Meet John and Gina Springhower of Cottonwood Hill Farms near McClelland, IA (near Omaha, NE).
What Cottonwood Hill Farms offers:
- Farm-Fresh Eggs
- Pasture-Raised Chickens (in the spring & fall)
- Raw milk herdshares
- Beef and pork shares (currently sales are paused, follow their newsletter to know when sales are back up!)
“Some people call it work, but we call farming a dream come true.”
For John and Gina Springhower, owning and operating Cottonwood Hill Farms is a way to live their values every day. Their farm in McClelland, Iowa is a regenerative, pasture-based operation located on the family farm John’s grandparents originally purchased in 1955. The couple prioritizes humanely raising healthy animals so their customers can feel good about serving Cottonwood Hill Farms products to their families.
“We have built a life based on the family values we were raised with and have begun to instill them in our two children as well.”
Cottonwood Hill Farms’ meat and laying chickens are all fed a soy-free, non-GMO diet and have access to pasture space where they are free to forage. Their dairy herd share program supplies a weekly “dividend” of milk for full- and half-share members, as well as the occasional bonus of butter and cream when the herd produces a little extra. The Springhowers say they treat their animals “just as we treat our children,” so the grass-fed dairy herd never receives hormones or preventative antibiotics.
“Knowing where your food comes from and how it was raised is very important to us. Everything on our farm is raised all-natural in an open environment.”
The couple’s commitment to natural farming practices also extends into how they manage their land: "No synthetic fertilizers or chemicals are ever allowed on our farm.” Instead, Cottonwood Hill Farms uses rotational grazing to minimize weed pressure, improve soil health, and fertilize the grass, clover, and alfalfa hay fields grown to keep their dairy cattle fed through the winter. Their chickens also help out by loosening topsoil and managing insect populations as they scratch and forage. Maintaining each of the farm’s interconnected pieces is equal parts duty and pleasure for the Springhowers. They feel that “there is no greater honor than to care for God’s creation.”
Where to find Cottonwood Hill Farms:
- Visit their website: https://www.cottonwood-hill.com/
- Find them at the Omaha Old Market Farmer’s Market on Saturdays in Omaha
- Follow on Facebook
- Contact info: http://buylocalnebraska.org/online-food-guide/cottonwood-hill-farms
This article was written in collaboration with Buy Fresh Buy Local staff and UNL Student Alex Coffelt.