We are originally from St. Louis, Missouri. We relocated to Duluth, Minnesota in the summer of 2016. The move came as an opportunity to change our lifestyle. In St. Louis, Dawn was the director of a privately-owned Radiology company. Kerri was a Radiologist at a large hospital. We were both working many hours and life had become very monotonous. We decided to take a leap of faith and move to a more rural area in an effort to simplify our lives. After searching for a suitable location for this new life, we ended up purchasing a home on 20 acres just northwest of Duluth, Minnesota. We knew we wanted animals of some sort in addition to our dogs; however, we weren’t quite certain what that would entail. During the first summer, we built a 30’ x 50’ building. For a while, we rehabilitated unwanted sled dogs, but this turned out to be very emotionally challenging and not the right fit for us.
In July, 2018, we visited an alpaca farm in Duluth, Frosty Ridge Alpacas. We fell in love with a little cria – a boy that was born just a few days prior. Loni and Horst Blumerich were extremely generous with their time and knowledge. Over the next week, we kept discussing this little fella. We visited him every week for 5 or 6 weeks. Dawn named him, Matteo – “gift of the god.” We purchased Matteo, but knew he would need a barn mate or two. Kerri began combing the Internet and ran across a beautiful gray alpaca in Isanti, Minnesota. Although we were searching for a male companion for Matteo, she really caught our eye and we knew we had to see her. Her name was Maybeline.
Since our property wasn’t alpaca-ready, we spent the winter converting our outbuilding into a barn. We came up with our farm name, Eagle Eye Farm. When you view our property from Google Earth, there was a pond on the back that looked just like an eagle’s eye. Additionally, there were numerous bald eagles in the area. Dawn and our neighbor cleared 2 acres of trees, put in fencing, and created pasture. Even though Dawn retired from a traditional healthcare career when we moved north, it is certainly safe to say that she definitely works harder and longer hours on our farm. However, she will be first to tell you that she finds the work significantly more rewarding.
Things progressed and we began to acquire more animals and more knowledge. Kerri made a trek to Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm in Iowa where we purchased several additional animals to add to our herd. In addition, we went to Majestic Meadows Alpacas in Ohio. Faye and Jeff Farley and Jerry Forstner continue to be valuable resources. We have learned so much from all of these farms. In May, Kerri attended the MOPACA neonatal seminar with Dr. Norm Evans – spectacular!
Despite all of our efforts and work on our farm in Duluth, it became very clear to us that the set-up that we had at our current property would simply not work for our ultimate goals. We found a fabulous property in River Falls, Wisconsin. This was very bittersweet for Dawn as she was leaving the property that she put so many hours of effort into making alpaca ready. However, this new property was really what we needed for our business and more importantly for our animals. The move was challenging but well worth it. We now have 11 acres of pasture with a much larger barn including a former indoor horse arena. We are currently renovating this prior horse property into an alpaca farm. It truly is an act of love.
Last year, we attended 3 shows under the guidance and support of Foggy Bottom Alpacas. This year, we are ready to try flying solo. This is a little scary and intimidating, but also very exciting. We were very lucky last year to have some nice success in the show ring. We are looking forward to seeing what this year brings!