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Moondust Alpacas, Alpaca Farm

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Alpaca Auctions are more than Alpaca Sales

I was fortunate to spend the weekend of January 18-19, 2012 at the Priority Alpaca Sale Auction In Las Vegas, Nevada. I want to start with complimenting Silver Penn Sales and the hosting farm TnT Farms for creating a superb event. This event has proven to be the perfect type of event for starting a new year. Not only did this auction attract beautiful alpacas from some of the best breeding programs in the country, but alpaca ranchers expressed their generosity at the Quechua Benefit auction which generated over $25,000 towards the Orphanage.
Of course, the centerpiece of the auction is the actual selling and bidding of the alpacas. However there is considerably more going on at these functions then just the sale and viewing of livestock. These functions are an incredible opportunity to network with other fellow alpaca enthusiasts. This is the time to see crias and get from that outstanding herdsire you have been considering, exchange information about herd health or new alpaca veterinarian studies, catch up with out of state business partners or expand your marketing tool box. Often these events come packed with seminars and training on a variety of subjects from leaders in the industry providing resources for the new to seasoned alpaca rancher. These seminars don’t only benefit the auction attendees but also provide additional traffic and viewing of the alpacas for sale. It is easier to sell an excellent alpaca to a buyer that is well educated.
If you are mentoring clients or introducing potential new alpaca buyers this is a great opportunity to provide information to your client while being available to expand in detail specific areas of interest for your client. For many newbies in the industry, an auction weekend event can be overwhelming and intimidating. Providing support and a home base for your client at an auction can grow trust and longevity in the relationship. What better way to meet and greet a large group of industry people than having your mentor introducing you and show you the ropes. I personally have never left an auction event without meeting a new fellow alpaca farmer, gaining more insight on better marketing/herd/breeding goals or additional refinement of my ultimate business vision. I strongly advise everyone to attend an auction and consider selling/buying via this format.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kicking and Screaming

Whew! How did I become such a dinosaur? Much of the last few days have been used getting up to speed with current internet technology. Much of this revolves around social media, websites and the video emails of the future. Like many alpaca farmers, I got into the alpacas to spend time with these amazing animals and connect with a more sustainable way of life. However, the reality is that this is a business. Although, the core of the alpaca industry, the wonderful alpacas, has been around for centuries, today’s alpaca farmer needs to be a savvy business person. You can have the best fiber and animals in the country, yet if you do not market; no one knows you exist. As I have been working on the website, it became clear to me that I could have the best website in town and without a marketing plan no one would ever look at my web pages let alone consider purchasing some of my quality items. Therefore I have done some research and will be implementing some changes with my email, newsletters and FaceBook account. This process should be interesting as I still carry an ancient Blackberry. Let's get started by signing up for the newsletter on the home page. Keep your eyes and ears open as Moondust Alpacas is dragged kicking and screaming into the next century.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Things that Rattle and Bump in the Night


Things that rattle and bump in the night. Well ,actually, it was more like screaming and thumping in the alpaca barn. Woke up about 2am last night to the sounds of alpaca screaming and alarm calls. For a relatively quiet species, these alpacas can make a lot of noise if they choose. At this point I look around for my glasses, not to be found in the dark and I slide on a pair of sneakers. I am thinking, what are the boys fighting about now? Did they break through a fence and start a riot?” Please keep in mind my days of looking good in a T-shirt and a pair of sneakers have alluded me. The picture is more of a crazed middle-aged red head in an oversized shirt stumbling around in the dark like a drunk reaching for her baseball bat at the back door. I am now out back with a flashlight in one hand and a bat in the other moving to the barn. I have the horrid fear of snakes and I am now worried that I am going to step on a rattler here in the dark and no one will find me for days. The guinea fowl are making a noise that only heaven can appreciate. I shine my light into the big boy’s pen and stuck in the corner is that darn Bobcat again cornered by the big bad alpacas. This cat is determined to be in my yard/barn and have a guinea for a meal. I get the boys moved back enough to create an exit lane for the cat, hoping it doesn’t lash at me. This cat gave a new definition of zoom, zoom. However, he (it’s a boy cat) did not get past the girls pen without taking a token of green spit from my true black Chilean alpaca Kiva. Those of you who have met Kiva know she controls the barn. Fortunately, not one bird was harmed and only one alpaca has a scratch. His fleece is pulled out in a space but the scratch is not too bad and easily cleaned up.
I have contacted Fish and Game without getting much of a solution. I suspect there will be more to this story.