Harvest Hosts is an incredibly unique RV membership program. When they join, members gain access to 1139+ host locations across North America for free overnight accommodations. To support each of these businesses, members typically make a small purchase of wine or produce. Locations include establishments such as farms, wineries, breweries, museums, restaurants, attractions, and more. Zena Suri Alpacas is an excellent example of one of our awesome hosts. Located in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma, this location has been raising alpacas and spinning their wool into fiber since 2008. Continue on to learn all about the farm, its history, the business today, and its joining of the Harvest Hosts program.
In 2008, Tom and Kathleen Callan founded Zena Suri Alpacas in Utah, where they were living at the time. They both previously worked as broadcast journalists before branching out and beginning an alpaca farm. The following year, they relocated to Northeastern Oklahoma, near the shores of Grand Lake of the Cherokees.
Kathleen currently works as the chief alpaca handler, and she is often the first person visitors see at the ranch. She handles the sales of alpacas and their products and is constantly working on their fleece and marketing. Tom is also a co-owner and a ranch hand. He finds cleaning barns relaxing after teaching a full day (his full-time job). He does a nightly headcount to make certain everyone is inside and healthy. Together the Callans and their alpacas make up Zena Suri Alpacas.
The Business Today
Today, the farm continues to serve as a place for breeding and selling alpacas and harvesting their fiber. The seventy-eight acre property is the alpacas’ home, and the Callans gladly offer alpaca care and handling courses to anyone who has interest in beginning their own herd of alpacas. They are a designated Oklahoma Agritourism destination that offers free tours and educational alpaca fun for the entire family. In addition, they sell alpaca fiber yarn and several woven products, such as hats, beanies, scarves, gloves, and toys for children. Their farm is said to have some of the friendliest alpacas around, and the guests tend to love meeting and interacting with the alpacas.
When asked about her favorite part of running her business Kathleen replied, “It’s a toss-up, since we truly enjoy the alpacas and the people who come to learn about them. Alpacas are friendly and enjoy visitors as much as we do, and watching the interaction between them is one of the most charming and exciting things imaginable.”
Joining Harvest Hosts
The Callans began hosting Harvest Hosts members a couple of years ago, after they first heard about the program. Despite being well off the beaten path, they tend to receive quite a few yearly visitors. They have made several friends with Harvest Hosts members who enjoyed the property so much, and some people have even returned several times. There are seventy-eight acres there to walk through, a huge wraparound porch for sitting on, and barns to shelter in, in case the weather is bad. The property also features a picnic area, a trail, classes, hiking, ponds, and seasonal blackberries.
If you want to learn about alpacas, there is nothing like walking quietly among them and listening to the quiet setting. Overnight guests often enjoy waking up in the morning and watching Zena Suri Alpacas’ version of rush hour. This entails the alpacas ambling happily into the fields to graze each morning. This location has two available, pet-friendly spaces for RVs under thirty feet in length, so be sure to call ahead if you wish to visit.
Alpacas enjoy human company and, no matter who you are, there is an alpaca that will like you. Kathleen loves to talk and tell others about her alpacas, so the experience is very educational. Be sure to stop by if you ever find yourself in their corner of the country.
Have you ever visited Zena Suri Alpacas? Have you ever pet or seen an alpaca up close? Please share your experiences below!
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