FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky alpaca farmers and the alpaca industry add an enriching diversity to Kentucky’s agricultural economy. This month, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Alpaca Association celebrate Kentucky Alpaca Fleece and Fiber Month.
“Kentucky’s 4,000 alpacas produce beautiful, soft, cashmere-like fleece,” Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “I encourage people to visit an alpaca farm to learn about alpacas and their care and to learn about the many and diverse products that can be made from alpaca.”
Kentucky’s agricultural economy benefits from alpaca producers because of their focus on fiber and fiber products, agritourism, and breeding for livestock sales and seedstock. Kentucky has more than 200 alpaca farmers across the commonwealth with the most alpaca in Shelby County, followed by Warren, Franklin, and Fayette counties.
Last week, the Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) hosted a National Education and Fiber Conference at the Boone County Cooperative Extension in Burlington, Kentucky. The AOA National Fleece Show brought together alpaca owners and fiber enthusiasts from across the country to learn, network, and skill-build. The three-day weekend consisted of a variety of educational seminars from industry experts, discussion-based breakout sessions, hands-on workshops, and evening excursions.
At the kickoff of this conference, Melanie McPartlin, Executive Director of Marketing for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, presented the group with Commissioner Quarles’ Kentucky Alpaca Fleece and Fiber Month proclamation.
— Kentucky Department of Agriculture