Stewards of the Land

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Farm to Table: Crown Hill Farms

By Kelly Romo, Contributing Writer

A pond sits in a green pasture

Agriculture has long been an essential part of Oregon’s economy and history. In the face of urbanization and commercialization, small farms struggle to stay afloat. However, there are still a few success stories that prove that sustainable farming can still work. One is Crown Hill Farm, a family-owned and operated farm in McMinnville, Oregon. Crown Hill Farm’s philosophy revolves around stewardship of the land and its customers. They believe in always returning to their roots and looking after the land that has sustained their family for generations. They take pride in their farming practices, which prioritize the humane treatment of animals, environmental preservation, and sustainable farming methods that ensure the land can continue to provide for the community.

A lama and his farme pose

Crown Hill Farm is a family-run business that has been in operation for over a century. Established in 1920 by Damien and Zephirine Mochettaz, it has become a trusted name in the community. The farm’s values of honesty, quality, and reliability provide the foundation for everything they do. The company began as a small farming operation and gradually expanded to include rental services, commercial egg deliveries, and a heating division. Juliette Gunderman inherited the farm from her family and ran it with her husband until he died in a tractor accident in 1979. Their son, Lucien Gunderman, now runs the farm. Despite facing numerous tragedies and hardships throughout its history, Crown Hill has managed to persevere and remain successful. In recent years, it has received several awards of distinction and achieved wide recognition for its excellence and commitment to quality.

Grass-fed Beef
Crown Hill Farm is passionate about providing customers with the highest quality grass-fed beef. Their herd consists of Black Angus, Red Angus, Shorthorn, and Hereford breeds—all chosen for their superior genetics and ability to thrive on a grass-based diet. All their animals are raised sustainably in pastures managed for maximum soil health and biodiversity. Crown Hill Farm takes great pride in producing delicious beef ethically sourced and free from hormones or antibiotics.

Wood, Pellet, and Gas Stoves
Crown Hill Farm Enterprises offers a wide selection of wood, pellet, and gas stoves. They stock only the best brands in the industry to ensure that their customers receive premium quality products with reliable performance. Their highly experienced and knowledgeable team can provide expert advice on which model best suits your particular needs.

Spotted cows in the woods

Crown Hill Farm is home to approximately 320 acres of pristine timberland. Their approach to logging focuses on sustainable practices that promote the long-term health of the forest. They practice minimal logging with selective thinning techniques that prioritize maintaining a continuous and sustainable forest.

Crown Hill’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its farming practices. In November of 2002, the farm completed construction and began operation of a completely renewable energy source with the completion of a micro-hydro generation plant. It was the first newly-licensed hydro plant in the state of Oregon in the past 20 years, and it is featured in Home Power Magazine and on the Oregon Department of Energy’s website as a case study. The hydro plant produces enough electricity to power all Crown Hill Farm operations, from its grass-fed beef production to its sustainable agriculture initiatives. By utilizing this clean energy source, Crown Hill Farm has become an example for other farms looking to reduce their carbon footprint while continuing to produce high-quality products.

One of the most significant achievements of Crown Hill Farm was securing its future through a perpetual conservation easement. In 2018, they worked with the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District to protect their farm from development, subdivision, or commercial use. They had to take it to the legislature to change the law so conservation districts could hold easements. The easement ensures that the land will remain in agriculture forever to protect the farm and its heritage as well as the environment, wildlife, and community.

Cows graze on a grassy hill.

Crown Hill Farm plans to continue exploring new ways to improve its products, reduce its carbon footprint, and educate the public about the benefits of grass-fed beef. They also want to encourage more young farmers to embrace sustainable agriculture as a viable career and way of life. By doing so, they hope to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and create a brighter future for farming in Oregon and beyond. Crown Hill Farm is not just a farm but a symbol of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. Its success proves sustainable farming can be profitable, ethical, and scalable. Crown Hill Farm has created a legacy that will benefit future generations by combining innovation, vision, and values.

Crown Hill Farm is six miles west of McMinnville at 18155 NW Baker Creek Road. Give them a call at 503-472-5496 or email