This week I visited with Newton County Chamber Member Kayla Cowell. Kayla, her husband Dustin, and daughter Landry own and operate Cowbell Ranch. Cowbell Ranch is a staple at the Jasper Farmers Market and their product is proving to be a hot commodity.
The definition of farm- to -table is: constituting, consisting of, or relating to fresh locally grown or produced food. When it comes to Cowbell Beef it is just that. The recent pandemic brought a demand for their product they hadn’t expected, business “exploded”, and the couple found themselves scrambling to find and secure processing appointments. They got lucky several times and were able to book over cancelled appointments and thus meet the demands for Cowbell Beef. Today, the 2021 Newton County Farm Family find themselves booking appointments well into 2023 for beef that has yet to be born. Now that the sense of urgency that came with the pandemic has eased a little, the couple are able to do a bit of fine tuning and offer a more customized selection of their product, one of their early planning goals.
This year, the couple opened Dry Creek Lodge, a rental cabin and as their next adventure in family business, have plans to offer Glamping Tents on the North Pole in Mount Judea and in beautiful Limestone Valley. While discussing the many opportunities we have in the county for businesses and services, I asked what advice she might have for others thinking of starting a business, Kayla says, “the best advice I have to offer is trial and error is the best teacher you never know what is right for you until you try.”
Kayla and Dustin grew up in the Deer community of Newton County and operate part of Dustin’s grandparents (Charles and the late Suetta Campbell) farm in the Mount Judea area. The couple both work from home and have recently hired a family member to help with the demands of the growing ranch. They enjoy being able to spend time with family and building relationships with their customers and clients on a personal level.
You can hear in Kayla’s voice how proud and thankful she is to do what she does where she does. When I asked her what she would tell folks not to miss while visiting our area, she said there is nothing like a good Jeep ride, just enjoying all the beauty that the county has to offer and then ending the day in one of the restaurants with a delicious meal, makes for a perfect day. You can find the Cowbell Ranch on Facebook or at the Jasper Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Fridays, or flag them down if you see a Cowbell truck, they will be happy to accommodate you, just as they do their lodging guests who have the option to have them “leave some steaks in the freezer”… ah, yes please.