A brief history.
Great-grandparents, Spencer Smith Huls with his wife Inez and their two children Alfred Spencer and Constance, settled on 40 acres north east of Corvallis Montana in 1908. Like many early farmers in the Bitterroot Valley, they had dairy animals; they separated the cream from the milk and took their cream to town in cans. Their son A. Spencer Huls married Marie Sutherland in 1924 and began operating the farm. In 1948, Spencer and his son Dave formed a partnership, and in 1951, they built one of the first grade-A dairy facilities in Ravalli County. Over time land was added as opportunities arose and the farm grew to 226 acres. Dave and Jennie Huls remained in the dairy business for many years and raised the family that currently operates the farm together with their wives and families. In 2008, the Huls family celebrated 100 years on the farm and noted that dairy cows have been milked on the farm every day of the 100 years of farm operation.
In 1973 Dan and Joan Huls and Bruce Huls purchased 261 acres of land adjoining the (226 acres) owned at that time by Dave and Jennie.
In 1977, Tim and Jeff Huls purchased the 226-acre farm from Dave and Jennie.
In 1986, 163 acres were purchased from maternal grandparents, Martyn and Pearl Richards.
Over the years cream and milk from the Huls dairy farm has been marketed to various processors including the Cheese factory in Corvallis Mt., the Creamery in Stevensville Mt., the Community Creamery in Missoula Mt., the Safeway Milk Plant in Butte Mt., the Ravalli County Creamery in Hamilton Mt. and since 1985 to the Country Classic Dairies Co-op, in Bozeman Mt.
In 1990, Huls Dairy Inc. was formed. The farmland owned by each of the individual stockholders was leased to the corporation and the land owned as tenants in common was transferred to the ownership of Huls Dairy Inc.
In 2000, Huls Dairy Inc. received a 2000 Montana Family Business of the year award in the oldest family business category from Montana State University.
The award reads as follows: “In recognition of 88 years and four generations of success; in recognition of how generations can effectively work and live together to make a business grow successfully; in recognition of your commitment to progressive production practices; in recognition of your many contributions to your state, community and industry.”
In 2002, Huls Dairy Inc. purchased 40 acres adjoining the original farm and began construction of the new Huls dairy facility on that property.
The new dairy facility began operating March 26th 2003. The old facility was converted to a nursery and heifer raising area along with a feed processing and storage area.