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NEW RICHMOND ALPACA FARM (NRAF), located in New Richmond, Ohio, sits atop one of the gentle, rolling hills of Southwestern Ohio along the Ohio River. The family owned, 175 year old farm, (just 23 miles east of Cincinnati metro), has recently been converted to accommodate, like its hills, one of the gentlest animals on earth, the ALPACA. During the fall of 2005, Lori announced that her dad, located in Michigan, had just purchased an alpaca. Not unlike many people, the first words out of my mouth were “What’s an alpaca ?” We started our journey of investigation, making multiple farm visits, evaluating the investment opportunities, and educating ourselves in any way that we could, while along the way, falling in love with these unique animals. We purchased our first herd (5) during the summer of 2006 and, after a year of boarding, “our babies” actually arrived in the summer of 2007. “The rest is history”, as they say, and we are experiencing the best times of our lives as a result of these animals. Our business has evolved into a very successful Caring, Boarding, Breeding and Selling alpaca program. We personally provide the hands-on Care of our animals daily. This assures their health, enhances their trainability and creates a well mannered animal. We offer Boarding services while providing the same level of care. Our Breeding decisions focus on “breeding up” based on bloodlines, fleece characteristics, and conformation. Our Selling includes site evaluation, animal selection, and outstanding customer service available to assist you every step of the way.
Alpacas have been called ” the world’s finest livestock investment.” It is difficult to compare alpacas with other investments as pure investments. How much is peace of mind worth? Unlike the stock market, alpacas are depreciable over five years, giving the investor an immediate investment return in tax savings while the herd is growing. Breeding stock held for more than one year is subject to capital gains, and alpacas qualify for Section 179 of the I.R.C. which allows an alpaca farmer to depreciate the first $250,000 of the investment. Consult your tax advisor on how it might benefit you. As you raise your alpacas, all expenses ( ie., food, veterinarian, supplies, computers, travel, tractors, showing, advertising, etc.), are deductible. Unlike many investments, alpacas are 100% insurable. Alpacas are not inexpensive, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 for breeding females and $5,000 to $35,000 for high quality males. In many cases, financing your alpaca purchase can be done right on the farm as many alpaca breeders offer financing. The alpaca herd grows at a limited rate, which helps to keep the supply and demand in check because the gestation period is eleven months to a year with single births.
Adding to the overall investment picture is the fact that alpacas are inexpensive to raise, require small acreage, and are very hardy animals. Friendly and trainable yet hardy and tough, the alpaca is truly an investment you can hug. Have you ever hugged your stocks?
Alpacas are a lifestyle choice with benefits and opportunities for the whole family. What are the rewards of adding alpacas to your lifestyle? As more and more people are discovering, raising alpacas can add a dimension to family life that many find to be just what they have been looking for in terms of relaxation, fun, and a potential source of income. Speaking of income, the highly prized fleece of the alpaca has inspired many to start in home ” cottage industries” which involved shearing the alpacas and spinning the fiber of their own animals into yarn that can be made into high quality apparel while others market the fiber through the support of organized fiber co-ops. Alpacas require a small amount of acreage compared to other livestock; the average farm is less that 10 acres. They eat pasture grasses and hay. A small three-sided barn or shelter is adequate for a small herd. The size of the herd is up to the individual’s personal goals. The fact that alpacas are ” easy keepers” makes them an attractive alternative investment. Owners still living in the city or suburbs can board their animals at many established alpaca farms, building their herds with an eye to the future when they can become more hands-on by raising their alpacas themselves. Alpaca breeders from all walks of life interact with each other by participation in shows and open houses, co-owning animals, and by sharing their acquired expertise. This mutual interest and support has been the start of many lifelong friendships. The pleasure of owning the beautiful and gentle alpaca is a reward in itself. The prospect of enjoying shared family activities with this very huggable animal while reaping the financial rewards of owning and breeding alpacas increases the pleasure many times over. Raising alpacas is a labor of love. The escape from a fast-paced urban lifestyle to the quiet, pastoral surroundings of raising and breeding alpacas is a prescription for healthier, less stressful living!