Hughes Family Farm
Marilyn and Richard Hughes have been in the dairy business for 48 years
Organic Jersey cows out on pasture
The Hughes farm in beautiful Sonoma County
Marylin Hughes with baby calf
Jersey calf, just born
Richard and Marilyn are the owners of Westview Jersey's, in Bodega, California. Their organic dairy consists of approximately 191 Jersey cows on a 182 acre farm. Jersey cows are a bit different from Holsteins in that they are much smaller in size. Their milk, however, is noted for its wonderful flavor, its high quality and its richness in protein, butterfat, milk solids and minerals.
The Hughes didn't get their start in dairy farming the way most dairy farmers do in Sonoma County. They didn't grow up on their grandparents' ranches, or even their parents' farm. Richard grew up in the San Bruno/ Millbrae area and always considered himself a "city boy." After spending a summer on his aunt and uncle's farm in Nebraska, Richard decided to join the local 4-H program. At the age of 15, Richard raised two lambs. The project wasn't a complete bust for the "city boy", but it wasn't a complete success either.
The next year Richard decided to raise a dairy heifer. This heifer that started it all was a Guernsey named Dusty. This very 4-H project inspired Richard's parents to move to Petaluma in 1961 to start their own dairy farm. Marilyn was a neighbor to the Hughes in Millbrae and was a close friend with Richard's younger sister. Richard's involvement in 4-H also inspired Marilyn, a city girl, to join Richard and become a farm girl.
Working with Straus Family Creamery
Straus Family Creamery was in search of more butterfat when they approached the Hughes in 2005. They decided to convert their dairy to organic and were able to join Straus Family Creamery as a supplier. Richard strongly believes in doing anything he can to make his cows as comfortable as possible. Organic practices help him achieve this because they focus on proper animal husbandry, which was Richard’s educational focus at Modesto Junior College and California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Richard and Marilyn have noticed significant positive differences in the health of their dairy herd since the conversion to organic. "It makes us feel good," said Richard. "We are doing the right thing for the cows and for the environment."