To bring you small-batch alpaca yarns, a group of intrepid farmers with vision and entrepreneurial spirit are balancing two careers: alpaca farmer and yarn-mill owner. Breeding and raising these fetching animals require an understanding of specialized animal husbandry. Spinning fleece into yarn and readying it for sale is where agriculture meets industry. Most of these businesses are family businesses with all hands on deck. We asked six farmers to shed light on their dual roles in this growing industry.
The baby takes center stage in this sweet family portrait of four generations of alpacas. Photo courtesy of Three Points Fiber Mill and Alpaca Farm
Herd First or Mill First?
All of the farmers we interviewed were alpaca farmers before they were mill owners. Each farm has a different origin story, and some started with their heads, while some started with their hearts.