Crown Hill Farm History & Achievements
Crown Hill Farm is a third-generation family-owned and -operated farm, business and retail outlet, established in 1920 by Damien and Zephirine Mochettaz. For many years, the farm was operated by their daughter, Juliette, and grandson, Lucien. Juliette's husband, Lucien's father, was killed in a tractor accident in 1979. In 2012, Juliette passed away and today Lucien operates the farm.
The farm and enterprises consist of beef, sheep, commercial egg deliveries, timber and a U-cut firewood operation. A rental division and retail outlet is located on the farm for heating equipment, specializing in wood, pellet and gas stoves, inserts and accessories. Licensed and bonded installations, contractor discounts plus regular and evening/weekend showroom hours to create aneasygoing, non-pressured, country atmosphere.
At Crown Hill, we continually strive to handle quality products and to give our customers the best possible service at reasonable, competitive prices. We even have a price guarantee policy to back it up! Serving and helping our customers is a real privilege and not something we take for granted. Crown Hill has long been known for hanging in with business: farming since 1920, the rental division since 1950, commercial eggs deliveries since 1954 and the heating division since 1976. The deaths of family members, and disastrous events over the years have slowed progress at times but, perseverance has brought accomplishments, various awards and notoriety the last few years.
In 1998, Juliette was honored by the McMinnville Kiwanis club for 51 continuous years of service as their pianist. In 1999, the Yamhill County commissioners published an Economic Development Guide, for distribution throughout the county, and chose a scenic photo of hay fields and two ponds located on Crown Hill Farm for the cover page. Juliette and Lucien were named “1999 Outstanding Live Stockmen of the Year” at the annual Yamhill County Livestock Association banquet. Also in 1999, Crown Hill Farm was named Cooperator of the year by the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District, and went on to win state honors as cooperator of the year for 1999 from the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, which is comprised of 47 districts within the state. In April 2000, the McMinnville Jaycees named Lucien Gunderman as “Outstanding Young Farmer of the year” at the 45th Annual Distinguished Service Awards Banquet.
In the spring of 2000, the Oregon Farm Bureau, in their magazine Oregon Agriculture featured the Gundermans on the cover page, with a detailed follow-up article on their conservation efforts, practices and accomplishments.
In early 2001, the Gundermans put their entire farm property into a perpetual conservation easement that will protect the property from subdivision and maintain it in agriculture, timberland and open space for generations to come. The entire property encompasses approximately 800 acres.
In November of 2002, Crown Hill completed construction and began operation of a completely renewable energy source with the completion of a micro-hydro generation plant, which is the first newly-licensed hydro plant in the state of Oregon in the past 20 years. A several-pages-long article appeared on the hydro plant in the August/September 2003 issue of Home Power Magazine. A very nice case study of the hydro plant is also featured on the Oregon Department of Energy's website.
In 2003, the Gundermans were honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution and won the DAR National Award for Conservation Practices. This award was submitted by the local DAR group and was selected from a variety of national nominations as the winner. In early 2004, the Oregon DAR honored the Gundermans with the state DAR award.
In May of 2004, Crown Hill Farm received an award from the Oregon Water Resources Commission for their efforts in responsibly managing, conserving and restoring the state's water resources.
In June of 2004, Crown Hill Farm received a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of accomplishments in promoting healthy watersheds from the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds. The certificate was signed and presented by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Karen Minnis. The award was presented at the State Capital.
In July of 2004, Crown Hill celebrated 50 years of residential and commercial egg deliveries in Yamhill County.
In November of 2005, Crown Hill's phase II hydro system came online. This system pumps additional water into the first system, using only water power to drive the pump. The phase II system is projected to pump enough additional water to generate approximately 20000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity. This system required approval of 21 local, state and federal agencies.
The end of December of 2006 brought the end of an era to Crown Hill Farm. Juliette and Lucien decided to discontinue the remaining portion of the Commercial Egg Delivery Route. This route was started in 1954 and continued through the end of 2006.
2008 included the third and final phase of the hydro system. A large pond that holds about 1.2 million gallons of water was constructed on the east end of the farm and 3580 feet of 8-inch pipeline was added to bring in additional water to the generating system. This line was connected to our existing small turbine supply line and should add approximately 300 to 500 GPM of available water to the generating system. With this last addition, our hydro system includes nearly 13,000 feet of buried pipeline and should bring our yearly generation total to over 60.000 kilowatt hours.
At Crown Hill activity is never minimal, days are never long enough, projects are always in the making, but life is never dull, or at a standstill. Juliette worked the farm until she passed away in 2012. Today, all operations are handled or managed by Lucien, so the phrase “the buck stops here” fits hand-in-hand for this diversified enterprise which operates with minimal part-time help.
Crown Hill Farm Philosophy
- Our heritage is never forgotten.
- Stewardship of the land and our customers are our purpose.
- Quality is our only standard.
- Stability and reliability is our continued reputation.
- Profitability is our future.
- Honesty is our only trademark.
- We'll do whatever it takes to get the job done.
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