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Canton-bred cow wins national awards

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CANTON — A Jersey cow raised on the village’s only dairy farm was recently named the All-American Jersey 4-year-old for 2013 at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.

Cowbell Guapo Ricochet, the 4-year-old cow, was bred at Cowbell Acres, 90 Judson Street, by Tracy L. Sheesley, his wife Carol H. and their daughter Christine Sheesley Rozler, and won many shows in the area, including some at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair, before they sold the cow a year and a half ago.

Mrs. Sheesley Rozler said they started receiving several inquiries as to how much they would sell the cow for.

“We got a lot of money for her and we did some improvements on the barn, which was good,” Mrs. Sheesley said.

They sold Ricochet to the Gregg Sauder family, owners of River Valley Dairy Farm in Tremont, Ill., who entered her into the World Dairy Expo International Jersey Show in Madison, Wis. in October. Ricochet competed against 24 other 4-year-old Jerseys and won first place for best udder in the class.

The Sauders then showed her in the NAILE competition in Louisville, where she was named Reserve Senior Champion Female and designated the All-American Jersey 4-year-old for 2013 last month.

Mrs. Sheesley said it wasn’t easy letting go of the animal, especially when she watched the recent shows online.

“I wish I had her back,” she said. “It’s hard for me because I get really attached to the animals. I know we have to sell them because we can only keep so many, but they have personalities just like people and she was kind of special.”

Mrs. Sheesley Rozler said that although selling animals is never easy, they are happy one of their own went on to do so well.

She said the Sauder family has the facility to treat Ricochet like a queen, which, according to Mrs. Sheesley Rozler, is nothing more than the cow deserves.

Mrs. Sheesley Rozler said River Valley farm excels at making sure their show cattle stay on a specific diet and in good condition. She said Ricochet will get more exposure at the Sauder farm than she would’ve had she stayed in Canton.

The Sheesleys still have Ricochet’s mother and two sisters on the smaller-scale dairy farm, which the family has been running since 1970. Mrs. Sheesley Rozler said they’re currently milking 34 cows and have 65 total.

“I believe we’re the only dairy farm in the village,” Mr. Sheesley said.

Mr. Sheesley said the village border runs through their 112-acre farm with 59 of the acres still within the village line.

Although she’s now retired, Mrs. Sheesley said running the farm was tough when all of their family members had full-time jobs. She said they all pitched in to help and employed minimal hired help.

“We just love dairy farming,” she said. “We love the animals and it’s a great way to raise a family.”

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