City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

The Upstart Cattleman: A profile of farmer Will Harris

Will Harris on his farm (credit: Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Will Harris on his farm (credit: Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

For yesterday’s print edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution I wrote a profile of farmer Will Harris, who raises and butchers cows, sheep, goats, chickens and other animals at White Oak Pastures — a sustainable family farm in Southwest Georgia. You can read the story here.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

13 comments Add your comment


September 24th, 2012
3:27 pm

I will have to find an excuse to go to Bluffton.


September 24th, 2012
4:43 pm

Great story. I met him once in Whole Foods in Atlanta. Glad to hear that he is doing well. We need more folks like him.


September 24th, 2012
10:07 pm

John: well done. Nice to see you get to stretch your literary legs beyond the usual restaurant beat. “The sun slants with a hot, eerie stillness as the Jeep chuffs over a green hill and a flock of speckled guinea fowl, which look like giant potatoes with tiny heads and stick legs, disperse.” Good stuff.

And appreciate the decision to open the story at the abbatoir. If you eat meat, this is where you should be getting it. If you don’t, none of this will change your mind. But he’s bringing back the best of what American agriculture can be.

Daughter of a

September 25th, 2012
7:06 am

As the daughter of a farmer, I had a question: How does he keep his free-ranging chickens safe from coyotes?

My parents were very involved in trying to influence farm policy in the 1970s, and I remember my mother telling me that the federal farm policy was to get rid of family farmers. The rise of corporate farms and the push for efficiency proved her right.


September 25th, 2012
8:19 am

Excellent piece – supporting diversification of our food sources.


September 25th, 2012
8:29 am

Outstanding piece John! I really enjoyed it!!

jay swift

September 25th, 2012
11:26 am

Terrific piece John. Nice work.


September 25th, 2012
11:57 am

It is worth paying more for quality meats from farms like White Oak, simply because the quality is higher, and it supports farmers like Harris who actually care about what they raise and sell.

John Kessler

September 25th, 2012
12:06 pm

Thanks, everyone. Daughter – he has guard dogs, but he does lose a few now and then.

Anton Chigurh

September 25th, 2012
1:52 pm

I like the part about the captive bolt.


September 26th, 2012
8:13 am

If you’re curious what a “pastured” chicken is, simply take a look over Will Harris’s shoulder in the above photo. Any questions?

Mike Fincham

September 26th, 2012
3:43 pm

Hilariously, I had the same supermarket encounter with Will Harris that John had roughly 5 years ago. I want to say it was either in the old Harry’s Farmer’s Market or across the street in the Life food market in Marieta. I’m ashamed to say I think I passed on the meatball at the time. I would never have made the connection or remembered the encounter if it was not for the picture in the article. I remember that big dude like it was yesterday. I was a little scared to say “no thanks” to the meatball at the time but I did. What a shame. I love buying their product these days from Heywood’s Provisions just down the road from me. They’ve got tons of White Oaks products.

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