We are fiercely committed to the well being of our animals and the quality of the meat that we provide our customers. We honor that commitment by treating our animals with dignity and respect from the day that they are born throughout their lives, including the day that they are slaughtered.
We are the only farm in the United States that has both a beef and chicken abattoir on the property. There is only one other beef farm in the country that has a USDA-inspected on-farm processing facility, located in California. We have the only on-farm poultry processing facility in the states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. The uniqueness of these two enormous investments demonstrates our family's commitment to our program. We have chosen to walk the walk.
Our processing plants and systems were designed by Dr. Temple Grandin, the internationally recognized authority on humane animal handling and slaughter. She is a Doctor of Animal Science and champion of animal welfare. Our facilities are designed to keep our animals as calm as possible. The animals are held in open pens until they are dispatched. The captive bolt is administered by a trained employee and renders the animal senseless to prevent suffering. This procedure is performed by hand, one at the time, and the process is taken very seriously. We only slaughter 30 cattle per day and 500 chickens per day. An industrial processing plant may slaughter over 6,000 cattle per day, or 500,000 chickens per day. Our plants are not efficient, they are humane.
Both of our plants are zero-waste operations. All blood is digested to make liquid organic fertilizer, all bones are ground to make bone meal, and all eviscerate is composted. All of these organic fertilizers are used as soil amendments for our Certified Organic pastures.
All of our hides are salted and shipped to a tannery to become leather. We have our own water treatment plant to turn the wash down water into irrigation water for our pastures. In nature there is no waste. We endeavor to operate our abattoirs the same way.
The plants are powered by our 50,000 watt solar voltaic array. This will be expanded to 100,000 watts in 2012. We also use solar thermal technology to heat our wash down water.
The well being of our workers is a major priority for us, as well. White Oak Pastures employees work on non-mechanized lines, which is safer and healthier than the rushed, automated assembly lines of high-volume slaughterhouses. The workers on both the kill floor and in the cutting room are artisans trained in several skills. We also encourage our employees to take home fresh produce from our organic farm to share with their families. We have six families that have more than one family member working at White Oak Pastures.
White Oak Pastures' beef and poultry are Certified Humane®. White Oak Pastures' poultry is Step 5 rated by the Global Animal Partnership, and the processing plant is Animal Welfare Approved.
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