It’s not uncommon these days to hear about someone ditching city life to try their hand at farming. For Edlin Choi, leaving the city behind was a no brainer. After working for a variety of startups in both San Francisco and New York, Edlin found himself presented with an ideal opportunity to see his farm dreams come to life. Telling your family and friends that you are leaving your tech job and life in the city to start your journey to becoming a farmer can be daunting however. Edlin shares with us how he went about breaking the news and how he dealt with a bit of skepticism from his family regarding his choice.
Located in Bluffton, Georgia, White Oak Pastures offers an apprenticeship and internship program for people interested in farming. Known for its commitment to well-managed livestock, WOP raises grass-fed beef, goat, and lamb as well as rabbits, hogs, pastured poultry, and eggs. The farm also features an organic vegetable garden, tannery, carpentry, composting, tallow making, and more.
At the conclusion of his internship, Edlin stayed on at WOP to help the brand with its e-commerce platform, which has seen a major increase in demand due to the pandemic. Many farmers enjoy the business of raising livestock or cultivating gardens. Sometimes the financial and marketing aspects of running a successful farm business can be a struggle or the last thing a farmer wants to spend time doing. Edlin explains how his time working for startups in the tech industry has enabled him to offer farmers a unique perspective on taking their businesses to the next level.
Also in the show, we discuss some of the biggest barriers to entry for aspiring farmers. Edlin shares his experiences entering agriculture to date as a Korean-American and some of the ongoing discourse around racial inequality in agriculture and the food system.
After listening to the show, follow Edlin and his farm journey on Instagram @Edlinbetsthefarm and his website https://www.edlinbetsthefarm.com/