A simple inquiry from the owners of a local alpaca farm down the road opened the door to a new life for the Brahic-Kusner family: the opportunity to take over their cherished farm. This venture is not merely a farm takeover; it is a continuation of an alpaca legacy that dates back to the mid-'90s.
Alpacas found us in 2020 during Covid… the owners of the alpaca farm down the road asked us if we might be interested in taking over their farm. After 6 months of consideration, we bit the bullet at the beginning of 2021.
How and when did you start your farm?
Our farm has been an alpaca farm since the mid 90’s. Bought and developed in 1996 by Joe and Diane Nelson, our farm was the location of the original Crescent Moon Alpaca Ranch, now run by Diane’s son Scott Miller and his wife and Debbie in Terrebonne, Oregon. In the early 2000s, Crescent Moon moved its growing operation to Oregon and the location was bought by the Olson’s who renamed it Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm. The Olson’s ran the farm for 18 years before we bought it in early 2021 and assumed both the property and all of the animals on the ranch, renaming it slightly to “The Farm at Krystal Acres”. It’s fun to see Debbie on the island now and then and hear Scott’s stories about the original property. We found an old Crescent Moon VHS tape of a promotional video for the farm… so much had changed and yet so much was the same as 20 years before, it was kind of crazy!
How has AOA helped you?
While we have chosen not to show so far, but focus more on fiber and developing our existing agritourism, AOA’s national registry has helped us start to understand how to track our herd’s lineage and genetics, as well as allowing us to attend informational sessions about health and herd management. Also connects us to other alpaca owners. We are still learning!
Do you have any fun stories to share?
I had a funny moment at “Education Destination'' a few years back, the year we had taken over the farm when a couple attending the conference who were also new to alpaca farming were talking about the couple of animals they had acquired and how they were slowly building their herd asked me, new alpaca owner to new alpaca owner, “How many alpacas do you have?”. The answer was “58" which was not expected being new to the biz and I think a bit shocking to them. No slowly building our herd here, it was trial by fire for us! That first year was definitely crazy as we went from owning 4 horses and a few rescue alpacas to being the shepherds of a herd of almost 60 animals and running a busy farm store.
Is there anything you would like to say to anyone considering becoming a member of AOA?
AOA has the best National Registry for alpacas in North America. It is a great way to understand what the lineage of your animals are and help you make the right choices for breeding your animals, whether it be for show or for fiber. Also, the opportunity to connect to other alpaca owners and attend educational conferences and meetings.
Take the chance to be featured. Fill out the form, and let your story be the inspiration that propels others on their unique journeys. Membership Monday awaits, and it could be the stepping stone to new opportunities, growth, and connections in your personal and professional life. Embrace the opportunity and let your story shine!