Gateway Alpacas arrow Our Alpaca Farm
John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-394-3790
503-551-7219 (cell)

Our Farm

Gateway Farm was created in 1996 after Susan discovered an article about alpacas in a Sunset magazine. Since that time we have become well acquainted with many aspects of running a successful alpaca farm.

We began on 11 acres in Coquille, Oregon. Susan had previous livestock experience, having grown up on a dairy farm. John was a born and raised city kid with zero experience with a farm.

We had originally investigated Emu as a possibility, but wisely decided against them, since this was just prior to the collapse of the Emu/Ostrich market. We knew that we wanted alpacas almost immediately after being introduced to them.

Our alpaca farm began with 2 maidens and a gelding. Since then, we have had as many as 25 alpacas on our farm, and as few as a dozen.

In 2000 we were forced to locate to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Our farm is now located in Scio, just outside of Salem Oregon.

We have taken an increasingly active role in the alpaca industry over the course of those years. John has served on the Board of Directors of the State of Jefferson Alpaca Association (SOJAA), and was SOJAA's first Vice President. He served on the National Affiliate Committee of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA), and he was the publicity chair for AlpacaMania 2002, a successful alpaca show put on by SOJAA. He has also published articles in the Camelid Quarterly, LlamaLife II and the program for the International Alpaca Odyssey, and for a time wrote a quarterly article for the Hummer, the AOBA membership newsletter. John Currently serves as President of the Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America, Inc. Both John and Susan have gone through sheep shearing school as a first step to learning how to shear alpacas. While John had no prior livestock experience, Susan was raised on an Oregon dairy farm. The skills and work ethic she developed growing up there have proven invaluable in the development of Gateway Alpaca Farm.

Gateway Alpaca Farm has developed a clear set of goals and objectives, a vision of where we want to go and who we want to be. We see alpacas as a viable option for farm owners that desire to maintain a rural life while generating a sustainable income. We are excited to share our vision with all of our contacts.

 In recent years we have begun to diversify our operations.  In addition to alpacas, we have Light Brahma laying hens (a heritage breed) and we usually have a couple of cattle on the loose during the spring and summer.  Susan is actively exploring the possibility of operating a CSA from the farm in partnership with several local property owners.

We welcome visitors to our farm, but please call ahead.

 
Alpaca Sales

"She wore a black alpaca frock and a dark apron. Her face was weary and sad..."

Gertrude Atherton
The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories
About the Quotations