AGATE, COLORADO - A Fallowfield Alpaca and Llama Cooperative for alpaca and llama farmers and ranchers is being organized that will help members earn more from their animals. Organizers hope that at the same time they may improve affordability and quality for buyers by helping alpaca and llama farming become more efficient.
"Alpaca fiber is a superior fiber, and llamas provide an excellent draft or pack animal; there is no shortage of demand. However, alpaca fiber and llamas are typically too expensive for most consumers because of tremendous costs of production. But these costs can be reduced through cooperation," said Mary Choate, of TwoInTents farm.
One class of membership will be offered. "Producers will be able to contribute money, or items in kind such as crias or adult animals, feed, labor or fiber in exchange for shares in the revenues and discounts as buyers. Buyers will recieve discounts on already discounted group-bought needs (such as crias, adult animals, feed, labor and veterinary care) based on their amount of ownership. Revenues from sales will be divided by ownership," explains Choate. By combining resources and teaming with other cooperatives, FALC may be able to reduce costs of production to near-zero amounts.
But FALC will also have community service aspects that differentiate it from a simple buy/sell cooperative. "We will be donating some of what we produce - raw fiber, blankets, clothing and even animals - to charities, and directly to the working poor, the sick, the elderly and others in need. This is not only good for the community we are a part of, but it makes good fiscal sense as well."
Organizational meetings are scheduled through the end of the year, and the cooperative is expected to begin operations in January 2012. Farmers interested in becoming founding members may contact Mary Choate at TwoInTents farm, twointents-AT-gmail-DOT-com.
Posted by Mary @ 12:58 PM MST [ Comments  ]