Our story on alpacas:
From Kim: I grew up on a farm in Oregon. My dad bought me a cow when I was in 4th grade, taught me how to milk it and helped me sell the milk. My sister joined me with her cow 3 years later and the two of us milked cows all the way through high school. We were involved in 4-H and won many ribbons, but most importantly put ourselves through college with the money we made from selling milk.
After college, I lived in Phoenix, Arizona in a condo. My only animal was a cat and I really missed the wide open spaces, peacefulness and “real animals”. After 15 years I was blessed to meet my husband, Todd Langford who lived on a 4th generation farm in Texas. In the past, he had raised Ostrich and Emu but the pastures currently had no animals. We were thinking about getting some goats when a good friend mentioned Alpacas.
We had never heard of Alpacas but I was ready to go after I saw the first picture. My husband likes to do more research so he dug in and read all he could on the web. We also visited numerous Alpaca farms within driving distance. I was totally hooked. These fuzzy animals were large enough to be called “real” in my mind, yet light enough we could handle them on our own.
They also appealed to our sense of a complete and on-going circle in that they are easy to care for, eat very little, provide a product that can help support their existence and they can do that over and over every year for their life time. Owners can also buy life insurance on the Alpaca’s lives as they are some-what expensive and since we sell life insurance and life settlements to our clients, it was a neat connection.
So, we bought our first 5 animals from a farm near Dallas, lost one due to disease and were able to replace it because of the life insurance, and had some babies on the ground in our first year. We’ve been able to shear them at our farm with help from a friend in Austin and we ship the fiber (it’s not called wool) to a mill in Oregon to make yarn. I learned to crochet and can make
anything that is square or rectangle. Todd knows all the details of the feed and health issues.
We love working with the animals every morning when its quiet in the barn. My favorite is Pepsy, a dark brown male who puts up with my kisses. They are a bit like cats in that if they want to be petted, they’ll come near, otherwise they can be a bit aloof. Alpacas come in 16 colors in nature so our goal is to have one in every color. We now have 5 males and 6 females and 2 llama to guard them. We also have Port-a-cool fans that recycle water to keep them cool.
Todd and I enjoy the physical labor necessary to run a farm and large garden. We both work full time from our home in our Prosperity Economics™ Practice. In addition we both support other Financial Advisors through programs we offer and software Todd sells. The alpacas are a nice addition to the fish in our lake, chickens in the pen and grass that constantly needs mowing. Thankfully we also have lots of family around and kids that like to help in the summer time.