Small Alpaca Farm with Big Returns

Recently the news endorsed the numerous benefits of raising alpacas as an investment. And for people who need tax deductions, it is a sensible venture that can earn them a huge ROI (return on investment) over time. Yet, that’s not the whole story. (CBS SUNDAY MORNING – http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403164n)

Let me ask you a few questions. Are you looking for a small farm business with big returns? Have you researched all the agricultural benefits of raising livestock on your land? Have you considered raising sheep, goats, or cattle in order to take advantage of the benefits? Have you hesitated to proceed?

Well, if you are like me (a city dweller until 2004) the thought of killing something, milking something or cleaning up after big animals stopped me in my tracks! So we never imagined ourselves as “farmers” until we met alpacas and the alpaca farm business idea launched.

The goal of many small farm businesses is to “just cover expenses.” We have been doing more than “just covering our expenses” with a handful of alpacas since our 3rd year in the business. And now, over 7 years of alpaca farming, we are living proof… you can have a small group of very clean, cute, amusing critters, make a small profit with a relatively tiny up-front investment and you can even take time off for a little travel, see the grandkids, or go to a show if that’s your goal.

Presently we live in the country, deduct our legitimate agricultural expenses, use depreciation and other tools to offset other income and lower our property taxes through agricultural classification of our land.

Can you name another livestock business where you can make a profit with less than 20 animals? Can you do this with alpacas? Absolutely!

Alpacas for Fun and Profit

After watching the show on March 25th entitled Alpacas for Fun and Profit on CBS SUNDAY MORNING – http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403164n I realized how much I related to the story of Amber and her alpaca lifestyle. She got into the business just before the prices started dropping (fall 2007.) So instead of panicking, she took advantage of the high quality alpacas available at lower prices and grew her herd and her income potential. As she recounts, her income over a 5 month period was greater than she had made the 2 years previously in the theater.

In 2009 our situation turned to “creative solutions needed” in order to keep our business growing. We started promoting “multiple services” from our ranch. We offered agisting (board & care), breeding and birthing services. We got a main stud and started filling his dance card with introductory breedings which have now grown in number, demand and dollar amount per breeding. We also increased our internet presence and educational products offered.

Another income focus we started is to proudly display, retail and wear alpaca accessories made from our own alpacas. Visitors to our farm love the idea they can take a photo of the alpaca which contributed the fiber made into the luxurious scarf or hat. And we are not alone, as word is spreading; more small alpaca farms are setting up “cottage industry” outlets and reaping the benefits of raising this gentle livestock.

So, whether you are looking for a business with numerous tax benefits, agricultural savings for your land use, an outlet for your creativity, or just pure enjoyment… alpaca farming could be in your near future.

If you are already a part of our industry, then take this opportunity to review your situation and make sure you are taking advantage of all the alpaca farming deductions you are legitimately entitled to at this time. Then go out in your field and smile at your alpacas.