Sarah Mumm isn’t a typical work-from-home mom. Every morning at 6 a.m. and again every evening at 6 p.m., you’ll find her milking her 50 registered Holstein dairy cows in a picturesque white dairy barn nestled in the hills of rural Grant County Wisconsin. Owning a dairy herd has been a dream since Sarah was a little girl; she grew up on a dairy farm about 30 minutes from where she and her husband, Joe, live with their two young sons.
“People often ask why I milk 50 cows. It’s the perfect number for me because of the space we have here and the amount of time it takes to chore and milk,” says Sarah, who at age 16 got her first milking job with a family raising Jersey cattle near Cobb. That family’s optimism about the dairy business was one of the reasons Sarah attended the University of Wisconsin short course for Dairy Herd Management.
It takes Sarah about 1½ hours to complete her shift of milking. While she does the morning milking, Joe stays inside with Vincent, age 3½, and Mitchell, age 2. Joe then leaves for his seasonal job at Majestic View Dairy in Lancaster, and Sarah keeps busy with their boys. There’s a lot of “farming” to be done as the boys’ extra large sandbox is filled with tractors and equipment. They also enjoy gathering eggs from their laying hens, helping take care of the calves and taking care of their two pigs.
“We want our boys to know where their food comes from, so we raise a little bit of everything,” says Sarah with a warm smile. She and Joe met at Majestic View where she was a herdsman and he worked with the crop side of the business. It wasn’t long before Sarah bought a few cows of her own, and Joe proposed to her on the same day she started milking them.
Today Joe and Sarah operate Vin-Rose Dairy. They make their home on the same farm where Joe was raised. They raise crops 50:50 with their landlord, who lives in California and comes to stay in Wisconsin for about one month each summer.
“There just aren’t enough words to explain how fortunate we feel to raise our family on a farm,” says Sarah. “Our boys learn so much just by watching us. They have an understanding of life and death. They grasp that seeds get planted, so crops can be harvested for food. They learn how to care for animals. And they enjoy eating food from our garden.”
Sarah opened up her recipe box and shared some of her family’s favorites with us today on TheFieldPosition.com. Cheesy potatoes are a family favorite on Sundays, and banana bread with a class of milk is one of the boys’ favorite snacks. As a salute to America’s dairy farmers during the Dairy Days of June, take the cap off a jug of milk, open a fresh package of cheese and let the cooking begin!
Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothie
- ½ cup milk
- 6 ounces plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 fully ripe banana
- 2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- ½ cup ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients, and serve immediately.
Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes
- 2 lbs frozen hash browns, thawed
- 2 cans Cream of Celery or Cream of Chicken soup
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp dried minced onion
- 2 tsp salt & a dash of pepper
- 2 cups crushed corn flakes
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Mix all together and bake in a 9×13 pan at 350° for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile in small bowl mix together crushed corn flakes and melted butter with fork. Remove potatoes from oven. Sprinkle corn flakes on top of potatoes. Bake 45 minutes longer, uncovered.
- 3 very ripe bananas
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- Mash bananas in a bowl.
- Add sugar, salt and egg; mix well. Add in butter.
- Dissolve soda in water and then add to mixture.
- Sift flour and then mix altogether.
- Grease and flour one large load pan.
- Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.