The Harris family has been farming their land in Bluffton, Georgia since 1866, starting with old-fashioned ways that predated the use of chemical additives, hormone injections, and all the trappings of industrial agriculture. When Will Harris was a child, he remembers the day the chemical salesman came to the farm, changing how the land and animals were managed. After two decades of farming with those methods that were ultimately degrading the land, fourth-generation cattleman Will Harris decided to turn things around with regenerative practices that were new to him. After three decades of overcoming the daunting challenges associated with transforming his way of farming, White Oak Pastures is now an exemplary model of a regenerative, vertically integrated family farm operation making a regional and global impact. They have subsequently revived the town of Bluffton while stimulating the local economy as the area’s largest employer. Increasing quality while achieving zero waste are the benchmarks in every part of the farming operation which has given rise to a diverse array of products that grow and evolve with their customer base.
In these times of urgent necessity to transform agricultural methods to work with rather than against nature, White Oak Pastures is leading the way by providing a model and verifiable measurements to show how animals can have a positive impact on land and ecosystems while sequestering carbon and emitting less methane. This model of regenerative farming can help us mitigate the climate catastrophe and halt the massive emissions from our current destructive system. In spite of the widespread loss of topsoils and the use of toxic chemicals, regenerative agriculture has the ability to heal and revitalize the soil, draw down carbon and produce better food, healthier people, and a livable planet.
In part 1, our day starts at the General Store where we join Will Harris for a farm tour with members of the American Grassfed Association, where he currently serves as President.
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