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David Sparks Ph.d Alpaca Update
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: September 12, 2019

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September 28 and 29, alpaca business owners throughout North America will celebrate the 12th annual National Alpaca Farm Days. Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) invites you to visit participating member farms and ranches during this fun-filled family event. Alpaca owners will open their doors to the public to meet their alpacas and learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals, the luxury fiber they produce and why the alpaca business is perfect for environmentally conscious individuals.


While most alpaca farms welcome visitors throughout the year, National Alpaca Farm Days are sure to include special activities, live demonstrations and educational opportunities for the entire family.


For a complete list of participating farms and ranches, visit www.AlpacaFarmDays.com. 


Mark Niemeyer, owns Gem State Alpacas and has a herd of 53 alpacas. He talks about some of the products and benefits associated with these animals that originated from South America. "Either selling it raw, then take it and process it on a more commercial level or have it spun into yarn and focus on the people in the cottage industry, the fiber arts that love using this will either blended or straight to produce product. There are certainly other benefits to the alpaca that most folks don't think about. The manure is very pH neutral. We have folks to come out and pick up loads to use in their gardens. It doesn't burn like you see in the higher nitrate manures. In the US, something that is not talked about a lot, but there is certainly a meat market for certain animals that are called from the herd based on their quality, or there are too many males that are just not breeding males. We are very select in who we determine is going to be a breeding male. You move those to 4-H kids so that they can get involved with alpacas. We do cull our herd just like any other livestock industry. What does the meat taste like? It is most like beef. Just like lamb, you use a lot of loins and chops but it taste mostly like beef.

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