Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Future of the Fiber Industy in the US

I have officially removed myself as a member and co-founder of CIABA.   I also asked my articles be removed from their site.  What started out as a fiber organization will (I fear) turn into nothing more than an organization that is more concerned about rescues and less about creating a TRUE fiber market so the NEED for rescues would be diminished drastically.

Leaders into a new frontier must be forward thinking, passionate and business minded. The emotion needed for rescuing is in direct opposition to a true fiber market in this country.   The emotion that most small breeders feel towards their animals also can be detrimental to their own success.

To all those folks that lust over the success of large farms like Snowmass and Magical - I urge you to think what really happens to all those "fiber boys" and ask yourself - will "rescuing" all these animals help or hurt our industry? Think about why Snowmass ships their fiber to Peru.  Because there is NOT a fiber industry yet in the US.

While the economic feasibility of a meat market is highly dubious in my opinion because of the slow growth of an alpaca compared to other forms of livestock - all livestock industries do have a cull market.  While I personally have made a pledge to myself and my animals that the animals I bring into this world do NOT wind up in bad or slaughter circumstances, I do not have a moral objection to it.

I think the growing pains of our industry has been exacerbated by the poor economy and I ask each alpaca breeder to look long and hard about the industry and ask yourself....what will make this industry strong, long and prosper?  I say FIBER. Breeding stock produces fiber, but fiber herds need to be established and made to be profitable as well.

Support those causes that are working towards the fiber end:- AOBA (raw fiber committee)
- Alpaca Blanket Project

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