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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Futurity Recap 2016 - Kansas City, Missouri!

This year, we took only four alpacas – 2 boys and 2 girls, one yearling and juvenile each. For the boys, we showed Atmos & Manassas and the girls, we have Zaynah and Magna Carta. Our results were stunning – we took a Color Championship and first place with Magna Carta as a juvenile, a second place for Atmos and Zaynah, and a six place with Manassas! Four alpacas and four ribbons! I have to remind myself that the Futurity is the annual event which can be equated to the “Superbowl” of Alpaca competitions! Judges were Amanda Vandenbosch (boys) & Peter Kennedy (girls). We would have liked to take two more boys, but were unable to show them under the judge this year.

Besides watching an amazing and successful Futurity auction, we got to visit with friends, meet new people, show off our alpacas in the ring, eat authentic BBQ every night – we had plain fun! This event is the measuring stick of where our herd quality is going and needless to say, we are very pleased!

The highlight of the show was showing with Faye Farley of Majestic Meadows in the Get of Sire class. She asked us to show Magna Carta (Maggie) in the grouping and WON 1st place! Talk about jaw dropping -- her elite breeding program is considered one of the very best in the US!

If you own alpacas and are interested in competing with the best animals in the country – then Futurity is perfect for you! Next year will be the 20th anniversary! We cannot wait to return!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

2016 Alpacapalooza draws top alpacas, breeders for stiff competition

Alpacapalooza draws top alpacas, breeders for stiff competition
Annual event was held at Clark County Event Center
From The Reflector
By Natalie Johnson
Photos: Natalie Johnson

Glenn and Carolyn Waddell drove all the way from Reno, Nevada to attend their second Alpacapalooza at the Clark County Event Center last weekend.

After the long drive, their four alpacas tumbled all at once out of their trailer in excitement Friday morning. The Waddells started raising the animals for their fleece in 2009, but the animals, Carolyn Waddell said, have other benefits too.
“They’re very calming animals,” she said.

Visitors to Alpacapalooza held over the weekend at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield could get up close and personal with the expressive animals.
“They’re very cute and unique — that’s kind of the first thing that draws you to them,” said event manager Jeff Williamson. “The llamas aren’t cute like these guys. There’s not really many creatures out there like them.”

Alpacas shown at Alpacapalooza are not pets, many breeders emphasized. They’re the product of careful selective breeding to create the softest, most crimped fleece possible, and are raised for the annual harvest of that fleece.

That doesn’t mean their owners can’t be spotted lovingly talking to each of their alpacas in turn.

“They all have different personalities. It’s easy to get attached to some rather than others,” said Mary Miller, a judge and breeder from Aspen Alpaca Company at the event Friday.

Alpacapalooza is in its 17th year overall and its sixth at the Clark County Event Center. Each year, it’s organized by the Alpaca Association of Western Washington.
“I think we’re going to have around 300 alpacas this year,” Williamson said.
About the same number of alpacas participated last year, said Williamson, also the owner of Liberty Alpacas in Maple Valley.

“I think over the last few years it’s gone down a little with the economy,” he said. “There’s always the serious breeders.”

Washington and Oregon have the highest concentration of alpaca farms in the country, only behind Ohio, Williamson said.

“This kind of kicks off show season,” he said.

Alpaca show season lasts about two months. Then they all get haircuts.

Alpacas are shorn once a year — usually in May or June, so they don’t get too hot in the summer, Williamson said. Fans were set up all around the event center Friday to keep the animals cool.

“We show them in full fleece,” he said. “When we shear them, they’ll be naked, basically.”
The animals are raised primarily for that fleece, which Williamson said was “soft like cashmere, but warmer than wool.”

Alpaca fiber is also hypoallergenic because the animals do not produce lanolin.
“People who are allergic to wool can typically wear alpaca,” he said.

Two types of alpacas were on display at the event. Huacaya alpacas are the most common, with soft fleece growing away from their bodies like a cotton ball. Suri alpacas represent about 15 percent of all alpacas, and have fleece that grows in strands like dreadlocks, Williamson said.

At Alpacapalooza, animals are judged on a 60/40 ratio, Williams said. Sixty percent of their score is based on the alpaca’s “confirmation,” or the correctness of its stance and body. The other 40 percent comes from the quality of the alpaca’s fleece. Alpacas as young as six months can compete.

From a distance, alpaca fleece looks uneven and clumpy, but when the fleece is spread apart, you can see the soft, delicate crimped shape of each strand. The better the crimp, the higher the score.

“It’s a very competitive show,” Williamson said. “Some of the top breeders in the country are in the northwest.”

While judged partially on the appearance of their fleece, alpacas cannot be groomed before the show.

“They have to be in what’s called paddock condition,” Miller said.

Breeders can pick big pieces of hay and alfalfa off their animals, and clean under their tails, but can’t do any serious grooming.

Breeders also came from as far away as California, Utah and Nevada to show their animals.
The competition isn’t just about walking away with ribbons and prizes.

“I think it kind of gets your farm name known,” said Dean Hiestand, of Fiber Meadows Alpacas in Sedro Woolley. “It gives you a yardstick of how to judge where your breeding program is.”

Monday, February 29, 2016

Amber Autumn Invitational Sale 2016

Let us introduce to you our newest additions to the Liberty Alpacas herd – the “Z” girls!

Zaynah, a bay black
Zarial, a light fawn

Both girls have magnificent phenotype – not to mention their exceptional fleece quality, pedigree and conformation. My favorite, is their heads. This is what every successful breeder is trying to achieve. Short, smothered in fleece, and in one word -- stunning.

We had a fun time at the 2016 Amber Autumn Invitational, being held at the Corona Ranch outside of Phoenix, AZ. The host hotel was VeeQuiva, a beautiful casino resort about 12 minutes away. Daryl & Shirley Krause sure know how to put on a class act event. Everything was awesome! Even Daryl’s singing with the band on Saturday night.

A warm welcome to the herd to the “Z” girls! See them in the show ring, we are positive they will garner the attention of the judge’s eye!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Priority Auction - Vegas 2016

http://m.reviewjournal.com/life/alpaca-auction-south-point-attracts-250-seeking-grow-herds

This article captures some wonderful highlights of the Priority Auction, put on by Silver Penn Sales every January at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

What an exciting weekend, lots of positive energy with 80% ++ of the alpacas sold! Tons of networking with new farms and seeing old friends is always the BEST part!

We took our silver grey pair, AE Liberty Rose and her five month old cria, Liberty's Faith! International Judge, Wade Gease had a client who was looking for the perfect birthday gift for a lucky lady in Connecticut!

That is so funny, because this dam was chosen as my birthday gift 4 years ago, when she was the tender age of 5 days old! Many thanks to School House Alpacas and Wade Gease!

Enjoy the article link above, Jeff was interviewed along with several other farms! Always nice to get some press!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Alpaca Sock Club - Quarterly Mailing

Nothing novel about the sock of the month club, BUT – have you ever seen an alpaca sock of the quarter?

What fun it is for people to receive socks in the mail! I’d liken it to receiving a Valentine or flower arrangement delivery! Fun and oh so comfy! Our socks are like a warm hug foryour foot!

So here’s the sales pitch – sign up for sock of the quarter at our website: www.libertyalpacas.com/store and you’ll receive a pair of socks in the mail. Yes, they will be random, but they will fit if you once you designate what size you need. We'll take care of the rest!

Or – gift idea for loved ones, college students, military or even yourself! Just let us know. Alpaca Socks ROCK

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Whoopi Goldberg - Favorite Things for Christmas

Everyone has their favorite Christmas gift – and this year, look what Whoopi Goldberg selected…..alpaca socks! She hates cold feet!

We stock our store with socks from the New England Fiber Coop – a US mill that works collectively with American alpaca farmers for sustainable alpaca products!

Get your alpaca socks for Christmas, or if you don’t get any – order them yourself!
See our online store at: www.libertyalpacas.com/store

Friday, December 11, 2015

Customer Testimonial

It’s no secret that we sell a lot of alpaca socks every year – people keep coming back for more because of their quality and comfort!

I had a caller order more socks this week, and he said “You know, your socks are worth their weight in platinum!” Wow, pretty cool….and then he went on to say, “every time I have a house guest, they steal my socks!”

For those who have not tried out socks, what are you waiting for? Christmas is almost here! The gift of alpaca is enjoyed and appreciated all year round!

Our store is open every weekend in December until Christmas. Saturday/Sunday hours are 10:00am to 4:00pm. We have an online store also at: www.libertyalpacas.com/store where we can ship direct to your door or your gift recipient directly. Please specify gift wrapping if that is of interest to you~

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A boy and his toy -- farm toy, that is!

Any excuse for Jeff to fire up the Cub Cadet – he’s on it! He loves his farm machine, gator, fun mobile while working on the farm. He even has a smile on his face when he gets on it! Should have got him one years ago!

We haven’t had any snow yet this year, but I’m sure as soon as we do – photos will be taken and I’ll post on a future blog.

Ladies, if you really want to make your farm hand happy – get him his own farm toy. The next thing on his list is a drone. Oh brother, you should hear how my husband justifies this one!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Livestock Guardian Dog & Waffles

Commander, our ever loyal guardian dog loves to eat. All 140 lbs. of him.

One of my favorite things to do is make Sunday breakfast and then take him all the leftovers. Commander is always happy to see me and this morning, it was no exception, for I had made Belgian waffles. He waited by the fence for me to deposit my cooking at his feet – still steaming with heat. Happily, he gobbled them up and looked up to me as if he was saying – are there more?

Love these kind working dogs. He’s a wonderful animal. Anyone who has met him would agree~

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Support Small Business Saturday!

This year, support small businesses for your holiday shopping!

Keeping money in your community is important and supporting small businesses is the right thing to do!

We have a variety of wonderful alpaca gifts, from socks, hats, scarves and other luxurious items in our store or online.