Over the past decade, we have built a strong team of butchers, cowboys, farmers and everything in between.
Will Harris is a fourth-generation cattleman, who tends the same land that his great-grandfather settled in 1866. Born and raised at White Oak Pastures, Will left home to attend the University of Georgia's School of Agriculture, where he was trained in the industrial farming methods that had taken hold after World War II. Will graduated in 1976 and returned to Bluffton where he and his father continued to raise cattle using pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics. They also fed their herd a high-carbohydrate diet of corn and soy.
These tools did a fantastic job of taking the cost out of the system, but in the mid-1990s Will became disenchanted with the excesses of these industrialized methods. They had created a monoculture for their cattle, and, as Will says, "nature abhors a monoculture." In 1995, Will made the audacious decision to return to the farming methods his great-grandfather had used 130 years before.
Since Will has successfully implemented these changes, he has been recognized all over the world as a leader in humane animal husbandry and environmental sustainability. Will is the immediate past President of the Board of Directors of Georgia Organics. He is the Beef Director of the American Grassfed Association and was selected 2011 Business Person of the year for Georgia by the Small Business Administration.
Will lives in his family home on the property with his wife Yvonne. He is the proud father of three daughters, Jessi, Jenni, and Jodi. His favorite place in the world to be is out in pastures, where he likes to have a big coffee at sunrise and a 750ml glass of wine at sunset.
John, White Oak Pastures' Director of Livestock, is from Fitzgerald, Georgia. John attended Valdosta State University and has been at White Oak Pastures since December 2012. John is the proud father of Hattie and Harris Benoit and husband to Director of Farm Experience, Jodi Benoit.
Jenni Harris, Will's middle daughter, is a member of the fifth generation of the Harris family to tend cattle at White Oak Pastures. After living on the farm her entire life, Jenni went to Valdosta State University and earned a degree in Business Marketing, graduating in 2009. She remained intimately involved in the family business throughout her studies.
After graduating, Jenni set out to learn the industry. She moved to Atlanta where she interned at Buckhead Beef, a SYSCO company. She put in time in every department, from shipping and receiving to the cut shop, and was later hired to work as a sales associate.
In June of 2010, Jenni returned home to Early County to work for White Oak Pastures full time. As the Director of Marketing, Jenni spends her time focusing on the balance of ecommerce growth and wholesale relationships. Jenni is the proud mother of Jack Harris and wife of Director of Specialty Products, Amber Harris.
Hollis Smith started his career with White Oak Pastures as a teenager in the 1990’s. His father had been an employee of the farm as well during that time. Over the course of his career, Hollis gained experience in law enforcement, but kept coming back to the farm where his passion is. He learned the trade of beef processing, then worked his way up into the inventory management position. After a return to law enforcement for a few years, he eventually came back to White Oak Pastures to work in the internet fulfillment center and on special projects. With a strong work ethic and always putting his heart into everything he does, he became the processing staff manager in 2022. If there is something to be done on the farm, one can expect to see Hollis involved in it. He loves what he does and contributes to the team and staff of White Oak Pastures in strong and meaningful ways.
Justin "Buck" Wiley began working at White Oak Pastures in July of 2009. He was hired as a butcher and worked hard to prove himself until he was promoted to Processing Manager. Buck takes pride in his work and in making our customers happy. He manages 38 employees and 35 head of cattle each day in the Red Meat Abattoir. He arrives at the plant early in the morning and is typically one of the last people to leave. He carries a lot of responsibility, but also has the pleasure of working with some of his best friends every day. He's a great guy, with a huge heart and a constant smile on his face. We couldn't be happier to have him as part of our work family!
Jodi Harris Benoit
Jodi Harris Benoit, Will's youngest daughter, is a member of the the fifth generation of the Harris family to tend livestock at White Oak Pastures. Jodi has always played an active role in helping her dad and the cowboys work cattle each season. Jodi graduated from Valdosta State University and earned a degree in Speech Communication in 2012. After graduating, Jodi followed her dad's rule, working away from the farm for at least one year. She was a Support Coordinator for Professional Case Management Services of America. In this position, she was an advocate for adults with developmental disabilities. In January of 2014, Jodi began working full time at White Oak Pastures. As the Director of Farm Experience, she is responsible for education, giving guided tours of the farm, and overseeing on-farm lodging, dining and the General Store in downtown Bluffton. Jodi is also the proud mother of Hattie and Harris who are part of the 6th generation of the farm.
Amber Harris, Director of Specialty Products, was born in Adairsville, Georgia. After several years of living in Atlanta, she moved to White Oak Pastures in June of 2013. She believes she has finally become acclimated to the culture shock experienced with moving from a big city to one with a population of 88. Other than loving the farm, Jenni Harris played a pretty big part in bringing her to Bluffton to live, work, and build a family. Although she came to us with no farming background, she is passionate about our zero-waste practices and has helped create our tallow kitchen, leather workshop, and pet chews department. Amber and Jenni can be found most evenings chasing their 4-year-old son, Jack, around the pasture and teaching him that chicken eggs are not to be thrown like a ball, they are to be eaten!
Brittany is from Leary, Georgia and found her way to White Oak Pastures in April of 2022. When she initially joined our crew, she worked closely with the HACCP Coordinator. During this time, she obtained her HACCP Certification and became more involved with the day-to-day operations of our Red Meat Abattoir. Having 10 years of accounting and office management experience, paired with Brittany’s drive and organization, she naturally settled into the position of Assistant Processing Manager within her first nine months of being at White Oak. Brittany now co-manages over 50 employees and hopes to continue expanding her knowledge of the regenerative farming and beef industry. Brittany’s favorite part of her job is the family-like community she gets to work in and she hopes to continue to serve White Oak Pastures in any capacity she has to offer.
Mallory Burdeshaw joined our accounting department in the fall of 2020. With her customer service background and incredible organizational skills, she quickly became our Accounts Receivable Manager. She grew up in Blakely, GA where she and her husband are now raising their 2 children. Her dedication to her family, friends, and the farm is inspiring for us all and we are so proud she's a part of our team!
Mary Wilkerson, White Oak Pastures Online Order Fulfillment Manager, has lived in Edison, GA her whole life. After High School, she married the love of her life and had two amazing boys. Mary has experience in accounting, inventory management, and shipping imports / exports. Mary says that her job at White Oak Pastures is an adventure everyday, and she loves adventure. There is nothing like seeing a truck full of product pull from our dock knowing it's going out to feed America. In her spare time, Mary enjoys cooking, camping, fishing, and being with family and friends.
Felicia is from Blakely GA, born and raised, but now lives in Arlington GA. Lisa began working at White Oak Pastures in 2012 in the processing room of the poultry plant. Felicia is the Poultry Processing Manager, and works closely with production and sales.
Born and raised in “The Bottom of the Boot”, Franklin, Louisiana, Louis has grown up and been heavily exposed to flavors and foods that make our palates turn flips. His love of cooking and desire to learn the kitchen began with his grandmother and aunt and was fostered at a small steakhouse in his hometown. From there, as he entered his teens and early twenties, life found him in Atlanta, GA where his curiosity for good eats could continue to be nourished. From being integral in the opening of a Popeye’s franchise in Fayetteville, GA to running a full kitchen in the lush and luxurious area of Buckhead, GA, he has seen and done it all. Now, being a father of 2 young girls and a teenage son, a husband, and dedicated provider for his family, he has found himself closer to his roots in Bluffton, GA. To be able to bring a little bit of the “Big Town” cuisine to “Small Town America” in a way that doesn’t lose the hometown feel is more that he could have hoped for. As he continues to learn and grow in a nostalgic atmosphere where his best qualities continue to be brought to the forefront, only better, more innovative, and home-grown foods that feed the soul will be rendered. Meet our own: Chef Lou!
Lashona Butler, the on-farm Commissary Manager, came to White Oak Pastures in 2012 with years of experience in the food industry. However, she has continued to learn, progress, and develop strategies that enrich our dining experiences, for both employees and guests. From working in our Poultry Department and making tallow and pet chews in our Pet Chew Department, Lashona has come full circle, back to her passion for cooking. Lashona has the gift of knowing how to effectively manage her staff and all the responsibilities that come with being the manager of the on-farm commissary. As busy as Lashona is at work, she might be just as busy, if not more, at home. With three athletic sons, fifteen-year-old TreShawn and nine-year-old twins, Rae’Shawn and Dre’Shawn, LaShonna spends her leisure time at her sons’ football, basketball, and baseball games. Last but not least, Lashona is engaged to William Clyde, who we must say, has found himself an amazing woman!
Cynthia grew up in Arlington, Georgia - just a few minutes from the farm. She joined our team as a freshman in high school, and has been contributing to the farm in various ways for over half of a decade. For the first year and a half, she worked at our Farmer’s Table restaurant. Later, she transferred to the General Store and quickly worked her way up to Assistant Manager in late 2020. In December of 2022, she was promoted to Manager. She enjoys the simple way of life in Bluffton. Being a history enthusiast, working here has helped her appreciate the rural revival. Cynthia is very committed to her job and even resides in Bluffton. Her goals are to continue her college education while continuing to improve the experience at the White Oak Pastures General Store.
Graham Turner, our Farm Operations Manager, hails from the deep south via the Gulf Coast of Alabama. He spent his youth building forts and treehouses in the woods. There, he realized his love of construction. He went on to build all over the country, mostly to fuel his bank account so he could later spend it all on mountain adventuring, and then work in order to do it all over again. Somewhere along this wildman ride, he met his wife, Lauren, in the high Sierra of California where they were both living. They fell in love, drove across the country to get married with all of their stuff in tow, while Lauren sowed her wedding dress in the back seat. Pretty quickly, as luck would have it, Lauren was pregnant. She gave a proud home birth to their lovely Bonnie Wren. They now proudly call Bluffton their home and couldn't be happier to be raising their family in such a beautiful little community.
William (Bill) Perryman began working at White Oak Pastures in October of 2016. He holds a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Management. Bill worked for the largest independent oil company in the US at the time as manager of their Warehouse/Purchasing Department in Breckenridge, Texas. Bill returned to Georgia in 1994 and worked for Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance as a Field Adjuster for eleven counties. He retired from the Farm Bureau in 2015. He joined White Oak Pastures as IFC Manager and is currently working as Purchasing Manager. Bill enjoys working with the farm managers to get the materials needed to do their jobs more efficiently. Bill spends weekends and free time on his small farm in Randolph County, Georgia. He enjoys trips to South Dakota with family and friends to hunt pheasant. Bill also helps take care of all the rescue dogs his wife, JoDel, brings home.
Scott Cleveland, born and raised in Miller/Early County, spent most of his life on his grandfather's farm where his family still raises cattle. There, Scott developed a deep-rooted interest in raising livestock. Scott is a proud father to his son and best friend, Aidan Cleveland. Scott joined the White Oak Pasture team in late 2018 where he was hired as a cattle hand. After working there for several months, Scott was presented with the opportunity to become the Cattle Production Manager. Scott is proud to be entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the entire cattle operation from birth to slaughter. Scott doesn't see this as just a job but as an opportunity to be with an extended family doing what he loves doing!
Olivier's journey into the real food movement and the Paleo diet led him to the Savory Institute. Back home, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti he experimented with tropical fruit trees and vegetable gardening. Carbon sequestration, healthy food, and business profitability are what drew him to our internship program in the summer of 2017. "I love plants, animals, and being outside" he says and loves studying Regenerative Agriculture since 2013. Olivier later accepted a position as the Hog program assistant manager where he spent 2 years raising our Iberian hogs and heritage breeds. In 2019 he transferred to the Cattle department and gained a whole new understanding and appreciation for the positive impact these animals can have on our land when managed properly. The next chapter in this journey is more on the infrastructure side of the farm where Olivier was called to manage the Fence team.
Kris, our Farm Operations Manager, was born and raised in the hills of Central Massachusetts where his family had a small farm many years ago. He grew up playing ice hockey as a goalie for 23 years. He met his wife in 2009, and in 2014, they found their way to Southwest Georgia, where they found a house, some land, and White Oak Pastures. He started off as our delivery truck driver, making weekly runs to Atlanta, and also working in the red meat abattoir. He then started working with our livestock production departments and was then promoted to the Farm Operations Manager, overseeing many crews that keep the farm running: carpentry, fencing, maintenance. With his interest and training in humane stockmanship, he also plays a role in moving our flocks and herds. You may also find him feeding orphaned sheep, operating heavy equipment, planting grass, hauling hay, and anything else to help keep operations moving smoothly. He spends his free time with his wife Danyelle, daughter Kali, and son Coleman, who enjoy traveling to horse shows where Kali competes in speed events such as barrel racing. They also enjoy camping and hanging out at home with their many animals.
Randy Morris manages our mechanic shop. Randy grew up in Marianna, FL and joined the U.S. Army after high school. He spent 9 years with Uncle Sam in military intelligence. Randy moved to Blakely, Georgia in 1997 where he spent 10 years in the mining industry before opening his own auto repair and tire shop in 2008. Randy has been with White Oak Pastures since August 2018. He and his crew repair and maintain approximately 40 vehicles, 6 semi-trucks. 7 tractors and countless trailers and farm implements. He works hard to insure that each department has the equipment to do their jobs daily. He assess department’s needs, then he and his team designs and build equipment to help them overcome the obstacles that arise in their day to day operations. Randy is very happy to be part of WOP and is excited about being able to help us grow in our future endeavors. .
Walker Holmes, the Inventory Integrations Manager, was born and raised in Adairsville, Georgia, about 4 hours north of the farm. He discovered White Oak Pastures while in high school and took every opportunity to visit and work when his school schedule allowed. In March 2021, he joined us full time as our Makerspace Manager, and put his years of leather crafting and tallow product recipe development skills to good use. In January of this year, after learning more about the ins & outs of our inventory system and IT needs, he decided to take on a new management role that was sure to keep his love of numbers, spreadsheets, and equipment repair satisfied. He continues to prove his love for the farm and this community each day!
Wendy grew up on the western slope of Colorado in the small town of Palisade. She had a small hobby farm that always included horses. She was always told that you should ride bareback first, get that down, then you can have the comfort of a saddle. She learned to feel their anatomy and find balance because of this lesson. Since then, it’s always been about the horse's comfort first. From Colorado, Wendy went into the Air Force Security Police K9 Training Program and then the Presidential Honor Guard. After her time in the Air Force, she moved to Southern California where she and her husband raised their 5 children. They have 3 Eagle Scouts, 1 First Lieutenant Marine Corps Officer, and a cattle ranch manager in Central California. When Covid hit and California went into lockdowns, her husband's company decided to permanently stay mobile, so they put their house on the market and moved with 5 horses, 1 kid, 3 dogs, 2 cats and… a partridge in a pear tree! This move brought Wendy and her family to Albany, Georgia, to be closer to her father-in-law and this gave her horses more space and the ability to slow life down a little! She now has an amazing church, new friends and new adventures, along with her dream job at White Oak Pastures.
Recardo, the Plant Fulfillment Manager, began working with White Oak Pastures in 2021 as a Quality Control Manager. He grew up in Blakely, GA, where he played football for the Early County Bobcats. After completing high school, Recardo went to Georgia Tech on a football scholarship. He spent four years in the flats and graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management. He has several years working in Management in many fields such as health and fitness, transportation, and food service. Recardo is an avid sports lover who loves to spend time with family and friends.
Wes Ruff, our Inventory Manager, is a Georgia native born in Athens, who has worked in and around the meat industry since he was 18 years old. From the retail side to regional purview, his overall experience in the meat category is just under three decades and includes Journeyman certification, department leadership, and logistics/supply chain management with major supermarkets in the southeast. Over the years, he has enjoyed educating consumers on not only the quality of the proteins they are shopping for, but also the suggested methods for cooking to ensure the best dining experience past the sale. Wes has also served as a youth pastor in several churches and spent two years as a part time lobbyist with a foreign policy organization. In his spare time, Wes enjoys studying theology, writing, and smoking meats, cheeses, and cigars. He and his wife, Kathryn Ruff, met during their time working together and have five children in their blended family.
Bridget was born and raised in Lawrenceville, GA outside of Atlanta and despite growing up in the suburbs always wanted to be a farmer when she grew up. She graduated with a degree in Economics and International Relations from Georgia State University in 2010 and spent the next nine years in sales and operations. In 2019, Bridget reclaimed her childhood dream when she came to White Oak Pastures as an intern. She fell in love with the small ruminants department and took a full-time position assisting in the development of the solar grazing operation. Bridget now manages the small ruminants team.
Kathryn was born in Savannah, Georgia and has lived in her home state most of her life. With a heart to see the world impacted in meaningful ways, she has built a career in marketing helping local businesses build their legacy.
Kathryn loves the challenge that comes with learning new skills and has worked in a variety of industries including e-commerce, event coordination, nutrition, and pet related initiatives. She and her husband, Wes, have been friends and customers of White Oak Pastures for many years and now help manage the marketing team.
Lindsey was born and raised in Westfield, New Jersey - a suburban town outside of New York City. She graduated from Boston College with a degree in Finance and worked for eight years at PwC as a management consultant for financial institutions. Her love for farming began with a passion for promoting health and nutrition. She left her career in consulting to learn what it takes to produce nourishing food as she travelled down the East Coast working on farms. She came to White Oak Pastures as an intern in 2021 and she and her husband fell in love with the White Oak community. Lindsey is the Livestock Data Manager and Organic Garden / Rabbit Manager and enjoys blending her consulting skills with her love for farming.
Jessica is the poultry and hog manager at White Oak Pastures. Her background includes a biology degree, health-supportive culinary arts degree, permaculture certificate, and experience in forestry, conservation, and animal husbandry. As a young adult, she embraced the rewilding movement and thought wild foods were superior to agriculturally produced foods. After finding deer rumens and turkey crops full of neonicotinoid-covered corn and working on a “conservation” project that involved spraying herbicide to control invasive plants on public land, Jess realized that wild foods weren't guaranteed to be cleaner than agriculturally produced foods. This led to an interest in farming in a way that mimics nature as much as possible. Finding ways to raise livestock that bring them closer to their biological norm is what excites her most about her job at White Oak Pastures!