Information, Inspiration, and Ideas for a Sustainable Rural Future

Promoting the Entrepreneurial Community Spirit

Woolie Boolie...

Thanks to John and Susan Merrell of Gateway Farm Alpacas for their commitment to sustainable agriculture and their passion for alpacas. The following information is just a tiny piece from the wealth of information you can find on their excellent website:

...the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • satisfy human food and fiber needs
  • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends
  • make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
  • sustain the economic viability of farm operations
  • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole

Alpacas are uniquely positioned as a livestock species to further the goals of the sustainable agriculture movement. Alpacas are easy on the environment. Positive traits include:

  • A desirable end product commanding relatively high prices
  • Communal dung piles facilitate manure management
  • Padded feet minimize damage to the land
  • Hardy constitution minimizes the need for chemical or medical management
  • Efficient digestive systems reduce pressure on pastures and allow a wide range of suitable forage types

Alpaca, a natural elegance, a renewable luxury, a sustainable lifestyle...

If you are looking to add to your farm, ranch or rural life portfolio of economic strategies. Check out the alpaca business. Here are some of the best on-line alpaca resources we've found to help you.

Special thanks to Pam of Pam's Lambs in Chinook Montana for coming in to the NARFI office to ask us to help her find out about alpacas as a business.