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John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Alpacas as a Business

Alpacas present a unique business opportunity. For the owner willing to put forth the necessary work, substantial income can be made from the sale of alpaca breeding stock. However, it is important for new or prospective alpaca owners to realize that these alpacas do not sell themselves. Before purchasing an alpaca with the intent of "making money", it is very important to thoroughly research the industry, and to have a business plan.

Alpaca Business Overview

Even though there exists a high demand for alpacas, it takes the same skills required of any other business venture to make money. These skills include marketing, budgeting, and salesmanship.

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A Checklist for Prospective Alpaca Owners

Alpacas can play a multitude of roles in the agricultural lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are people that fall in love with these magical creatures and quickly make their first purchass without the due diligence that they might use with other pursuits. At Gateway Alpaca Farm we encourage prospective owners to be clear in their purpose for alpaca ownership and their short and long range goals.

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Alpacas as Pets

Alpacas  can make good pets. They are very intelligent. Shy by nature, they are unlikely to give or request affection, but they are easily trained to a halter and have been successfully trained to perform many tricks.  For many small farm owners alpaca can be a good alternative to traditional livestock such as sheep, cattle or even horses, particularly if children are in the family.

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Alpacas for Fiber Arts

Alpacas owned by the fiber artist can produce a never ending supply of one of the world's rarest fibers. Fiber artists may choose alpaca ownership as a part of their hobby, or as a means of income from the sale of their hand made creations.
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Alpacas as a Lifestyle

Alpacas have become a part of a change in lifestyle for an increasing number of people. For those with other sources of income, alpacas can produce a nice supplement while allowing them to get closer to the land and nature.

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Alpacas as a Means to Diversification

Alpacas may serve as a means of diversification for an existing farm or ranch with a longer term vision and plan. In addition to the shorter term income opportunities offered by the current breeder's market, this approach could put one on the ground floor of future opportunities, including an expanded fiber market, consumption and hides.

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Alpacas as a Commercial Operation

Alpacas will become a viable option for commercial farming operations within the next few years. The current breeder's market is showing some signs of transition already. Prices for low to average quality breeding stock have declined significantly from the highs of just a few years ago, and the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association has put new emphasis on the development of a serious fiber industry.

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Alpaca Breeding and Industry Leadership

Alpaca breeders willing to makes substantial investments in time and money may establish themselves as industry leaders. This approach to alpaca ownership carries a high level risk, but also offers the opportunity for some of the highest returns.

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Alpaca Stud Services

Alpaca stud services can provide exceptional outside income in the present breeder's market. But, the visionary alpaca breeder will see a time when top quality stock exhibiting superior production qualities will provide services to production farms across the country, just as in other livestock industries.

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Alpacas as an Investment

Alpacas have been recognized for their investment potential, even by non-farmers. Traditionally this was done through agisting, but the industry is now seeing the rise of syndicates and other non-farm investment opportunities
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Alpaca Sales

"A short fat man passed in pursuit of her - an elderly man in a black alpaca jacket that billowed..."

Sir Max Berbohm
And Even Now
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