About Us – Cowsmo

About Us

Cowsmopolitan was started in 2004 by Don and Carol Wright, and their daughters Lexi and Ella. Originally an advertising medium for Western Canadian purebred dairy breeders, Cowsmopolitan has grown into an internationally recognized, all-breeds dairy magazine. In March 2019, Julie Ashton and Kathleen O’Keefe purchased Cowsmo, along with HolsteinWorld and its business assets. Their passion for the purebred dairy industry is evident from their desire to continue the work the Wright family started 15 years ago. Cowsmopolitan will continue to be a leading media outlet for all dairy enthusiasts across North America. 


Julie Ashton

Editor, Co-Owner, Event Photographer

Julie Drendel Ashton grew up in Hampshire, IL, on her family’s farm, Lindale Holsteins. They showed across North America and captured champion banners at National Holstein Shows across the Midwest. The herd was dispersed in September 2016, with her parents now raising heifers for local dairymen.   

Julie is the past editor of HolsteinWorld and the Illinois Holstein Herald and currently owns julie lynn designs, a freelance graphic design company. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in Animal Sciences with an emphasis on agriculture communications. 

As owner of Julie Lynn Designs, Julie has worked with dairy breeders internationally to design magazine advertisements, show & barn signs, marketing materials, and websites. 

Julie began working for Cowsmo in 2016, laying out the pages of the magazine. In 2017, her role expanded into a full-time position, working with breeders, covering events and managing most of the layout production of the magazine. She also contributed digital and print content. In her new role, Julie will continue to focus her time on the magazine and event coverage, will working with breeders to achieve their marketing goals. One of Julie’s main roles is speciality photography at events throughout the United States, Canada and overseas.   

Julie is married to J.W. Ashton, a grain farmer, and has two young boys, Jacob, 6, and Jared, 4. They have lived in Marseilles, IL, for the past 7 years.

Julie can be reached at 815-766-0045 or [email protected].  

KO photo

Kathleen O'Keefe

Editor, Co-Owner

Kathleen Glasshof O’Keefe comes to Cowsmopolitan with a career’s worth of experience in the registered dairy cattle industry. Most recently, she assisted Cutting Edge Genetics in Illinois with the logistics of their international embryo sales. Prior to that, she was employed as the US business manager for A.I. Total when the Netherlands-based A.I. stud expanded their offerings to North America in 2014. 

Kathleen spent seven years as a Livestock Advertising Account Representative for HolsteinWorld, and previous industry experience includes working as a Regional Representative for Holstein USA, extensive administrative work with numerous sale managers and the production of hundreds of sale catalogs.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Kathleen was born and raised on Feather Field Farm in Thorp, WI where her family bred and developed a herd of high-type Registered Holsteins.

As co-owner of Cowsmopolitan, Kathleen will concentrate on business and administrative roles, as well as online content production, writing for the print publication, ad sales, and event coverage. Kathleen lives in Hammond, WI, with her 17-year-old son, Sean. 

Kathleen can be reached at 715-563-1869 or [email protected]


Frank Putman

NY & Texas Sales

Frank Putman, previously a long-time marketing specialist with the HolsteinWorld, actively works with breeders in New York and Texas. Frank facilitates print advertising plans, as well as website and online services in order to develop a complete marketing package for customers of all dairy breeds.

No stranger to the industry, Frank at one time owned and developed Park-Edge Holsteins in Ogdensburg, NY, which boasted 20 EX cows at the time of its dispersal. Since then he has served as the Merchandising Director for New York Holstein Association, and as a salesman for both Semex USA and HolsteinWorld.

“I always respected the passion and enthusiasm the Cowsmopolitan staff have for promoting the dairy industry. Helping clients develop cost-effective and customized marketing programs is what I truly enjoy doing, almost as much as seeing those same clients achieve success!”

He can be reached at 315.783.4790 or [email protected].


Joey Opsal

Sales & Design

Joey Opsal grew up as the fourth generation on his family’s 70-cow dairy farm, Opsal’s Ridge Registered Holsteins, in the rolling hills of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Over the past few years, Joey has developed and bred numerous Excellents, All-American nominees, and Opsal’s Ridge’s first 95-point cow.

Growing up in the dairy industry, Joey was always very active in his local, state, and national junior holstein associations. Serving as a Junior Activities Committee member for the Wisconsin Holstein Association, being named Wisconsin’s Outstanding Holstein Boy, and a National Distinguished Junior Member Finalist are some of Opsal’s proudest accomplishments as a junior member. In recent years, Joey purchased a few Brown Swiss and had the pleasure of serving as the Wisconsin Junior Brown Swiss Association President. 

Off the farm, Joey attended Madison Area Technical College majoring in Commercial Photography, where he learned the ins and outs of photography. In addition, Opsal started his own photography business, Joseph Opsal Photography. Through his business, he has expanded his work from photography to designs as well. Joey has created various advertisements for breeders and breed associations in recent years. No stranger to the show ring, Joey has exhibited numerous All-American nominees and national class winners. He has an eye for dairy cattle and when they look their best, and can capture the perfect ring shot that you can hang on your wall for years to come.

Joey can be reached at 608-843-6307 or [email protected]

Melissa Lesy

Melissa Kemmere

Website Manager & Canadian Sales

Melissa Kemmere grew up in Didsbury, Alberta on her family’s Dairy farm, Kemmridge Holsteins. The family farm dispersed in 2004. At the time of being dispersed the farm had bred 5 Excellent and multiple Excellents and 80% of the herd was classified VG.  

Growing up she was involved in 4-H, attending various cattle shows, which led to the opportunity to show at the Hays Classic and the opportunity to represent Alberta at the Holstein Canada Youth Convention. She has also worked on cattle sale crews for many years.

Prior to Cowsmo, her career within the dairy industry started at Alta Genetics, as the Junior herdsperson in charge of the daily husbandry of the calves at their Mountain View Dairy farm during the summer of 2000. In 2006, she began her 8-year career at the company, starting in the collection facility working in the barns with the Holstein bulls and occasionally assisting in the lab. She eventually moved to the head office in Balzac, AB, to work in their Client Services Department.

She has worked for Cowsmo for 5 years, managing the daily website and social media content, assisting with show and sale coverage and handling Canadian Ad Sales. 

Melissa has lived in Crossfield, AB, for the last seven years, with her children, Rylan (9) and Presley (8).

Melissa can be reached at 403-607-9144 or [email protected]

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