SpringWood Farm Facts
Have questions about SpringWood Farm? We’ve put together our frequently asked questions for your convenience. If you have further questions, drop us a line through our online contact form. We look forward to answering you.
Are your cows A1 or A2?
The short answer is that yes – we are moving our cows to all A2A2 as fast as we can.
For over 10 years we have been testing our younger generations of cows and calves to determine if they are primarily A1 or A2. We are using only A2A2 bulls and are now testing every spring group of calves. We are approaching the 75% A2 mark and believe that in another 5-10 years will be 100% (or very nearly so) A2A2.
For a good source of information about the difference between A1&A2 milk visit this website.
Where can I learn more about the advantages of eating food from 100% grass fed cows?
There are some really good websites out there for your personal research. Try www.realmilk.com, www.westonaprice.org, and www.EatWild.com for starters. Kudos to you for wanting to learn more about 100% grass-fed dairy farming!
Why do most dairy farmers choose to feed their cows a non-grass-based diet?
Corn and grain causes the cows to produce more milk, but at a cost both in supplying the grain and in the cow’s overall health! Grain also puts stress on the cow’s whole rumination system, which is designed to eat pretty much 100% forage diet. We hope many more farmers will get off the crazy cycle and take the time and effort to begin the journey of becoming 100% grass-fed dairy farms.
Why is it better to have a cow 100% grass-fed instead of feeding her a mixed ration of grain-based feed?
Simply put, cows were meant to eat grass — not grain or corn. Their stomachs are not built for the quick carbohydrates of grain or corn. They were designed to eat the fibrous grass and plants out in the pastures. When they enjoy the rich, fibered grass they are healthier and happier cows. And healthy, happy cows produce the best, healthiest milk around. Grass-fed milk is packed with healthy fats like Omega 3 and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Grassfed milk also is laden with more nutrients like beta carotene and vitamins A and E than milk produced using conventional feeds. Drinking grass-fed milk boosts your immune system and is a healthier choice for your body.
Not only is being grass-fed good for the cows and their milk, it is also good for the land and environment. Managed grazing requires less fossil fuels. During the growing season the cows’ daily feed does not have to be grown, stored and then shipped to the farm. The cows’ food is already there, grown by nature and waiting in the pasture. Growing corn and grain specifically for cows wastes huge amounts of non-renewable resources.
Are your cows 100% grass-fed?
Yes, our cows are 100% grass-fed. Sadly, less than 1% of dairy farms can claim to be 100% grass fed. We are proud to stand in the minority and be an example of treating our cows and land with respect and proper care. We hope one day, for both the cow and the land and the consumer, that many more farms will join us in becoming a 100% grass-fed dairy farm.
Our cows graze on a diverse variety of legumes and grasses in our beautiful pastures during the growing season, and in the winter months they eat organic hay we grow ourselves or buy from other organic farms. Pastures and hay can fluctuate in energy content so currently we feed a small amount of organic cane molasses to help our cows maintain optimal health. Our cows are not fed soy, corn, grain, or alfalfa pellets. They have a longer, happier life than the cows in cramped conditions being stuffed with corn and soy.
What is SpringWood Farm's history?
SpringWood Organic Farm in Lancaster County has been the home to four generations of Stoltzfoos farmers. They have worked hard for many years to provide the community with fresh, nutrient-dense and minimally processed dairy products. The Stoltzfoos family loves their beautiful spot in eastern Lancaster County and is pleased to bring nourishment from the land and the animals to the people who enjoy the fruits of their labors.
- It was originally part of an 800 acre tract of land privately owned by William Penn.
- 1941 Aaron Stoltzfoos purchased the farm and moved his son Samuel and his wife and family onto the dairy farm. Samuel was very interested in conservation like making sure soil and water were protected.
- Late 1980s Roman Stoltzfoos, grandson of Aaron, began the slow transition away from conventional farming methods to an organic, grass-based farming approach.
- Early 1990s Management intensive grazing was utilized fully.
- 1995 The entire farm transitioned to certified organic management. SpringWood became one of the first four farms to produce organic milk for Natural by Nature.
- In 1996 Roman and Lucy purchased the farm from Roman’s parents and preserved it with Lancaster Farmland Trust, giving the easement to the county, protecting it from being developed into housing or other uses.
- Fall 2012 completed a slow transition to no grain by quitting any supplemental grain altogether.
- Fall 2014 Roman and Lucy moved into newly constructed house on another part of the farm thus allowing son Dwight and wife Brenda and their children to move into the farmhouse. Dwight assumed farm manager position in 2007 and the transition to the next generation continues.
- Today Management styles continued to evolve into the current grazing of taller grasses with a better balance of energy and protein, an ongoing challenge with 100% grass fed.
Do you still make and sell yogurt?
Unfortunately we do not. We still love yogurt and make a little for our own use but have discontinued making yogurt for distribution and sale. It was the lowest margin item we had and took the most time and energy and so we discontinued it some ago already. We apologize for this unavailability and are disappointed ourselves as we believe in really good yogurt from milk with the qualities ours has!
What makes quality pastured eggs?
Good soil is the base for good food!
Good soil is a long-term project!
Our goal is the best soil for the healthiest plants. These healthy plants make for healthy animals and food. We have been organic and working on our soils for over 25 years. We do this with good cattle grazing management as well as spreading 1-3 tons of compost per acre along with the needed amendments/nutrients to bring a balance of air, water and active microbiology. Live food comes from live soil!
How do you know the layer feed is non-GMO and whether chemicals are used on this grain?
We source our certified organic feed from a local mill that produces only certified organic custom feeds. Organic certification by law prohibits the use of any GMOs. No chemicals are used in the growing of the grains produced under organic certification.
Why are your hens fed organic feed but the eggs are not ``Certified Organic``?
Good question! The short answer is cost. We recently made the move from only “non-GMO” to a 100% certified organic feed diet for our hens. This meant a substantial increase in our egg prices. But we did cut a corner and therefor keep the cost a little lower by not going the whole way to certification. Certification was/is prevented by our purchasing conventionally raised replacement hens then starting them on organic feed when they arrive on our farm. In order to be certified organic our hens would need to be grown on organic feed from the day they hatch. Buying organic replacement hens would increase the cost of the eggs another even more than we already increased. Since the majority of our eggs are sold locally our customers trust us be honest with our feed program and we can give them 99% of the benefit of the healthier organic eggs but without quite as much cost.
A secondary but important reason for our switch to a 100% organic diet for our hens was a desire to feed our own families a diet that is as near to being 100% organic as is possible. Our children have realized sensitivities to various foods and in an ongoing effort to help them and their future health we moved all of us to organic food as much as is possible. And we believe that what is good for our family and our children is good for yours also!
How do you pasture your layer chickens in the winter time?
The short answer is that from December through most of March they are not pastured. We move the entire egg mobiles inside a turkey barn (with lots of space per bird) that is used for turkeys only in the summer and fall. We always eagerly await the warmer temps that allow the hens to be truly pastured again!
Why do you produce soy-free eggs?
There is a growing market for soy-free products and we decided to produce for this market. Please do a Google search for “Dangers of soy” and you will find plenty of info. Soy is the most efficient source of protein for poultry so when it was removed our egg production decreased and has remained lower. This is the reason for the higher price demanded for soy-free eggs.