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.

5 thoughts on “Alpacas for Fun and Profit

  1. how much money does it take to get started in alpaca farming and can i be a resource for tax relief of high income earners that i might market to for the purpose of taxe excemption and relief.

  2. We thought the “clip” was informative & positive about the alpaca industry. I would have liked a comment on HOW Amber is able to quit her job and live on income from her alpacas, though. (We must be doing something wrong, as we’ve been “in this” since 2005 and have sold only 3 alpacas, and have yet to find a profitable market for our fleece production.) I thought the story ended rather abruptly, too. Seemed like they cut something out in the editing. But if we didn’t know much about alpacas, and were considering getting into alpacas, the story would have prompted us to research further. Glad to see that alpacas are getting some prime time media attention!

  3. The short answer to your question is that the amount to get started varies depending on many circumstances. It is not a “get rich quick” strategy for instant tax exemptions or relief. You will find however, that wise planning can allow for tax savings in agricultural deductions of one’s land and business expenses. There have been many successful “passive investors” who have a well thought out plan and expect to be in it for several years before they earn a large ROI. It costs less to get started now, than at any other time in the industry. Where are you located?

  4. Bob & Julie: Thank you for your comment. The overall feeling is that the segment was just a tease and way to short to give an in depth review of the alpaca industry. I agree, it’s wonderful that alpacas received such a positive report in prime time media coverage. This coming year, you will probably hear more about profitable ways to market your fleece… so don’t give up!

  5. Interesting story. I agree it seemed to end rather abruptly.
    I too wonder how she was able to survive only on income form the Alpaca trade.

    I have been into Alpacas for about three years now. Nothing fancy nor extremely pedigree. I am looking to establish a good Fiber heard and sell the fleece. Not to breed or such. I am still looking for a way to sell the fleece but other than the Craft guild types I do not see much market at this time. I am exploring a few ideas but I really do not want to get too deeply into the processing or crafting booties, socks and such.

    I notice one of your answers was to hang on and wait and see about the fleece trade. That is what I am doing.

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