one frame at a time photo blog of jessica lowry – montana photographer404-520-8855
hello@jessicalowry.com

one frame at a time
Farms :: White Oak Pastures :: Montana Photographer

DSC_5294

White Oak Pastures is quite an operation.  Encompassing 1,000 acres of certified organic land and located in Bluffton, Georgia, the farm has a family history going back five generations.  This history and ecological commitment show in their treatment of the animals, the land, and their family.  In 1995 Will Harris III decided to work returning the farm to production methods that create a more sustainable environment for the animals, the soil, and consumers.  In 2010 his daughter Jenni Harris joined the team. The farm’s commitment to organic practices as well and their local community and bringing young people into agriculture is evident from the front counter the back fields.  They currently provide organic beef and poultry to Whole Foods and Publix.

DSC_5289DSC_5305DSC_5307

White Oak Pastures is the only farm in the United States with beef and chicken abattoirs on the property.  The processing plants and systems the farm utilizes were designed by Dr. Temple Grandin with the goal of keeping animals as calm as possible.  The farm also composts the eviscerate and uses it to fertilize organic pastures.  Above a cow grazes outside of a composting area.

DSC_5624DSC_5596The processing of meat on the plant is open to the public for viewing and, while I was there, done to the tune of loud rap and hip-hop songs.  It was definitely a site to see as workers on the cutting room floor processed the grass-fed beef that is Certified Humane Raised and Handled.

 

DSC_5347

In addition to raising the animals and processing them, White Oak Pastures also has an open air dining room.  There workers and the public can enjoy lunch on the farm.  While I was visiting, diners, including Will Harris, the president, bottom left,  escaped an afternoon rainstorm under the eaves of the building and enjoying hamburger lunches of organic beef.

DSC_5355DSC_5461DSC_5359


DSC_5576

In addition to the farm itself, White Oak Pastures goals reach beyond their fields.  With plans to purchase some of the run down buildings (such as the one above) in Bluffton and convert them to operating businesses again, the business is working to revitalize this small Southern community.

DSC_5808

Travis Taylor, 26 manages the bunny and brooder house.  There he works to ensure the baby bunnies, chicks, and ducks are well cared for before moving outside to graze in the fields.

DSC_5469
DSC_5274

This vertically integrated farms sells pasteurized eggs in addition to processing 1,000 chickens a day.

DSC_5488DSC_5498

White Oak Pastures Marketing Manager Jenni Harris, 26,  shows off one of the most adorable baby ducks I’ve ever seen.  Ok.  I’ll be really honest.  Apparently all baby ducks are adorable — this one was no exception.

DSC_5435

Bunnies out in the field.

DSC_5540A baby bunny giving the baby duck a run for his money in the ridiculous, cute department.

 

DSC_5377

The farm is also expanding beyond organic meat and into the realm of organic farming.  Above one of their greenhouses shelters starts for vegetables.  Their CSA shares program is in beginning stages and continually growing.

 

DSC_5747Lori Moschman, 23, born in Brooklyn, New York, now works spearheading a project on black soldier flies.  After earning a degree at Cornell, she’s found a fulfilling job where she says it’s satisfying to see things grow.


DSC_5742DSC_5388


DSC_5694DSC_5713

Tripp Eldridge, Organic Farm Manager, 31, stands with an olive plant in the greenhouse at White Oak Pastures.  A University of Georgia graduate his work in agriculture has taken him from Tanzania to Pennsylvania.  Now he oversees the organic farm at White Oak Pastures and is working to convert all the vehicles on the farm to biodiesel fuel created in-house.

DSC_5329

A special thanks to all the staff at White Oak Pastures for such an epic tour and for spending so much time answering my questions, driving me out to remote fields, and running thru the rain so could get just the perfect shot.  Also thank you to Brooke Hatfield at Georgia Organics for being an excellent road trip companion and helping connect me with this thriving farm.

 

This post is part of an ongoing series on Organic Farmers Under 35. Check out these other young farmers profiled as a part of the series:

 

Babe and Sage Farm

Serenbe

Full Moon Farms

2 Responses to Farms :: White Oak Pastures :: Montana Photographer

  1. That baby duck is adorable! And that green house looks like heaven to me – love all things growing and green.

  2. Pingback: one frame at a time » Archive » Farms :: Crack in the Sidewalk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *