Our story is about the Farmer and the Flight Attendant. For almost 20 years, Elden and Ronelle Harms have been enjoying the good life at Token Creek Alpacas. Ronelle is a flight attendant with a major US airline and when she’s not flying around the world, she’s busy tending her gardens, caring for her chickens, tossing around hay bales and cleaning up after the herd. It keeps her grounded.
Meanwhile, Elden is marketing alpacas, fencing, building shelters, mowing pastures, harvesting hay, birthing crias and tending to their herd of alpacas, chickens and four barn cats.
The Alpaca Journey
We’re often asked how we began our alpaca journey. It was a full page ad Elden saw in an in-flight magazine on a flight to Dallas Texas back in the late 90s . The ad was about breeding and raising alpacas and it peaked his interest. Wanting to learn more, Elden tore out the ad and stuffed it in his briefcase to look at again later. He called the contact number provided and received basic alpaca information in the mail. That information started his search to fulfill his quest for knowledge on all things alpaca. He and Ronelle attended shows, visited alpaca farms on each coast as well as many in between and learned everything they could. Their daughter Ashlee even wrote a middle school report on alpacas. The family was hooked.
The First Alpaca
In 1998, they brought home their first alpaca, purchased from an East Coast breeder. Since they lived in suburbia, they boarded the animals with a nearby alpaca breeder. They continued their education, getting their hands dirty by helping the boarding farm with chores, facility construction and animal husbandry. They attended more shows, purchased more alpacas and in 2012, Elden retired from his telecommunications job, and the couple moved to their 20 acres of paradise just west of Janesville, Wisconsin. Elden was officially a full time farmer.
Actively involved in the alpaca industry, they are founding directors of the Great Midwest Alpaca Festival, members of the Alpaca Owners Association (AOA), and the Great Lakes Alpaca Association. Elden has served on several nominating committees for AOA and the Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America. They also work closely with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and frequently host vet students who assist with animal husbandry.
The Harms are committed to the highest levels of honesty, full disclosure and customer support. When you purchase an alpaca from Token Creek Alpacas, they will make your buying experience a professional and enjoyable experience. And their after-sale support is simply the best in the industry.
Alpaca knowledge and experience
With our many years of research, attending and conducting seminars, networking with fellow alpaca breeders, attending alpaca events, and running a working alpaca farm, we are equipped to help guide you through your alpaca journey. We’ll provide an overall and complete insight into the business—the rewarding as well as the challenging—so you can make a well-informed decision in which you can pursue alpaca ownership
It’s easy to fall in love with these wonderful animals, but breeding alpacas as a business should be treated as such. It’s important to develop a plan and learn not only about the care of alpacas, but to understand the alpaca industry and its vision for the future. We can help you define your goals and establish the steps needed to achieve a vision for your new alpaca enterprise. Very few questions in this business can be answered by a simple yes or no and in the vast majority of cases, the answer will be “it depends.” This is especially true about which alpacas to purchase, basic facilities and housing, a good nutrition program, various medical procedures, including those you can perform yourself and those your veterinarian will handle, and making good breeding decisions.
How We Can Help You
If you have already done extensive research and have a vision for your alpaca business and what specific type of alpacas you plan to purchase, we will provide accurate and complete information on all alpacas we have for sale. This will ensure that any purchase you make from Token Creek Alpacas LLC will fit into your breeding program. We can provide photos, fleece samples, and video in addition to the information provided on our website. We are happy to send you a copy of our “Voluntary Standard of Professional Conduct” statement.