I made it back to Vermont (with much better weather) to visit Lesley Bracker, an accidental FarmHer who has taken on an alpaca adventure with Barron Hill Alpacas. But Lesley didn’t grow up in agriculture, for her it started later in life. Her FarmHer journey started as a young woman caring for Scottish Highland cattle, Jacob sheep, and Percheron horses at an estate. She loved her job and her friends took notice.
Alpaca Love at First Sight
One day, a friend asked her if she could watch her alpacas over the weekend while on vacation. It was love at first sight for Lesley and her alpaca days began.
Fast forward 20 years where her alpaca adventures include raising breeding stock for good homes and shows. At one point she had over 35 head of alpacas and takes great pride in the breeding lines she has created herself.
Now, she keeps her herd under 20 and enjoys them every day.
Downsizing the Herd and an AirBnb
In addition to the smaller herd, she’s added an AirBnb to her farm with several private rooms. She’s welcomed over 900 guests to her farm and hosts exciting activities like alpaca yoga and weddings. The property even has a pool for guests to enjoy!
After visiting about how her love for alpacas began, we started morning chores, a pastime that Lesley loves. Her passion for her animals is evident.
Chores on the Alpaca Farm
We immediately fed the patiently waiting alpacas. After that, I had the opportunity to help Lesley perform massage therapy on one of the elder alpacas. Just like us, alpacas are calmed by a nice head massage.
Next, Lesley’s friend John arrived at the farm to demonstrate a few pointers on getting alpacas show-ready including nail clipping and halter training. The goal is to halter train them to lead.
Lesley frequently takes her alpacas on walks around the farm and competes at shows. Part of her science in breaking young alpacas is finding where their balance point is and consistently working with the animal calmly. In turn, their trust slowly builds.
Fur Should Fly
When she’s not training alpacas or helping guests around the farm, Lesley started another business, Fur Should Fly, that creates merchandise perfect for animal lovers. She contributes monetarily with funds she makes from the merchandise to rescues and shelters supporting animals in need, improving their lives.
First and foremost, Lesley Bracker is an animal lover. From show friends to guests on the farm, Lesley’s favorite thing is finding camaraderie in people who love and respect animals as much as she does. And that will never change.