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AllBreed Access Spotlight:
By Parker Welch
In 1970 a dream was started for Tracy and
Carol Sheesley of Cowbell Acres in Canton, NY.
They started a dairy. Forty three years later that
dream is still going strong with no plans to slow
down. In fact, they are milking more than they
ever have. Tracy and Carol operate Cowbell Acres
along with their daughter Christine, her husband
Matt and their boys, Chase and Graham.
In addition to starting the Cowbell Acres
herd, Tracy and Carol started another “family
business.” Christine and her husband, Matt,
followed in Tracy’s footsteps and are both New
York State troopers. Tracy is now retired and
is a New York court officer. Carol worked as a
paralegal for an attorney who specialized in real-
estate and even served as village judge for nine
months. Both worked on the farm while holding
their other jobs like Christine and her husband.
The herd, which consists of Jerseys, Ayrshires,
and even some Holsteins at one point, can all
be traced back to five cows. The Jerseys are
all descendants of four original members of the
Cowbell herd which were: Masterman Jester
Sabrina, Survilles Squaw, Smithland Social
Moose and Faithful DeeAnn of SSF, while the
Ayrshires are all from one original purchase
Kellcrest Caroline 2 in 1996. Currently they are
milking 33 animals averaging 17,211M 5.1F 3.6P.
At Cowbell the emphasis is on type. Christine
says that, “we want to milk pretty ones.” And
that they are. The Jersey herd is averaging a
score of 88.3 and the Ayrshires are at 88.1.
The family, which admits to running things a
bit “old-fashioned” in a modernized world, are
perfect examples that no matter how fancy the
operation, it’s the cows that really make a herd
successful. This year, Cowbell celebrated some pretty big
milestones including breeding their first 94-point
cow and breeding a Unanimous All-American.
Cowbell Redwood Charity scored EX-94 in
September. Charity is no stranger to success as
she was Grand Champion Jersey at New York
State Fair in 2012. Cowbell Guapo Ricochet
has given Cowbell Acres a lot to smile about
this year. Ricochet, who is now owned by River
THE FAMILY BEHIND COWBELL ACRES
Pictured Left to Right (back) are Carol Sheesley, Tracy Sheesley, Christine Rozler, Matt Rozler,
and in front are twins Chase and Graham Rozler.