OUR STORYI (Lee) was captured by these wonderful animals in the early 1990’s at a local fair and knew right then and there that someday I would have a herd of my own. But at 20-something, just barely out of college and with not even a house of my own, I knew my dreams of owning alpacas would have to wait.
Some 10 years later, with a wonderful family consisting of my wife NikkiSue, 8 year old son Austin, 3 year old daughter Alicia, 4 horses, 2 dogs, and the completion of our new home, the time had finally come.
GOING BACK IN TIMEA few years earlier I had planted the seed for the idea of alpacas in Nikki’s head, a life long animal lover herself and equestrian growing up showing horses. I presented the idea of an “ALPACA.” AL WHAT?? This seed is going to take some nurturing! What is an alpaca? Oh do you mean a mini Llama? NO!! Luckily for me we were attending a small local horseshow where our horse “Nikki’s Painted Charm” was competing in a barrel race. There was also a small local alpaca farm there with a few of their alpacas. I introduced Nikki to the alpacas and that was all it took. One visit with these wonderful animals and she too was hooked.
Nikki is one throw herself into an idea 110%, and her quest for knowledge began. We found ourselves spending hours researching on the internet, reading books, visiting farms, and attending seminars as often as we could. So now I am beginning to wonder if I have made a huge mistake by getting my wife involved at this point. Her enthusiasm began to interfere with my already severe lack of free time. We were running our construction business, building our new house, finishing my father-in-law's house, and let’s not forget raising the children. Alicia had just turned 2, Austin 7 and now Nikki wanted me to attend a two day seminar in New Hampshire. As if.
So now what? Tell my wife this idea and dream of mine is not as important as I had led her to believe, or just man up and go for it? Truth be known, I felt I couldn’t afford the time and also couldn’t afford to miss the opportunity. I was only able to attend one day of the two day seminar “Purchase, Promote and Prosper in the Alpaca Business” featuring Mike Safley and sponsored by Alpacas, LLC. I am glad I did. In fact, it was the information from this seminar that made our decision final. We went from information gathering to business planning.
We recommend to anyone looking into alpacas to research, attend seminars, and visit as many farms as possible. Make sure you ask questions.
Our mission is to continue our quest for more knowledge, and to do our part in bringing the nation's herd to the next level.