(LIMITED TO 200 ATTENDEES)
If you really want to go on safari without a passport, then this is your tour. Cows, pigs, goats, sheep, turkeys, chickens, guinea hens, and geese are all out in the pastures grazing, rooting, scratching and for the most part, having a good time. Organic vegetable production is in full swing behind the farm-to-table dining facility, and pecan trees are being prepared to be planted over much of the pastures to recreate a savannah.
White Oak Pastures has occupied their corner of south Georgia for five generations, and over the past two decades, the Harris family has transitioned from cattle ranchers to regenerative ranchers. They are the only farm in the U.S. which operates on-farm USDA inspected red meat and poultry processing facilities, and have single handedly revitalized the dying town of Bluffton by creating almost as many jobs as there are residents. Will's daughters, Jenni and Jodi, operate the marketing and agri-tourism departments of the business, and recently White Oak Pastures has been certified as a Savory Hub, one of only a handful in the U.S.
UGA/FARMVIEW/FORT CREEK FARM TOUR
(LIMITED TO 200 ATTENDEES)
Tour of the Sustainable Grazing Systems Program
The Sustainable Grazing Systems program, based at the University of Georgia’s J. Phil Campbell Research and Education Center near Watkinsville, GA, is a multi-disciplinary research and extension effort that seeks to improve the sustainability of managed grazing systems. The research conducted in this program is on a small-plot, pasture, and farm-scale, and it is directly applicable to the real-world. Subjects of discussion include winter and summer annual grazing systems for grass-finishing beef, pasture design and management, the effect of pasture design on nutrient distribution and environmental impact, using alfalfa in bermudagrass to increase quality and eliminate N fertilization, and much more.
Farmview Market provides a new retail environment that incorporates a grocery store, traditional butcher shop, casual café and farmers market—all featuring delicious, locally sourced offerings.
Guests to Farmview Market will be able to find a unique assortment of some of Georgia’s best products from fresh ground coffee, to heirloom variety seeds and grains, to local dairy products and fresh produce, to health and wellness products, fresh local proteins cut to order daily, and delicious farm to table meals from the Farmview café. The open air farmers market will kick off in April. The Farmers Market at Farmview will be a destination market with live music and farm and artisan vendors.
A Kelly Products’ company, Farmview Market is a natural outgrowth of the company interests around farming, agriculture, education and community engagement. The idea started with seeing how much Kelly employees enjoyed fresh vegetables from a small corporate garden.
“We operate from desire to inspire our friends and our communities to live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. And provide support for young farmers wanting to get started in this challenging profession,” said Keith Kelly, president, Kelly Products.
Future plans for Farmview Market include a you-pick garden slated to start in 2017, with the goal of offering perennial options, so visitors will be able to pick different crops year-round. There are also plans to build additional venues at Farmview where patrons could see and experience activities like cheese making, woodworking, textiles, a creamery and more. Find out more at www.farmviewmarket.com
FORT CREEK FARM
We have been raising beef cattle at Fort Creek Farm since Susan’s great grandfather acquired the plantation in 1840. Her Daddy established our herd of Hereford cattle in 1946 and marketed calves at the sale barn. Beginning about 1999 we installed 10,000 feet of pipe; drilled two new wells; and installed 30 watering stations which allow us to rotate through as many as 100 paddocks using polywire. Portable water tanks and mineral feeders move with the cattle daily. We keep 20-25 brood cows and have 20 -40 stockers and finishing calves depending on the time in our marketing cycle. No routine antibiotics, artificial growth hormones, grain or hot sticks are used with our cattle. Pastures are a mix of Bermuda, Bahia, crabgrass, dallis grass, clovers, hairy vetch, and both toxic and novel endophyte fescues. Beef is cryovac packaged in meal size portions and sold by subscription in halves and quarters. About one third of our sales are by the cut at local farmers’ markets. We also produce goats, pastured broilers, and free range eggs.
Fort Creek Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to about two dozen antebellum farm buildings and residences…some dating to 1785.
Pre-registration is required, register here. The buses will depart at 7:30 am and return around 5:30 pm. It is $80 per person to ride the provided bus ride and lunch. Short presentations will occur during the bus ride.
Contact us for any other questions.