Hughes Family Dairy

Owners Richard and Marilyn Hughes have been in the dairy business for more than 50 years. Hughes Dairy, also known as Westview Dairy, is an organic dairy located in Bodega with about 191 Jersey cows on a 182-acre farm. Jersey cows are much smaller than Holsteins; however, their milk is known for its wonderful flavor, high quality and richness in protein, butterfat, and milk solids.

Unlike most Sonoma County dairy farmers, the Hugheses didn’t grow up on their grandparents’ ranches, or even their parents’ farm. Richard grew up as a self-described “city boy” in the San Bruno/ Millbrae area. However, a summer spent on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Nebraska led Richard to join the local 4-H program. His 4-H project, a Guernsey named Dusty, prompted Richard’s parents to move to Petaluma in 1961 and start their own dairy farm. Marilyn was a family friend and neighbor in Millbrae. Richard’s 4-H involvement inspired Marilyn to join Richard and transform from “city girl” to a farm gal.

In search of more butterfat, Straus Family Creamery approached the Hugheses in 2005. Shortly thereafter, the Hugheses converted their family dairy farm to certified organic and joined as a supplier. Richard strongly believes in making his cows as comfortable as possible. Organic practices support his commitment with their focus on proper animal welfare.

Hughes Family Dairy Facts

2005
The year the farm became certified organic.
1,408,000
Approximate gallons of water the pond saves from the local stream.

Catching Rain for the Cows

The Hugheses strive to leave the land in better shape for the next generation. As a result of the Salmon Creek Dairy Water Conservation Project, there is a rainwater catchment pond on the dairy farm. The pond conserves water for wildlife and the Bodega community. When rainwater is available, this also provides water for the cows during the dry months and helps wash out the barns. The rainwater catchment pond saves approximately 1,408,000 gallons of water from the stream during the critical summer and fall dry seasons.

The Hughes Family Dairy received grant funding from California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soils Program to implement compost application and pasture seeding projects over the next three years.