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Non Traditional Farmers Raise Llamas
My wife Sue and I recently became "non traditional" farmers. Changing from cattle and horses to llamas has been a major culture shock as well as a very steep learning curve for a couple of back country Yankees. We have been amazed at the number of farms (mostly small in this part of the country) that have changed from the traditional dairy or beef operation to deer, elk, goats (milking and fiber), sheep (milking and fiber), llamas, alpacas, birds, and so on.
  What's interesting is how this has impacted related businesses such as feed, veterinarians, crafts (spinning etc.), barn designs and so on. For example, it's easy to find a cow or horse vet but try to find a qualified and experienced llama vet. Feed is another issue that has not caught up to the changing make-up of farms. Our co-op wants to sell feed in 3-ton lots. With a relatively small herd of 32 animals, we only use about 700 pounds per week. Whole new industries and services are going to grow up to serve these "non traditional" farms. Everything from toe nail clippers to microchips to grinding up antlers. Rural people looking for new opportunities should look into it. (Bob and Susan Simpson, Center Barnstead, N.H.; E-mail: rss@worldpath.net)

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2