Meet the farmers
I (Dan) was born in 1979 in Waukegan, Illinois. There are six in our family — me, my dad and mom, and my three sisters. My parents homeschooled us, and when I was young we took a field trip to a dairy farm. That was when I first saw a calf being born. Little did I know that was the beginning of my love for farming and milking cows.
My family ended up purchasing some land from that farmer and my dad built a home. Being homeschooled gave me the opportunity to work with my dad, which is what I enjoyed far more than sitting at a desk. I still had to get my school work done but was usually 2-3 weeks ahead in my assignments so I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to work on the house. This gave me many skills that I use today for projects on the farm. I started cleaning calf pens and feeding cows on the farm at age ten, and my love for farming has only continued to grow.
I purchased my first Jersey heifer in 1999. After she calved, I milked her by hand for fresh milk for the family. I also built a chicken coop and started raising hens for eggs. I found out in a hurry that friends were also looking for better food for their families and so my entrepreneurial spirit started growing.
In the fall of 2002, my family bought a farm southwest of St. Louis, Missouri. This is where I direct-marketed chickens, turkeys, raw dairy, eggs, pork, and beef. I had to get out of farming out of necessity in 2007, but have managed farms, milked cows, and done carpentry work for the past several years. My heart had longed to get back into farming ever since.
I married the love of my life — Ava — in April of 2011. Ava is the second youngest of five, and grew up on her parents’ homestead where they milked goats and cows, raised rabbits, and had a vegetable garden. Ava has a deep love, compassion, and caring heart for animals. She has bred German Shepherds for eight years and loves raising baby animals. Together we prayed and looked for a farm.
Then God lead us to the Kansas City area back in the fall of 2013. Peaceful Hills Farm was formed in April of 2015. We started out renting a small 20 acre farm, which we were able to purchase this past spring. Our farm is in Grain Valley, MO just north of hwy 70. We currently raise raw dairy, pasture pork, and free range eggs, and plan to expand into free range chickens and turkeys in 2017. We sell at the Mission and Parkville Farmers Market on Saturdays. We use homeopathic remedies on our animals and don’t use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. We believe our personal health begins with the soil that are food is raised on, and are committed to restoring our land which allows our animals to graze pastures rich with nutrients that not only keep them healthy, but then put the nutrients into the dairy, meat, and eggs. Its my belief that if we consume foods from nutrient dense soil that we can, and should get all the nutrition our body’s need to stay healthy, including vitamins and minerals. Animals raised on pasture where cows can graze, pigs can dig for nuts and bugs, and chickens scratch for insects, not only makes for happy animals, but gives us meats, eggs and dairy that are loaded with Omega 3’s, conjugated linoleic acids, and beta carotene. Study’s have shown that consuming products from grass based farms can help lower your risk of heart disease, and even cancer.