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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

< Back to Oral History project: Women Who Farm: Georgia

ORAL HISTORY

Jenni Harris


White Oak Pastures

Jenni Harris is the fifth generation of Harrises working and farming the land her family has owned in Bluffton, Georgia, for 147 years. Like her father, Will Harris III, Jenni was born and raised in Bluffton. She spent her early years as her father’s shadow, attending 4-H conferences to sell cattle, riding horses, being strapped to the front of a four-wheeler driven by her dad. When she was nine years old, her father dramatically changed the family’s agriculture practices, moving from the standard practices of “big ag” to more responsible and sustainable methods of raising cattle.

Jenni left home to attend Valdosta State University, where she studied marketing. After graduating, she moved to Atlanta and worked for Buckhead Beef. While she always wanted to live in Atlanta, she longed to be back home to be a part of the farm. She returned to Bluffton in 2010 and began working as the marketing manager for White Oak Pastures. She shares an office with her father, where their desks are arranged next to one another. The farm employs 85 people and has its own cafeteria to feed visitors and employees. Along with cattle, there are chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, lamb, pigs, rabbits, and an organic vegetable garden. Jenni lives in the house where her father was raised, not too farm from the farm.

Date of interview:
2013-08-08

Interviewer:
Sara Wood

Photographer:
Sara Wood

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