A little bit about us
We are a husband and wife team running a small alpaca farm in Stafford, Virginia. While trying to decide what to do after 30 years in the US Coast Guard, Perry started researching the next phase of life. Lisa’s long standing dream of running a bed and breakfast led Perry to think we needed something to attract visitors. Perry is very much an outdoors type, loves to hunt, fish and hike and his dream location is somewhere in the mountains, preferably in Alaska. Lisa on the other hand is a valley dweller, not caring for the hills and mountain roads. Our first attempt at trying to locate retirement property was in Asheville, NC. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t find a piece of property flat enough for Lisa. Instead of the mountains we decided to try the foothills. We eventually bought 12 acres in Taylorsville, NC. Close enough to the mountains for Perry, but flat enough for Lisa.
After doing much internet research on what that attraction to the B&B might be, Perry “stumbled” upon Alpacas. Since he has always had a love of animals and there is a profit potential, it seemed to be a perfect fit. There was a lot of research conducted in the 4 years before our first alpaca, Polly Anna was purchased. We visited over 12 farms including a farm in Italy. We saw a wide range of farm set-ups, taking plenty of notes and asking a multitude of questions. We also took part in herd health and shearing events with two local farms to learn more about the care and management needed for alpacas. Additionally, we attended alpaca shows and auctions, sitting in on the free seminars and classes. One of the great benefits in attending the shows was “talking alpacas” with breeders who were willing and eager to share their knowledge with a newcomer.
Lisa and I were both impressed with the solid business structure of AOBA (Alpaca Owner and Breeder Association). A key resource to our research was the ALPACAS Magazine published by AOBA. As we learned more about the alpaca industry, saw the profit potential in breeding and selling Alpacas and their fiber. A key factor in focusing on alpacas is their small stature and gentle demeanor, the alpacas being small enough not to intimidate Lisa.
We decided to start our herd in the fall of 2007. The plan was to establish the herd and after our children have left the house, we would relocate to Taylorsville NC and build the B&B. As with most things, time alters our viewpoint and our plans. Our son has bought a home only 3 miles down the road and will be married in Oct 2012. Our daughter has graduated college and is engaged to be married. With the potential for grandchildren in the near future relocation has been put on the back burner. Lisa has come to realize that for now, her B&B is for 4 legged, furry and cute animals. Perry continues his daily trek to Washington DC where he works for one of our government agencies. At some point we may move, but for now, Fredericksburg is home.
As of December 2016 we will be closing the farm and selling our remaining alpaca herd. We are going to focus our attention on our 3 grandchildren. While the alpacas themselves take very little time or effort, the “business” of the farm was interfering with our ability to spend time with our family. As we transition to the next phase of our life, Lisa and I want to thank everyone who has come to the farm. We have met a lot of wonderful new friends who have touch our lives and hopefully, we have touched theirs in a small way as well. While we are no longer doing public tours.