Getting away from the ranch takes a bit of planning, but with some help from our friends, Molly and I were able to spend a long weekend at the Food Intelligence Summit in Bluffton GA.
What’s in Bluffton GA? White Oak Pastures!
White Oak Pastures is everything one could wish for in a meat and poultry producer, and wonderful stewards of the land and community. I was even more impressed with this community after I spoke with several former interns who are now employees. There is an esprit de corps in their relationship to one another and to their employer that reminds me of my time in the Army. A significant number of interns go on to be full time farm hands - I find that this is a great indicator as to the honesty and integrity of an operation. It was also interesting hearing about where they came from - their former life. Throughout our discussion, they expressed a strong sense of "this ain't normal" and a desire to be more "connected: There is a lot to be said for working hard and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
The conference theme was Beef & Bitcoin - which is just a catch phrase to capture the intersection of food sovereignty and financial sovereignty. These of course being fundamental to personal sovereignty - something I’m a big proponent of. We got to hear from several folks devoted to cryptocurrency, homeschooling, health and disease prevention, and of course, regenerative farming. We also got to network with other small scale producers and share triumphs and challenges that we all face.
In addition, Molly and I were able to share some much-needed "together time". We are reinvigorated, with White Oaks Pastures as a North Star to guide us toward a brighter future for ourselves, the ranch, and our customers.