management of livestock worldwide. Please join us for the 2017 Eat It, Wear It, Regenerate It conference taking place in late October and early November, and be part of a movement that is supporting regenerative agriculture globally. We have incredibly innovative opportunities for you engage with this Consumer Revolution. Whether you can make it to the intimate VIP event in Boulder, to your local Hub, or participate digitally, there are options for everyone to join the conversation.

For our friends here in the Southeast, we’d love for you to join us for our local Hub event in Atlanta on November 4th. Will Harris will host the Southeastern premiere of the Savory Institute’s world broadcast and has put together a team of top chefs to put the “dinner” in our dinner and a movie evening. Each chef will highlight a protein from White Oak Pastures for guests to enjoy while mingling, learning more about our farm’s regenerative farming methods, and viewing the four short films. The event takes place from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Shed at Ponce City Market. Tickets, which include food and two drinks, are $35 and may be purchased online.

Wise food choices will have a great impact in how many acres of land go from unsustainable production practices to those that are regenerative. With your insight and dialogue you can help us craft a better future for all.

Photos by Laura Mortelliti.

Categories: Regenerative Land Management | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Simply stated: Chickens aren’t vegetarian. They just ain’t.

We’re in the process of redesigning our product labels, and the first thing to go will be the “Vegetarian Fed” claim on our poultry. Vegetarian diets for chickens have been highly marketed, and successful; however, there’s nothing natural about a completely vegetarian diet for a chicken.

While our non-GMO chicken feed mixture is 100% vegetarian and contains no animal by-products as our current label indicates, we don’t want to imply that our chickens don’t have access to the kind of proteins they evolved eating, which they can hunt and forage for themselves. Our chickens live outside, completely unconfined and free to roam our pastures where they get a tremendous amount of nutrition.

We are not just talking about worms and bugs. We have seen our chickens eat frogs, mice, snakes, and any other animal protein sources that they can get their beaks into, including their own dead. It ain’t pretty, but it is nature.

We are not talking about chickens that are starved to near death, or chickens that are driven to the edge of chicken insanity by industrial confinement. We are talking about well-fed, well-adjusted chickens. They naturally love to forage for a cornucopia of food sources, which includes meat.

Look at them. Try to picture a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex with feathers instead of scales. It looks like a chicken, doesn’t it?

Categories: Animal Welfare | Tags: | 4 Comments

Debunking the “feed the world” myth

will-harris

The topic of “feeding the world” is hotly debated.

Industrialized agriculture interests argue that factory farming is the only way to feed our growing world population. This mantra is used to justify destructive and inhumane practices that make food artificially cheap and wastefully abundant.

We believe that every country has a right to develop their own food production system. We don’t believe that we American farmers and ranchers are supposed to feed the entire world; we think we’re supposed to feed our community. That being said, we’re very happy to take this opportunity to explain our perspective on this issue.

Before having that discussion, we all need to stipulate that the earth has a limited carrying capacity, meaning there are not infinite resources available on this planet to produce food and sustain life for an unlimited population.

If the acreage that is available to farm is the only limiting factor, industrialized agriculture wins. By using artificial crutches developed by reductionist science, factory farms can produce more food per acre of land than regenerative farms can.

If petroleum is the limiting factor for feeding the world, we win, because we don’t use as much as they do. If global warming is the limiting factor, we win. We don’t produce as many greenhouse gasses as they do. If antibiotic-resistant pathogens are the limiting factor, we win. If topsoil loss, endangering wildlife species, increasing dead areas in the seas, pesticide contamination, diminished resources, water shortage and contamination, and a host of other disasters are the limiting factor, we win. These problems have only been with us since agriculture became industrialized.

Factory farming truly made food abundant and cheap. It is more efficient and productive per acre of land, if that is the only consideration. But it has horrific unintended consequences for our animals, our natural resources, and the economy of rural America.

Categories: Animal Welfare, Regenerative Land Management, Rural Community | 11 Comments

Look inside our 19th century general store

We’ve been working hard all summer to restore Bluffton, Georgia’s historic 175-year-old general store as part of our effort to breathe life into our little town. This will be the first store within the city limits in 40 years. There are only a few days left until our grand opening on October 15th, but we couldn’t wait to share our progress with you as we put on the finishing touches.

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As a tribute to its rich history, we retained as much of the original store as possible. We’ve kept the original counters, preserved the floors and other woodwork, and decorated the store with its authentic artifacts and others from around the farm. Check out our previous blog post for more on the store’s history.

We have plenty of space now, so we’re able to offer an expanded selection of White Oak Pastures products. We have all 10 species of red meat and poultry available, as well as eggs, vegetables, and artisan goods. We’ve been busy pickling and canning our organic vegetables to put on the shelves, and we’ll offer cooked sausage dogs to eat in the store from our expanded sausage line.

Check out our leather shop inside the General Store where we’re making leather goods by hand from our cattle hides. Every day we’re designing new earrings, bracelets, bags, wallets, and more. You can even dye your own bracelets, which make wonderful gifts. We’re also displaying beautiful cowhide rugs for sale that we just picked up from the tannery in Sebring, FL.

We’re showcasing plenty of other Georgia Grown products, too. The majority of the items on our shelves are produced locally, including pepper jellies and fruit preserves to pair with our meats and Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses; pancake, brownie, scone, and bread baking mixes; and oils, syrups, and sauces. We’ve also installed a brand new ice cream machine, which Will might have put in for himself, but regardless, we’d love for you to try some, too.

We hope this will be more of a community gathering place than just a general store. We have bicycles for rent to ride around Bluffton or the farm, or you can sit outside and eat a meal from our food trailer. Across the street we’re building a new hide barn, where we’ll prepare cowhides to be sent for tanning, or start the process of making rawhide pet chews. With all these activities right in downtown Bluffton, you can get the White Oak Pastures farm experience in one quick visit.

Come visit our new store at 101 Church St in Bluffton. We hope to see you on the farm soon!

Categories: Rural Community | 2 Comments

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