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.
Brian, our Director of Operations, knows good beef. Growing up on a caladium farm in Lake Placid, Florida, Brian threw himself into the study of agriculture and food production at a young age, eventually earning a B.S. in Food and Resource Economics, as well as a Masters in Animal Sciences from the University of Florida. During his studies, he also got the opportunity to work in several different roles at the university's meat processing center.
In 2008 Brian brought his wealth of knowledge to White Oak Pastures' brand new certified humane beef processing plant where he is in charge of day-to-day operations. Recently Brian's domain widened when he was put in charge of constructing the new White Oak Pastures poultry processing plant.
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.
Jean Turn has been the Comptroller of White Oak Pastures since 2012, overseeing the administrative and financial aspects of the company. This includes accounting, human resources, risk management, and special projects. Jean holds a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in Information Studies. While working for the agribusiness Gold Kist, she served in several capacities: cost accountant, operations manager, distribution manager, and procurement manager for agricultural chemicals. After a 12-year stint as a public librarian which ended in serving as Director of one of Georgia's regional public library systems, Jean returned to her accounting roots when she accepted a position with White Oak Pastures.
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!
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 Tourism, Jodi Benoit.
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!
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 giving guided tours of the farm and overseeing on-farm lodging, dining and the General Store in downtown Bluffton.
Sara Doshier, Customer Service Manager, joined the White Oak Pastures family in 2019. From Bentonville, Arkansas, Sara came to the farm with valuable work experience including healthcare administrations, poultry processing, and marketing. With a BS in Business Management and Communications, Sara takes great pride in providing our customers with second-to-none customer service. When she's not working, she loves spending time with her seven children and precious granddaughter.
Bubba started working at White Oak Pastures October 24th, 2013 boxing product in the cutting room. This job is tough physically and mentally. When he started he was really overwhelmed but kept his head up and kept a smile on his face. He worked as hard as he could trying to make sure all of the orders were correct and did everything he could from the cutting room to better the business. About a year and a half later Bubba was promoted to a head position over the cutting room and loved it. He had that position for about 6 months before he got his next promotion! These days Bubba manages the shipping dock where he makes sure all the White Oak Pastures product reaches the correct destination. Bubba loves to work and will do whatever he can to make the company succeed. Sometimes he feels like he lives here but he wouldn't want it any other way. Bubba loves his job and loves the people he works with.
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.
Johnny Jacobs, known as “Jake” to most, grew up near Gainesville, FL before embarking on his military career. After Jake retired from the military, he and his wife, along with their four sons, moved through the states of South Dakota, Florida, and Minnesota before settling in Blakely, GA. Jake, having an abundance of butchering experience, joined the White Oak Pastures team in May 2015. Jake got a running start in the Red Meat Abattoir Cutting Room, then moved to the Kill Floor. He advanced into the position of Further Processing Manager, producing all of White Oak Pastures delicious sausages in 2017.
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!
Sarah Jordan and raised in Elmer, New Jersey. She graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 2013 with a Bachelors in Sociology. After college, Sarah volunteered for a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working in Chicago as a case manager for adults with mental health diagnoses. Sarah next moved to Denver where she continued to work in the mental health field, but kept garden jobs in the back of her mind. In August of 2017, Sarah made yet another move to the booming metropolis of Bluffton, Georgia where she started as an intern at White Oak Pastures. She knew right away that she wanted to work in the garden, and after learning a little about the animals of White Oak Pastures, accepted a full-time job growing organic vegetables. Sarah, the Organic Farm Manager, loves to weed, watch the vegetables grow, and eat fresh peppers straight from the plant.
Diana Collins, Accounts Receivables Manager, might be considered one of Will Harris’ “recycled” employees. Shortly after graduating from college in 1982 with a BBA in accounting, she began working with Will at Gold Kist, an agricultural service business. Fast forward 34 years. Diana retired from a major utility company, Georgia Power Company, with plans to travel, as she is quite the world traveler! However, Will had different plans for her and recruited her to once again join his team, albeit this time at White Oak Pastures in the role of Accounts Receivable Manager in 2016.
When away from her desk in the charming old church that serves as the accounting offices, Diana loves the adventures of traveling with her two daughters, Marlena and Leila. It is quite probable that she has a bag packed and ready to jet off to parts unknown at any given time! She and her husband, Marty, live on her family farm where she grew up, conveniently just five miles away from White Oak Pastures.
Kyndall Bright joined the White Oak Pastures team in the summer of 2016. Initially, Kyndall was working in our organic garden, along with assisting in the care of the hogs, sheep, and goats. It wasn’t long before Kyndall was recruited by Jenni Harris to work alongside our former inventory manager. Allocating products was a new venture with tedious and detailed responsibilities, and she loved it! “Inventory to me is like a kid walking into a candy store. There are many flavors, and I get to try all of them! In other words, I’m never just working alone. I have to work with all the production managers and sales team to get our products in stores to please our customers.” Kyndall’s hard work has paid off, and she was recently named Inventory Manager. She looks forward to a “Bright” future at White Oak Pastures!
Denna Peterson, Manager of Administration, calls Blakely, GA home. Hailing from a military family, Denna was born in Italy and has lived in Florida, Hawaii, and Washington before settling in Georgia. She provides valuable support to our farm by managing our fixed assets, maintaining our accounts payable, and serving as a liaison with our Purchasing Department. Her skills extend beyond finance to her incredible artistic ability as a craftswoman. Embracing sustainability in her work, Denna uses reclaimed materials to create imaginative forms for others to enjoy. Her pieces include decorated skulls from the farm, festive trees made from oyster shells, driftwood, and bone wall sconces, and light fixtures using repurposed metal and wire.
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!
Elizabeth Swift, the Farmer’s Table Manager, is from Blakely, Ga. After graduating from Southwest Georgia Academy, she attended Darton College and Mercer University to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Later, she found a true passion in the Culinary Field and was able to work and train with a renowned Chef in the Macon/Warner Robins area for many years. She returned home to Blakely and obtained employment here at White Oak Pastures as a grill cook in 2018. Elizabeth was named manager in 2019. She is dedicated to imparting her skills and knowledge to continue to improve her department everyday as well as in the future. She has 3 sons: Caleb, JoJo (Joseph), and Trey.
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.
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.
Mallory Middleton is the White Oak Pastures General Store Manager. She joined our team in May 2018 after graduating Early County High School. She has also worked in our Organic Garden and Internet Fulfillment Center. Mallory is currently attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She enjoys going to the beach, hanging out with her coworkers, and being outdoors.
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 Makerspace Manager, was born and raised in Adairsville, Georgia. He discovered White Oak Pastures while in high school and took every opportunity to visit and work when his school schedule allowed. During this time, he created tallow product recipes, developed leathercraft designs, and helped train new employees within the tallow and leather departments. In December 2020, he graduated from Reinhardt University with a Bachelor's in Music Education. He hopes to continue to develop and explore his love for creating during his time with us.
Cole was born and raised in Northern Virginia. Realizing at a young age that the big city life was not for him., he attended West Virginia University where he studied Agricultural Business. Once leaving West Virginia Cole received the opportunity to visit and work for a family friend on his farm in Virginia, where he found his passion for self-sustaining farming. Cole then had an internship opportunity here at White Oak Pastures that led to him staying for three years on the poultry team. In 2017 Cole moved to Texas to work on a pasture poultry and pastured hog farm for three years. After his journey in Texas he decided to rejoin the White Oak family and become our Hog Production manager. He lives on the farm with his wife Jamie, where they are raising their two children, Addison and Grainger.
Brandi began working at White Oak Pastures in 2018 in the accounting office. She grew up in Tampa, FL. Has two sons Daniel and Brandon. She loves animals and being outdoors. She worked in Furniture for 25 years, worked for a restaurant food supplier and worked in Property management for foreign investors but later moved to Carnegie, GA for peace, quiet, fresh air and to raise deer on her property. She enjoys working with the great people at White Oak Pastures, loves the family story and the whole idea of regenerative and zero waste farming.
Malloree, originally from Adairsville, Ga, joined the White Oak Team in December 2020. Before moving to Bluffton, she worked as the Education Coordinator for the Flint RiverQuarium in Albany, Ga, where she created and facilitated the education programs. While there, she also received her Masters of Arts of Teaching from Miami University through the Global Field Program. After several years in Albany, she decided to look for new opportunities and, through a series of fortunate events, found us here at White Oak Pastures. She is thrilled to have joined our team and cannot wait to begin building and implementing classes, events, and programs for us. When she's not working, you can probably find her enjoying a good book on her new front porch or enjoying a weekend on Jekyll Island.
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 we had two amazing boys. Mary has worked in accounting, inventory management, and shipping imports and 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.
Wes Ruff, one of our Marketing Managers, 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’re 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.