A typical day for Karen Hughes starts at the crack of dawn. As herd manager at Sunset Farms Inc. in Washington County, she keeps a close eye on the health and activity of 1,150 dairy cows that together produce 12,800 gallons of milk daily.
Sunset Farms supplies its milk to several processing plants across Wisconsin, through the national Dairy Farmers of America cooperative, to be sold as liquid milk and used to make a range of products – from cottage cheese to RumChata.
The 3,500-acre dairy farm is operated by 10 fifth- and sixth-generation owners and 15 other employees. Growing up around the farm, Hughes knew from a young age that she wanted to carry on her family’s legacy as part of the sixth generation. Working hands-on with the cows has always been her favorite part of the job, and now, 12-year-old Haley Hughes likes to lend a hand in hopes of one day following in her mom’s footsteps.