Kugath Farms was first settled by Gerhard and Margaret Dohmar in 1866. The Dohmars’ daughter married Albert Kugath and the couple took over the operation in 1891. In 1935, the farm was passed down to William and Arlys Kugath. Their son, Harlan, and his wife, Jan, who met at a dance in Glencoe and were married shortly after, began farming in 1962. The couple’s son, Mike, started farming with them full-time in 2002.
Mike is the current owner of the farm. Harlan and Jan help their son with daily chores including milking 40 Holsteins and managing 200 head of cattle on the farm. The family grows 275 acres of corn and alfalfa that are used to feed their cattle. The Kugaths work hard to reach top butterfat and milk components. Mike is currently integrating dairy beef crosses in the herd.
Harlan and Jan have twin daughters who worked on the farm when growing up: Sue and her husband, Rick Walter, and Sandy, and her husband, Joe Eiden. Harlan and Jan have five grandchildren who enjoy visiting the farm. Harlan and Jan also consider the numerous high school students who worked on the farm helping to milk cows as part of their family. Some of the youth went on to become dairy princesses and dairy ambassadors.
The Kugaths have earned many high herd plaques from the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Minnesota Valley Breeders Association. The family was honored with the Carver County Conservation Farm of the Year in 1998 for their use of contour strips and grass waterways. Harlan served on the board of MVBA for many years and hasn’t missed a Carver County Dairy Expo in over 30 years.
The Kugaths help with the Waconia Parade of Bands, the marching band and show choir. Family members are big followers of the basketball and baseball teams at Central High School in Norwood Young America and Waconia High School and are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church.