About the Farm

Manthe Family (Our current farm)

Christian and Henrietta Manthe traveled from Germany and arrived in New York on May 23, 1868. They settled in rural Kewanee, Illinois purchasing their first farm in 1869 and raising all 10 children there. William and his wife Rose, were the next generation to take over the family farm. In 1961 son Willard and wife Lucille took ownership of the Kewanee farm. They farmed until Willard went to work for Country Companies insurance as an insurance agent. Because of his farm background, gregarious personality, and outstanding customer service he was a top producer for the company several years. Their daughter Connie, along with her husband Bob, and son Monte are currently farming the family's farm and all are active participants in its operation. Monte is the 5th generation.

Bottens' Family - Decendents from Holland

Farming has been the Bottens' tradition since the early 1900's. Bob's grandparents, John and Grace, raised watermelons and cantaloupe on their farm, peddling them to the local communities while still raising livestock and crops. His parents, Wilbur & Fern, farmed sand ground near Beardstown, Illinois cropping, raising livestock, and dairying until their retirement. Married during the depression of the 30's their gross income their first year was only $300. 


Monte & Robyn's Family

Monte (Named after the Manthe family) started his farming career at the age of 5 with two sows his grandmother, Lucille, gave to him.  While still in high school he was awarded the FFA Star Farmer Award.  At the age of 16 rather than buying a car he chose to purchase his first 17 acre farm. During his college years at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois he spent weekends and free time working at a Case IH dealership and built a successful ICI Seeds dealership of his own. After graduation he moved to Aledo, Illinois and was the store manager of the local Case IH dealership. It was there that he met his wife, Robyn, who grew up on a local 560 acre grain and pasture farm raising cattle and hogs.

In 2005 Monte and Robyn moved to California and started California Ag Solutions, Inc. helping farmers adopt minimum tillage practices and making recommendations for plant nutrition. They moved back to Illinois in 2013 and currently live a few miles from the family farm. 

Taking pride in individualsim and teamwork, Bob and Monte each have individual operations but share in equipment usage and labor. Bottens Family Farm believes in building a team using individual strengths.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone that wants to take their farm or ranch to the next level. This course will examine all aspects of regenerative farming, soil health, plant health, and animal health. Hands-on experience will be heavily emphasized.

This is a power-packed three days that will change your ranch. It is taught by highly experienced regenerative farmers.

What You Will Learn

  • To Utilize the Six Principles of Soil Health and Three Rules of Adaptive Stewardship
  • To Increase Farm Profitability By Advancing Soil Health
  • To Successfully Improve The Nutrient Cycle On Your Farm
  • How to Interseed Cover Crops
  • How to Design Cover Crop Mixes To Address Your Resource Concerns

August 1-3, 2023

Tuition of $1,375 includes:
• Regen Ag 101 course ($499.00 value), which we would like you to complete prior to the first day of class;
• In-person attendance at the SHA school, as well as course materials, snacks, water and lunch each day; and
• Access to future scheduled conference calls with the instructors.

Scholarship Money Available

We are committed to helping you finance this educational experience.  We encourage anyone with interest to apply.  If you want to attend one of our 3-day events, you are eligible for a scholarship. Our scholarships for this school were made possible by a donation from Wells Fargo.

We will be giving special consideration to the following:

  • Students
  • Families or farms with more than one person attending
  • Past SHA students
  • Veterans
  • Agricultural educators and influencers
  • Minority, tribal, women and historically underserved individuals


Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown

Shane New

Shane New

Luke Jones

Luke Jones

Brian Dougherty

Brian Dougherty

School Location

Information Coming Soon


Farm Location

Bottens Family Farm
18284 N 1100th Ave.
Cambridge, IL 61238

Hotel Information

Best Western Geneseo Inn
1375 S Oakwood Avenue
Geneseo, Illinois 61254

(309) 945-9345

A block of rooms is reserved under "Soil Health Academy"

Closest Airport

Quad Cities International Airport (MLI)
2200 69th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

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