LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Dairy farming in the Natural State isn’t what it was in the 1800s, but more than 150 years ago, one family started down a milky road that turned into one of the most unique businesses in Arkansas. 

“Started just as dairy farmers with their cows,” says Walt Coleman. 

A factory operation that began with a farm. 

It was 1862 when the Colemans found a home in central Arkansas. 

“And they would milk the cows, and then deliver the milk in a wagon,” Coleman says. 

That milk and buggy operation turned into a plant now known as Hiland Dairy.

“We cover a lot of the whole southeast part of the United States,” says Coleman.

They even cover parts of the Caribbean. 

“So our product now travels a pretty good ways,” Coleman says. 

Not only does this milk travel a long way, a long way, but a lot of it also travels between 800,000 and 900,000 gallons a week are moved from this Little Rock facility. 

For Walt Coleman, this success is directly linked to good decision making and a little luck.

“We tried to be involved with the community, and I think that obviously helped us,” Coleman explains. “We were a family business, and the family stayed involved in the business.”

As for what’s next, some may say you can’t re-invent the wheel, but in the case of cows, Coleman will try anything to stay relevant.

“Now, we have vanilla milk, we have strawberry milk, obviously chocolate milk,” says Coleman. 

The Hiland Dairy plant is also award-winning, recently taking home the top quality-checked plant in their organization.

For football fans, Walt Coleman recently retired as the longest-tenured referee in the NFL.