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DBweekly AllBreed Access Spotlight: COWBELL ACRES 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. 4
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