I came across this film on the Ancestral Health Symposium’s Facebook page and just had to learn a little more about Will Harris and White Oak Pastures in Bluffington, Georgia. Will is a long time cattle rancher with roots in the Deep South that go back well into the 19th Century. Like the previous five generations of his family, he’s a cattle rancher with ethics and a cattle rancher who understands the importance of treating animals humanely — raising them the way they were meant to be raised.
For Will, things weren’t always this way, he started his career as a conventional cattleman with an education in Animal Science where he learned all about industrial beef production. Using hormone implants, antibiotics, and a high carbohydrate corn and soy diet, he did what he thought was the right thing to maximize production and profitability. Thankfully, after seeing some truly horrific things, his conscience got the best of him and he was able to see that there was a better way. He decided that his current model wasn’t what he thought was the right way to do things and he then switched over to being a grass-fed/finished producer. No more pesticides on the pastures, no more confined animals, just cattle being raised the way they were supposed to be. The end result is cattle that are fit and healthy as opposed to cattle that are short and obese — or as he likes to call his animals, athletes.
Whenever I hear the studies about beef production being bad for the environment or beef production not being sustainable, I like to think of people like Will. Whenever I hear stories talking about the ill health effects of beef, I like to think of people like Will as these studies never take into account grass-fed beef — I can almost with total certainty say that the outcome of those studies would be drastically different if this were to happen.
I don’t know every last detail about Will’s operation, but from the looks of it, Will is on to something good and I can only hope it’s an idea that continues to spread. If U.S. beef production were to go this route — I think you’d have a lot more people looking at eating beef for what it should be — a healthy choice. Unfortunately, most beef available in your local supermarket is not a healthy choice. Let’s see if we can change that.