John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-394-3790
503-551-7219 (cell)

Our Vision

Alpaca farming holds every potential of becoming a new primary agriculture industry in the United States. The last century has seen a wholesale assault on the American family farm. Agricultural and livestock production have seen the emergence of corporate domination with profit margins shrinking to the point that many small farms have been put out of business. Commodity producers are price takers, not price setters.

The American textile industry has been decimated. Sheep ranchers spend more to shear, process and ship wool than they can recoup from its sale. The wool industry is dominated by Australia and New Zealand,while textiles have largely moved to China. Cattle ranches have ridden a vicious roller-coaster of price swings. Dairy farms find themselves in a similar plight with ever shrinking profit margins. Small acreage farms have little hope to produce any significant income from their land as corporate, mono-culture agriculture becomes ever more dominant. It is sad to realize that on a Sunday drive through the country we pass by many farms that barely support the families that live on them.

What if we could identify a farm product that could produce a meaningful income, was environmentally friendly, and provided a natural product with markets around the world? We believe that alpacas can do just that. Alpacas, native to South America, produce a fiber superior to wool and recognized as a luxury in textile factories world wide. The American alpaca herd, though small, represents some of the finest alpacas in the world. Using modern animal husbandry, alpaca breeders have the ability to help revitalize rural life in America.

Gateway Farm Alpacas is excited to be a part of this opportunity.

The groundwork for a successful alpaca industry has been laid. The Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) is positioned to effectively promote and market these gentle creatures. The Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI) maintains a record of pedigree second to none, and allows alpaca breeders to make intelligent decisions in striving to produce the “perfect alpaca.” The Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA) provides a way for alpaca farms to efficiently gather and process this luxury fiber from raw fleece to finished product. All that is needed is time and commitment.

The alpaca industry is young. Right now the focus is on producing alpaca breeding stock that exemplifies all the best qualities of the alpaca - fiber, conformation and gentle disposition. As the alpaca industry matures, fiber production will take a more dominant role. It is our vision that when we drive through the country we will see alpaca herds as common as sheep and cattle, when we go shopping we will see garments of alpaca for sale, and that we will know that we have played a role in the development of a profitable farm enterprise - one that can support the diversified family farm as well as the small acreage landowner.

At Gateway Farm Alpacas we are Fashioning the Future

 

 
Alpaca Sales

"A little further along we saw a reverend man named Pendergast, who had come to Soledad to build a church, standing under a cocoanut palm with his little black alpaca coat and green umbrella..."

O. Henry
Sixes and Sevens
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