The host farmer for the annual farm walk Oliver White, 33, graduated from Harper Adams University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. He started out in 2010 with 57 geese on a smallholding of 22 acres and a goal to raise livestock the way nature intended.
Farm2Fork really took off in April 2014 when Oliver was awarded the tenancy of a 125-acre Somerset County Council farm and the business now boasts a range of native-breed cattle, purebred Poll Dorset sheep, Legarth strain geese and most recently chickens - all reared on an extensive, low input grass-based system.
As part of Oliver’s Nuffield Scholarship research he travelled widely across America and Australia to discover why the environmental, welfare and health benefits of producing and consuming meat and dairy raised on pasture and on a grass-fed diet is more widely understood in these countries and less so in the UK - one of the world’s best grass-growing nations.
Now he has brought his research together, is writing a report detailing his findings and is leading the grass-fed revolution here in the UK.
Oliver has a holistic and regenerative approach to farming to balance the production of livestock from grass while enhancing the ecology and resilience of the whole farm system.
His ‘chicken tractor’ design was developed after visiting Joel Salatin’s farm in West Virginia, USA and realising the chickens could be moved daily to access fresh pasture.
Oliver retails much of his produce online at www.farm2fork.co.uk where he offers a farmgate collection and a nationwide delivery service, he is growing his Facebook and Twitter following and delivers a monthly e-newsletter to subscribers.
Oliver says: “My ambition is to sustainably increase productivity and diversity on my farm to create a viable, rewarding and environmentally enhancing farming business.”
When he’s not on the farm, Oliver also works part-time as the operations manager of Hestercombe Gardens Trust, internationally famous for 50 acres of grade1 listed historic gardens spanning over three centuries of garden history and design and open to the public.