Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Stuff and 10% off Coupon to The Yarn Shop at Alma Park

New spinning fiber in stock. I am busily adding them to the website. New silks (imported) and the complete Ashland Bay line!!

10% off through Cyber Monday at Midnight. No minimum purchase. Good on all sale items - much of the store is on sale 10% to 40% off already!

Use coupon code Cyber10_2011

The Yarn Shop at Alma Park

Avoid the lines and shop in your jammies!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alma Park Alpacas is on the move

Actually  - we have completed our move and now are in the process of building our barn and new store.  We are about 10 minutes west of our old location.  We moved onto 38 acres of preserved farmland with a beautiful historic 1740's farmhouse, existing barn (will be used for hay and equipment storage) and wonderfully rich soil which is ripe for pasture. 

For those of you that have visited our old farm, you know what an issue our sandy soil was and we could never grow good pasture and the sand was hell at shearing and skirting/sorting the fiber. 

We have plans to have an expanded store (1500 sq ft), a fiber studio, huge barn with birthing and breeding stalls and an on site lab.

We should have the new barn ready in the next 6 weeks - so please give us a call to come by and see our progress!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In memory of . . . the death of Steve Jobs - Apple Founder

Apple - The Technology of my life © Rose Mogerman 2011

The media will look for all the possible dirt and skeletons in his closet.  They will try to find out the reason for his death.  I don't care about his personal life, I don't want to see it sensationalized - all I know is we lost a true genius today who was responsible for making the "technology of my life"©.  Rest in peace, Steve!!

2 trending topics on Twitter today:

One of his more inspiring quotes - a quote that sums up my personal beliefs:

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

And another that has special closeness to my heart as I try to stay true to myself and ignore the negativity.

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Photo taken from

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

NJ Sheep and Wool Festival September 10-11, 2011

Alma Park Alpacas™ and The Yarn Shop at Alma Park™ will be a vendor at the NJ Sheep and Wool festival September 10-11!  Come out and enjoy the fibery feast!!

Ringoes NJ at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds.

See directions, list of vendors and more about the fair here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Texas Farms in need of assistance

We have all heard of the fires and droughts in Texas - here is a farmer willing to help !!!   I am re-posting this from Facebook . . .I do not know him personally - so please do your due diligence if you contact him. 

Posted by Ron A. Derrick 
"I live in Lampasas and I have 2500 acres with 20 horse stalls, multiple pens, and pastures if anyone needs a place to put animals. Message me or call me 512 734 6080"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marketing Plan Basics

I empowered all of you to build your business a little more each day usings Marketing/Advertising with S.M.A.R.T. goals in November 2010.  Today,  I want to be specific about a marketing plan that includes those smart goals. 

Ask yourself the following questions:
1 - Is my marketing dollars being spent with a specific ROI in mind?
2 - Am I advertising with specific goals or a target audience in mind?
3 - Do I know if my advertising is working? 
4 - Do I have a marketing plan? 
5 - Is my marketing plan actionable ? 

If you answered "No" to 3 or more of these questions - then this post is for you!  Take control of your advertising and marketing today and steer your business like a fully restored cherry 69 Chevy Chevelle (large, well built, and enough muscle to weather any condition the road may offer)!!!

Here is a basic marketing plan outline to follow - it is not necessary for any one to critique this - as it is for you - a roadmap to navigate your business to increase ROI and profitability and perhaps make your business successful enough that you no longer need that 9 to 5 job to support the pacas.   You will need either a spearate plan for each area of your business that you want to focus on or at least a different "segment" of each area of your business so that you can measure how each segment is doing and focus on different marketing for each.  Marketing segmentation may also be done demographically or geographically, but I think the following applies to the alpaca world:    
1 - Animal Sales (can further break down to fiber males, companion, breeding female, herdsires, jr herdsires etc etc)
2 - Stud Sales
3 - Product Sales
4 - Seminars at your farm
5 - Showing

This is a very basic outline to get you started - please contact me for consulting expertise.


I.   Executive Summary

I usually wait to write this until all other sections are filled out - this is a high level synopsis of the plan/goals.

II.   The Goals

What do you want to accomplish?  What are you going to market? What are your goals?  Be specific as to numbers, percentages or strategic goals. 

III.   Situation Analysis

Company Analysis
Customer Analysis
  • Number of current 
  • Number of leads (qualified/unqualified)
  • Type of customers (animal sales, product sales, stud fees, etc)
  • Value drivers
  • Decision process
  • Concentration of customer base for particular products
Competitor Analysis
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Collaboration, partnerships etc.

IV.   Segmentation

Present a description of the market segmentation as follows:
Segment 1 (Perhaps Animal Sales) 
  • Description
  • Percent of sales
  • What your customers want
  • How they use/consume product
  • Support requirements
  • How to reach them
  • Price sensitivity

Segment 2
etc etc

V. Strategies


The product decisions should consider the product's advantages and how they will be leveraged. Product decisions should include:
  • Quality
  • Scope of product line
  • Warranty
  • Packaging 
  • Brand Name (lineage or commercial products) 


Discuss pricing strategy, expected volume, and decisions for the following pricing variables:
  • List price
  • Discounts
  • Bundling
  • Payment terms and financing options

Distribution (Place)

Decision variables include:
  • Where to advertise 
  • Product distribution (products)
  • Locations
  • Logistics, including transportation, warehousing, and order fulfilment


  • Advertising, including how much and which media.
  • Public relations
  • Promotional programs
  • Budget; determine break-even point for any additional spending
  • Projected results of the promotional programs

VII.   Short & Long-Term Projections

What do you want to accomplish for each segment in:
1 - this year
2 - 2 years
3 - 5 years
4 - 10 years

VIII.   Conclusion

Summarize all of the above.


It does seem like a lot of work and a lot of projecting, but remember I always say "Ideas and Passion without goals are simply dreams"©

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rumors, lies and innuendo

In light of a recent email I recently received disparaging a fellow alpaca owner, I thought it appropriate to get on my soapbox today.  Sorry in advance if I babble!

One of my most favorite quotes is "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" - Machiavelli, read more and you will understand my thoughts.

As the economy spirals further down and people become more fearful and desperate; lies, rumors and innuendo about their competition become rampant.   It seems the biggest rumors are about those who are successful.  I guess you know you "made it" when you are the subject of other people's conversations.  I guess it is the same as why there are so many tabloid publications for the "stars" or the "rich and famous", so too is a tabloid for the alpaca industry.  It is disguised in comments and threads on Facebook, Alpacasite, the AN chat boards and other chat places around the internet.  Most alpaca people are smart enough to not come out and say a name directly, but others are not that smart and open themselves up for civil prosecution.   I for one am sick of hearing the same things about the same people.  I am sick about people calling me and telling me you know what I heard "so and so did"?  It is worse than high school.  And really I don't care! While I would want to know what is said about me - most people are not upfront enough to discuss that rumor mill with the person in question . . for fear of hurting a person's feelings.

I owned a consulting company for 15 years and NEVER did I see this type of behavior go on.  It is truly childish and immature!! Grow up people!  Get a life!  Focus on your fiber !!  Save the energy!

I will admit, I am very opinionated, but I don't hide that and I tell my prospective customers, if you don't like me - then don't buy an animal from me because we have a long road ahead of us.  Most people appreciate my honesty.  Most people come to me because of it and the comments/opinions of my blog and FB statuses.   I will not engage in the rumor mongering!

I want to leave you with one thought:  the next time you are speaking to someone and they start talking negatively about another breeder, ask yourself, what does this person say ABOUT ME behind my back to others?  If you follow that one piece of advice, and stop the conversation in it's tracks, you will save yourself a lot of aggravation.  I say this from experience!  I for one, will not play into the rumor mill or the recent email I received disparaging someone else.  I do not know that person personally so I will not judge him.  If I was REALLY interested (which I am not), I would call the person who was the subject of the email and ask for his side of the story.  But again - I am not that interested other than the fodder it gave me for today's post :)

Happy breeding and Yarn On ©

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to knit a rug

I make and sell rug yarn that is spun over a cotton core for strength and durability.  100 yd approx bump will knit a rug approx 2ft x 3ft. It is very easy to knit a rug with this yarn - so here is a quick little pattern to help you get started.  Interested in purchasing the yarn ?  You will find it at my store HERE

Rug Yarn Bump - 100% alpaca over cotton core - dyed 
US#50 needles or larger 

- Cast on 20 stitches
- Knit one row
- *Slip first stitch (as if to purl with yarn in front), knit 19 stitches*
- Repeat * until you have either reached desired length or you have about 5 yards left
- Bind off loosely
- Weave in ends

Here is what the finished product looks like (note - these pics were taken before the rug was blocked or fringe added)

Stitch Detail

Finished rug before blocking

What a Mentor Gets out of a Mentee

I was stuck for what to write as a blog post today and posted that question to Facebook - one of my clients and friend, Meredith responded with a great suggestion and that is why I am writing this today.

Being a mentor has benefits. . . I have been in the alpaca business since 2002 and have learned a lot along the way. I began mentoring with the first sale of alpacas to a newbie. Not being totally prepared for the questions - I had to "step up my game". His questions taught me a lot and solidified my ideals and my understanding of herd health, fiber and other things. Over the years I have refined my mentoring and have created several proprietary documents for my newbie clients to enjoy. Over the next 6 months, I plan to brain dump the rest of the knowledge that is in my head and spiral bind it for my existing and new clients in order to have a "handbook" they can refer to when they feel they would rather read than call or text me.  I am also writing a book about yarn that should be out this summer and my clients will receive an advance copy :)  The book is titled "Alpaca Yarn - From Mating to Market to Profit"

The benefits I have received as a mentor are numerous. As I stated, it solidifies my knowledge but it also gets me off my butt to teach more and document more ! It also allows new ideas and creativity to flow. Being in the business a while, I guess I am set in my ways and when someone suggests something new (that should be obvious to me),  I am so excited, because I no longer see things through newbie's eyes. I also have a lot of support from my current newbie clients as they all have children and are a host of "Mommy" info!!   I am a bit behind on mentoring this year because of the baby - but I plan to make up for it this fall !!!

I plan on doing a host of seminars this fall for my clients on marketing, business plans, sorting fiber and anything else they would like to see , hear, or learn.  They get the benefit of my experience and are in the Alma Park circle. My clients never pay for seminars at my farm given by me !  And when there is an outside speaker they pay a discounted rate. 

I did not have the benefit of a mentor when I started in the business and had to learn all myself - I think it set me back several years in both breeding and fiber.  I vowed to not let that happen to people that purchase animals from me.

Being a mentor has its drawbacks . . . being a mentor can also have drawbacks.  In the past, I have shared knowledge freely as I do now and on more than one occasion, people have taken it as pushy or overbearing and the relationship was strained.  I am a opinionated person who is happy to share knowledge, and I tend to have trouble with people who lack confidence or are simply unhappy all the time or are unrealistic.   This was true when I was in corporate America as well.   Those are not my ideal mentees and I am not the ideal mentor for them .  Buying alpacas is a choice (not like a job)  and it should be happy (for the most part) and you should love it!!!!   I have since learned to pick my clients more carefully.   Buying alpacas is a two way street.  The buyer is getting more than animals, they are getting a relationship with me.  Please see my blog entry on buying on value.   The mentor/mentee has to have personalities that mesh!  This is a big world and not everyone meshes with everyone.   My most important piece of advice to a newbie is try to evaluate who you are buying from and see if you can "mesh" with this person - you will be building a relationship !  My clients know usually from our first meeting that I am no nonsense, no BS and NO hard sell.   I am not the type who will stand around a tree and sing Kumbaya with the fuzzy creatures, but I will be there for them and hold their hand through a loss, showing, breeding and birthing and answer any questions until they are ready to leave the nest - and then we will still converse about ALL things alpaca but on a more even level.  

I consult (for a fee) to people who have purchased animals from other people and actually screen clients prior to taking them on . . . someone unrealistic can simply not mesh with me and I don't want to take their money and allow them to have a bad experience. I also will no longer sell to people who have not done their homework or simply want something cute - they are not successful and that makes a bad mentee and causes stress for both of us. 

I have created a successful fiber business, show animals and receive awards and championships and sell animals  . . . it takes work on your part to be successful, but I have the knowledge to have my clients succeed as this is the biggest mark of my success!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A teen show all about an alpaca

Appartently aired in 2007 (I don't watch Teen Nick) all about a girl's alpaca.   It is a cute episode even though they keep referring to the alpaca as a "pet" and allow him to eat an ice cream cone.

Click HERE to view the full episode.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spin One Get One™

Just formed a new Facebook Group to bring Fiber Growers and Spinners together.  The Facebook group is called "Spin a pound get a pound™" The concept is simple. . .  bring fiber growers and spinners together. The concept is simple - if you have fleece/roving/top etc that you want spun - put out a post. A spinner who is interested should post or email you. You spin a pound for the grower and you keep the other pound for yourself.  Smaller or larger quantities is allowed.  Also - if you have raw fleece that needs prep and you are a grower - you may want to offer the spinner a little more.  It is an honor system, but I think it is a great idea!!    If you are a spinner - please post in the group as well that you are available!

Click HERE to join the group!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Please Vote !! No Registration Required

I entered my "Pure Alpaca Purse" in the 2011 Natural Fibers Showcase sponsored by the Camelid Quartely Magazine. 

It is entry #251 and the description is :
This purse is knitted from 100% brown and black alpaca yarn using our own exclusive fiber. The purse is an original design and combines mitered squares which are attached to give the purse interest and depth of texture. The handle is several knitted i-cords wrapped around cotton roping and braided for strength. The purse is lined with a coordinating cotton fabric for strength and protection of the knitted purse. 
The yarn is 100% alpaca made from fiber from our own animals!! Balthasar and Brandy.  

Please vote for it. . . . you do NOT need to be an alpaca/llama person.  You also do not need to register or give ANY info on the site - just click "Vote" on the button to the right of the listing.  THANKS!!! 

Click here  to vote - scroll down or search for "Pure Alpaca Purse".  Here are some other pics for you to see.

Mitered Squares in Black and Brown Alpaca with I-Cord handle

Fully lined in cotton in a beautiful coordinated fabric

3 I-Cords are covering cotton core material for strength and braided for beauty

Monday, May 30, 2011

Alma Park Shearing makes the front page of the Asbury Park Press

Shearing was covered this year by the Asbury Park Press.  Lots of positive comments (including a note on my A Mama for Mr. Frost Childrens book) in the article, some of the sale figures are off and I don't send my fiber to the co-op, but all in all - positive to my farm and hopefully  positive to the alpaca market as a whole!

Click here for full article.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Skirting, sorting and grading alpaca fleece

I know I haven't posted in 2 weeks, as a friend who stopped by the farm yesterday pointed out (you know who you are). . . so I thought I would write what was on my mind today.

As I was skirting through fleeces that were just sheared last weekend, I am always amazed at how much you can learn about your breeding program with the fleece OFF the animals.  Skirting, sorting and grading is the best way to see just how your breeding program is working.

We do not put fiber right in the bag during shearing but we treat each fleece as if it were a show fleece.  This is the best and easiest way to skirt, sort and grade.   It is also the best way to evaluate a fleece.  Having it thrown in a bag doesn't tell you nearly as much!  

Following is a quick overview in pics of how to properly gather a fleece so that skirting/sorting/grading work is minimized. . . more pics and info will be available in my new book being published this summer/fall name "Alpaca Yarn - from Mating to Market"™

If you are interested in learning more or want to be part of a future skirting/sorting/grading course - please contact us for more info. 

Putting the paper under the alpaca to catch the entire blanket
Blanket is almost completely off - see person to the right ready to pull the paper

Straightening out the fleece and putting all cut side up

Wrapping up the fleece like a sushi roll

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why alpaca fiber will remain a cottage industry

Alpaca fiber will remain a cottage industry at least for the foreseeable future because there is a constant blurring of the lines when it comes to livestock sales vs fiber. You don't have to pick one (showing vs fiber), but you DO have to understand the difference and profit motives for both.

For years, folks that have had alpacas simply for fiber have been looked down upon as having "inferior" animals. Other folks still believe that their entire herd is "seed stock", when in fact all other livestock models say there is about 10% - 15% of the population are seed stock and the rest are "commercial". (Read my blog post about seed stock vs commercial) In most other livestock - commercial means market or meat animals.  In our industry, up until now - it has meant nothing - because everyone thought everyone of their animals are "seed stock".  I would like to define (for the purpose of this article), commercial animals are meant for the end use market (in the alpaca industry now - it is fiber) .

So now I have both seed stock, commercial and dual purpose animals in my herd.  There are some animals that I dub "yarn animals" that would never do well in a typical AOBA show ring, so I simply don't show them and quietly breed them for the fiber market.  

Alpaca United (an entity borne out of the Build a Tent Meeting), is going to try to "brand alpaca fiber" so that we can have a demand (commercially) for alpaca fiber.  Yesterday I posted on FB (as well as someone else posting on Alpaca Nation) that having a link on the Alpaca United FB page to a Steering Committee/AOBA BOD member's website was one of the reasons I could not support them as a group.  It caused so much controversy that Nick Hahn felt the need to email me a ridiculously long email about his credentials and stated "I know you're a leader in the industry and we need your understanding and support"  and that "any breeder is free to post their site on AU page including you". And then he actively posted and encouraged people to post links to their farm pages on the AU Facebook page.  NOW I ask you --- is that why you (if you did donate money), donated $250 for ?  So that they can spend your money on Facebook ad (and it can be pricey)  to send people to the Alpaca United page so that there are links to farm pages having nothing to do with fiber????

I will keep my $250 - because I can process at least 10 pounds of fiber at any mini mill in the country and get back MUCH more that a modest return and it won't take me 5 years.

Food to think about people . . . .

Monday, May 9, 2011

Alpaca Fiber - gaining recognition among breeders?

In the past two weekends, I attended two different alpaca shows. . . one in NJ and one in PA.  There were a lot of breeders that I have know for years and a lot of breeders, that were either new or that I was unaware of in the past. 

The theme I saw over and over again from breeders I have known is "Fiber" with tag-lines on their banners such as "Fiber Shop" or "It's about the fiber" or "Our focus is on fiber".   While you may be thinking well that is a good thing, people are finally getting serious about fiber, I have a different take on it.  For years, the majority of alpaca people did nothing with their fiber.  They gave it away on Ravelry, sold it for $5 a pound raw, used it as compost, told prospective alpaca buyers that you could not make money off of it etc etc.  There were always those of us (like Alma Park), that used every ounce of fiber and touted that "thar is money in them that fiber'.   And let's not forget Alpaca United - born out of the Build a Tent work shop which is trying to "brand" alpaca fiber  and produce "a modest cash return in year 5 and forward".  Are you kidding me???? 5 years?  I am making MUCH more than a "modest cash flow" now and I don't have to give anyone $250 to do it.  I also find an AOBA BOD members involvement in AU to be a conflict and the new CEO visiting farms who never had or never will have a focus on fiber insulting.  I also find the fact that the CEO is an active real estate agent troubling if he is supposed to have a fiber consulting organization.   AFCNA is just recently returning a "modest return" on contributors fiber and I see AU, AOBA and AFCNA duplicating efforts and wasting money. 

I feel breeders have jumped on the bandwagon because they are not seeing the returns on the breeding end of the market that we all once did. . . .but alpacas (on the livestock end) still command a high price for low volume of work.  Higher than much other livestock in the US today and are quite easy to care for.  It makes me (and other fiber folks) chuckle because some of these new found alpaca fiber enthusiasts act like it is something new or "focus on fiber" is a new focus or a new idea or concept.  My tag line and mission statement have been the same since we started our farm in 2002 and continues to be a "focus on fiber".

Alpaca showing is necessary for marketing and recognition, but we need to concentrate on the fleece more.  We also need to make people aware that what wins in the show ring is not necessarily superior fleece for yarn.  Super crimp in huacaya is not necessary for good yarn (although it does produce a different and more lofty yarn) and neither is tight pencill locks in suri.  As a matter of fact, the flat lock type (in suris) is preferred for processing.

What we need to concentrate on in our herds is consistency!!!  This will allow a lot less labor in skirting, sorting and grading. 

There was a thread on one of the online forums the other day about coating alpacas and if that "keeping them coated and clean provides an unfair advantage in the show". . . I wanted to respond, but did not feel like being flamed.  An unfair advantage?  Are you kidding me people, if coating them keeps their fleece clean and we are SUPPOSED to be a fiber industry - they it should be applauded NOT penalized.  I actually have researched coating them over the last several years and wavered because I was worried about the hot, humid NJ summers . . . but am actually going to coat my crias and juvis, a a few of my top show boys this year following shearing.

The fiber is my passion!  Even before I had the animals, I sought out alpaca yarn to crochet with.  Fiber will always be my passion!!

If you want fiber to be your passion too - contact us and we will show you how!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Champion Grows at Alma Park

Thor - Fleece at 5 months
Ever since we first looked at alpacas, I was drawn to the white ones. Sure, I love the colors and my patterned line of alpacas, and the beautiful yarn and roving I make from them, but I always envisioned my perfect alpaca in white!! Well, over the last few years I have produced some pretty wonderful white animals. Alma Park Mr. Frost (the subject of my latest child's storybook) is an incredible male, but we never showed him as it took 2 1/2 years to figure out who the sire was, so I was never validated. Also, since the male who turned out to be the father is not the male I chose to breed, I do not this I "grew" him. Frost is a very special male who will always have a home here at Alma Park and I do expect great things from his progeny. I will be showing his fleece at PAOBA this weekend. Another amazing male we have is Ant'ny, who took 4 out of 15 at PAOBA in 2010, however, he had a compression fracture of his leg recently and had to sit out the 2011 show season due to surgery! Ugh - I will also be showing his fleece this weekend. Again, I bought his mom pregnant, so he again was not "grown" at Alma Park. And then there was Thor. . . my choice, my female (Juliette) and my little champ!! I did not expect Thor to be a white, as his mother is a rose grey, I was hoping for grey, but I am truly happy that Thor is what he is. His mother, FMF Juliette, is a spectacular full Chilean with a remarkable handle to her fleece. His dad is a mostly Peruvian White who normally throws color and is partially Aliznza, dense with high frequency crimp and good fineness.  I was impressed with Thor from birth, he was strong, upright and very masculine and had fiber to his toes! His fiber was bright and crimpy and I had high hopes!

We have been breeding since 2002, and had no mentor, and the internet did not have the info on it that it does today. So, I started my breeding program basically by trial and error, and breeding "pretty" animals to each other. Then I got a little more savvy and since I have an engineering background decided that there had to be some science behind it. I started keeping my own set of EPDs (although that is not what I called them because I never heard that phrase until 4 years ago) on fleece characteristics (subjective), histograms (objective), conformation (somewhat subjective), and lineage including country of origin. I have done very few outside breedings over the years because I prefer to own the genes.

I always said, jokingly of course, that "I want a WHITE COLOR CHAMPION" Banner and then I can retire!! Well, this weekend we got the banner - but of course I am NOT retiring!! Now that I have one in the white category, I want MORE.

Alma Park Thor took the blue in a yearling class of 7 and then went on to get the champion banner at the New Jersey Alpaca Show and Sale, May 1st, 2011. Unlike my shock of winning Sebastian's Champion banner in 2008, I was a little more prepared and a little more confident in this one because Thor's blue ribbon was won in a larger class and Tim Lavan (who also gave Sebastian the banner), looked at 12 different spots in his fleece on his inspection. In my mind, I knew that must be good and that he was seeing just really how consistent this little guy was!!
Alma Park Thor at 2 weeks old

That is my second banner under Tim Lavan, and he definitely has a tell (I would love to play poker with him). When he has the banner in his hand, he looks at each animal in the line up EXCEPT the one he is going to win. He did that with Sebastian and he did that with Thor. So him stepping toward me with the purple banner, while exciting, was no shock.

Tim Lavan's comments included: solid conformation, very upright, proud stance, high frequency crimp and very consistent through the entire blanket, fine, dense and amazing brightness to his fleece. My friends told me that the crowd "wowed " when Tim opened the blanket and the comments included : "how bright" and "how white" his fleece was.

It was a good day indeed!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Queen's hair made from Alpaca Roving from Alma Park

No, not the Queen of England - but this Voodoo Queen is sporting some serious alpaca braids!! This is some wonderful grey roving exclusively from Alma Park. Her name is Mother Brigitte and she is incredibly detailed and ready for her new home! Check her out !! She is truly remarkable as is all of Catt's dolls.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wade Gease does an overview on skirting - Video

Are you brand new to fleece skirting?  Wondering where to start? Here is Wade Gease (AOBA certified alpaca halter and fleece judge) talking about the basics of skirting a fleece.  Now, this is JUST basics. . . . for sending to a co-op.  If you want to send to a mill to have yarn made, you will need to do more skirting and then sorting and grading.  For show fleeces, there is a more delicate procedure, but for those who have never skirted, this is a great way to start!!

If you are looking to learn how to skirt, sort, grade etc - please contact us for more info.  We also can help with show fleeces. 

Video - Skirting - Part 1

Video - Skirting - Part 2

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Alma Park Sponsors Student Design Fashion Winner !!!

Paca Pockets by Yaeji Son of FIT
For the last several years, in the Fall, I have traveled to Manhattan to present to the students of FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), what alpaca fiber is, where it comes from,  it's fiber characteristics and its benefits and drawbacks as part of the AOBA sponsored SDC (Student Design Competition).   Each year, we (Alma Park) also sponsor the SDC by contributing money and usually I sponsor a student from FIT.  I usually have one assigned to me unless one strikes a particular chord with me while I am visiting.

This year I sponsored YAEJI SON (assigned to me) from FIT and her creation of "Paca Pockets" is pictured above.  Yaeji won FIRST PLACE in the Fashion section of the competition and is awarded a cash scholarship of $1,000 thanks in part to the generous donations from farms across the country in the way of money and materials. 

Her design does strike a chord with me now as I design and sell alpaca purses both knitted, felted and sewed in my store and have won several awards at shows across the country with my designs.  See one of my designs below.   It is an original design.

To read more about the SDC and to get involved visit :

The Day Purse™©- an original design by Rose Mogerman of Alma Park   

Wooden beaded handle is wrapped around leather string for strength

A drawstring is both useful and attractive

Fully Lines and a wooden dowel attached for strength and to prevent drooping

Fashionable and practical

Monday, April 18, 2011

New AOBA Fashion Spot

I think it is a great twist on the old AOBA commercials.  Post on the old commercial links can be found here.

NEW Fashion Spot by AOBA -  click here

AOBA Old Commericals - a Compilation

AOBA has stepped up it's advertising game (finally) and has produced some videos - now if I would just see them on TV or hear on radio rather than just youtube !! Look at the older 30 second spots and then look at the new Fashion and radio spots - getting a bit better.

Some Old AOBA commercials -

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Newbie corner - Wondering what the Levels mean at an ALPACA SHOW?

I have been asked this question so much that I decided to write a blog post about it in order to help out the breeders out there that are unaware of the "levels" at an alpaca show. Many newbies are confused, but I have also met many experienced breeders who wonder how the levels are determined, so here it is in a nutshell!!

Levels are assigned based on how many alpacas will come to show. In other showing circles (such as dogs), you must qualify for a lower level before moving up. . .but that is not true of the AOBA certified show system. As you can see from the table below, the higher the level, the more competitive the show will be. Many level I and II shows do not have enough alpacas for championships and have color classes combined, like white and beige. At the level V shows, if you place in the ribbons it is what I like to call "A good ribbon" even if it is 6th. At a level 5 show, the white juvi boys could have 15 animals in a single class. . . to place 6th means you STILL beat 9 other animals.

Level I (Halter: 36-99) (Fleece: 36-74)
Level II (Halter: 100-299) (Fleece: 75-174)
Level III (Halter: 300-499) (Fleece: 175-349)
Level IV (Halter: 500-799) (Fleece: 350+)
Level V (Halter: 800+)

I think that there are some changes that would really make showing more meaningful to the alpaca world. I think qualifying like the dog show world does would allow the cream of the crop to come out on top because only the "top dogs" would compete at level 5 shows.

I also think that if an animal takes a championship at a level 5 show, he/she should NOT be allowed to show at a lower level show - like 3 or 4. Some smaller farms go to only the smaller shows and when they are competing with a level 5 champion, the do not have a chance in many cases.

What do you think?

Friday, April 8, 2011

AOBA Video/on CNBC

So here is the CNBC video link I promised to share with you weeks ago.   AOBA touted this as a GREAT promotional piece and a board member WAS available for this one and able to FLY out to California to join, but one was not available for Stossel when it was approx an hour dry away OR an hour dry into the city for the rebuttal piece.  I find it amazing!

Anyway - while "cheerier" and "lighter" than the Stossel piece, it still talks about tax breaks, a "cottage industry" and questions the business plan or sustainability of the industry.  Not much different than the questions Stossel asked in my opinion anyway.

I think the alpaca breeder, Cindy, in the piece did great in continuing to mention it is about the fiber.  But the guests on the show as well as the promo for it was not so positive and not unlike John Stossel and Fox.

Maria Bartiromo  introduced the piece saying this:
"Government wants you in the alpaca business pretty extraordinary tax benefits if you join the herd"
The title for the spot is: 
"The Fleecing of America"
 Other guest on the finance show asked:
 "Is it the best use of the tax code" and are they (meaning alpaca breeders)
"Fleecing tax payers "

So should AOBA have promoted this and not the Stossel piece? Should someone from AOBA been to the Stossel spot (especially) when it was filmed in their own backyards?  YOU DECIDE!  Here is the link to the piece. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Year - A New Phrase

Many folks ask us where our name Alma Park comes from - and it is not a very exciting story - so we decided to make it more fit our business and industry!!  For a new year - we are rolling out our new phrase!!

For our Farm - Alma Park Alpacas™
A - Alpacas and
L  - Llamas
M - Made in
A - America
Alpacas and Llamas Made in America™

For The Yarn Shop at Alma Park™
P - Pure
A - Alpaca
R - Ready to
K  -  Knit
Pure Alpaca Ready to Knit™ or Pure Aymara Ready to Knit™

Learn more about Genuine Aymara™ here

So there you go Alma Park Alpacas ™ --- Alpacas and Llamas Made in America™ and Pure Alpaca Ready to Knit™

I think this says it all !!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Looking for a green alternative to wood for eternity?

No kidding, sheeps wool is now being used to keep us warn in "the ever after".  Check out this article and maybe we can start something similar in the US with ALPACA???

Back with the daily ALPACA Buzz!!

Hi All - I have been out of touch for a while having a "cria" of my own!  In any event, I am now on a pretty good schedule that will allow me to bring you the almost daily, witty, albeit sometimes controversial commentary that you have to expect and I hope like!!  Stay tuned for an article a day over the next week or so while I get all caught up on the buzz that is happening!!  Lots of interesting stuff has been happening while I was "away".

Monday, February 28, 2011

Make an Offer MARCH

Not to sound like all the other "downsizing" sales - but we are moving to a new, smaller farm in a few months and are looking to reduce the herd by about 25% so we don't have to build another huge barn.  This move has been planned for several years, but the wheels of progress are slow.  
No reasonable offer refused!!! Take advantage of this opportunity now, as we have done in the past to build our herd.  Many crias from fall 2010 not yet listed, if you are looking for something specific - let me know.

*** Brokered animals may not apply, but I will present offers to my clients if interested ***

Please visit our sales page to see our list or click the "Sale Animals" tab above. 


Call or email with questions or for more info.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Latest from AOBA - to appear on CNBC

Hmmmm - so is AOBA trying to make up for the collasol faux pas of not appearing on Stossel?  Or do they just simply feel CNBC is a better venue?  I guess we will have to wait and see.  Here was their press release sent to members yesterday.   I will post more when I know more.

1/26/11 6:30 pm ET


We are very excited to announce that alpacas will be featured on CNBC News!
CNBC will film at Alpacas at Windy Hill in Somis, California tomorrow afternoon and will conduct an interview with AOBA Board Member Claudia Raessler.

CNBC is shown in 101 countries, 175 million households worldwide. This segment will likely be shown more than once and will likely be posted on their website for additional viewership.

The interview will air next week, date and time to be announced. Stay tuned for more information!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

AOBA's response to No Show on Stossel

Is this a pathetic explanation or what?? Received 12:43 AM ET 1/22/11

 AOBA Members,

As many of you are aware, alpacas were once again the focus of John Stossel last night on the Fox Business News show “Stossel”.  AOBA was invited to appear on this segment, but did not learn until Friday, January 14, that they were moving forward with the segment.

The AOBA Board of Directors held a special meeting and Bill Johnson was scheduled to appear on the show.  Due to an unexpected conflict, Bill was unable to make it to the studio.  Board Member Claudia Raessler quickly began a two hour drive to a remote Fox studio to stand in on behalf of AOBA.  Unfortunately, she was unable to make it to the studio in time for the segment.

However, Theresa Reyes-Stassel of Hagen Heights Alpaca Farm did a wonderful job showcasing alpacas with the show’s star, a huacaya that even John Stossel himself admitted was “adorable”, named Admiral.

A promotion for the segment can be seen at the following link:

Once the footage of the actual segment is posted online, we will make it available for our members to view.

Cindy Berman, AOBA Public Relations

Friday, January 21, 2011

Letter from AOBA Dec 16, 2010 - MORE CRAP

Here is the email (copied in it's ENTIRETY) that all AOBA members received on Dec 16, 2010 prior to the original segment airing.   So basically, we were told to "shut up" and forward any responses to AOBA so that AOBA can send a "unified" message.  What a bunch of crap.  I encourage you all to send email to or call the AOBA offices and voice your concerns.  Including the members of the BOD that let us down.  I ask again - WHY ARE WE PAYING a media/PR consultant - what is she doing for us?  The  literature is outdated,  the website is outdated, there is a Fiber Resource book still for sale from 2005. . . TIME for a CHANGE people!!!!

How do we do it ?? I want to know your opinins!

Here is a list of contact info at AOBA. 

Media Consultants info :
Cindy Berman
Phone: 615-834-4195

 Fox News - Alpaca Story

John Stossel of Fox News has produced a segment that will air Friday, December 17th on the Fox News Channel. The segment has a finite focus of tax breaks that Mr. Stossel feels are wasteful and frivolous in nature. One of the top ten tax breaks Mr. Stossel will feature are tax breaks available to owners of alpacas.

AOBA was contacted by John Stossel's staff and asked to provide information and contacts prior to this segment being filmed. The contacts and information that AOBA provided were not used in this segment. As Mr. Stossel is known for sensationalism and not journalism, the end result of this report will cast a somewhat negative light on the alpaca industry and the American Livestock Industry as a whole. While alpacas have been singled out for this report, it is important to note that alpaca breeders receive no special treatment with regard to business tax advantages for livestock owners and producers.

AOBA is asking that all alpaca breeders, regardless of affiliation with AOBA forward any media inquiries to Cindy Berman, Public Relations Consultant for AOBA or the AOBA office. It is important that our industry maintain a consistent and measured message with the media in light of this attack by Mr. Stossel and Fox News.

While the theme of the segment is unfortunate, the publicity will drive many people to seek more information about alpacas. This does afford alpaca breeders a rare opportunity for national exposure. Breeders are encouraged to use this opportunity to talk about the business of the alpaca industry, which does include certain tax advantages. We encourage breeders to have a business conversation with buyers and assure any prospective breeder that the alpaca is treated equally to other livestock choices within the tax code.

Please forward any media questions to Cindy Berman, , (216) 952- 7510 or the AOBA Office (615) 834-4195.

Thank you,
The AOBA Board of Directors


Link to Stossel's Latest Alpaca Segment - the one where AOBA didn't show up !!

Here is the link to the latest segment on alpacas.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More John Stossel and Alpacas!!! 9pm and MidNight ET on FBN

Last week, I was contacted by John Stossel's producer to come back for a follow  up interview on John's "Political Promises Gone Wrong" segment that aired in December. He also asked me to bring an alpaca.   I really, really wanted to do the interview, however, due a medical condition, I was unable to travel into New York City at this time.  I was really bummed, but John and his producer asked the other woman who did the interview with me and she happily obliged armed with a PR animal in toe.

The Teaser Segment has been showing since yesterday morning and can be seen here.   The segment "The Curse of Good Intentions will air at 9pm ET and midnight ET on FBN (Fox Business News).   You can read about John's view of the segment here.

So now to a scathing comment (not about John, but about AOBA and this industry).  I just found out that AOBA who demanded equal air time, sent out a hush order to all AOBA members, and allowed fellow AOBA members to flame me on line, in chat rooms and in hallways CANCELED at the last minute!!!  So John has been called an idiot and a closeted bigot.  I have been called an idiot.  People have said they do not take tax breaks etc (they are lying or delusional is how I see it) - however AOBA's own literature TOUTS these tax breaks.  So, they demanded fair time and CANCELED at the last minute????

Please see my blog post about the tax benefits touted on AOBA's own site .

I have been positive and supportive for my entire time in the industry - but I say now to all you "little" breeders. . .  I think the time is now to see if AOBA truly has the correct leadership?  Has it for the last decade?  Do we need to overhaul our entire way of doing business, showing and the like?  I for one am SICK and tired of the infighting, back-stabbing, childish stupidity that has gone on especially since the economy faltered.  I got a lot of abuse for the Stossel interview which I would do ALL over again if given the chance.

I think both John and I NEED an apology from the IDIOTS that flamed us and from the AOBA board for trying to hush us and now not even following through on speaking with John when they thought the original piece was SO detrimental.  Remember John made time for AOBA when AOBA demanded it. 

People - grow up, get a set of balls, and treat this as a real industry and not some hobby organization.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ian Watt and I donate books to a Cause !!!

******ALPACA BOOKS FOR A CAUSE!!!*******

- Raffling off 2 copies of my book (A ...Mama for Mr Frost)
- Ian Watt has joined the effort and has generously donated 2 copies of his book "The International Alpaca Handbook" autographed.

All proceeds go to the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary Rescue.

$10 donations to MLAS, SELR or NELR - your choice. Paypal to or copy of the receipt to one of the rescues (with memo being "BOOK RAFFLE") - I will add more books to the raffle if there is a large donation. Entries close 1/20/11 at midnight. Drawing on 1/21/11.

Mr. Frost and I will autograph yur copy if you wish !!

These animals need your help --- donate today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Losing the Matriarch of Alma Park - A Tribute

Pepper was one of the first alpacas I purchased and she remained a foundation girl up until the day we retired her (at 19).  Only producing white females for me - she never had a need for extra attention, never had an issue with getting pregnant, staying pregnant, giving birth, IgG, or weaning her crias.  Her crias were born early in the morning and were up and nursing before we ever noticed.  She wasn't thrilled with human company, but never fussed when she needed to have herd health done.  Stoic and graceful til the end, she passed away in her sleep on New Year's Eve (at 22).  It was a heartbreaking end to 2010 for us, but she will always be remembered and her children, grandchildren, great grand children and great great grand children still live on here at Alma Park and she will never be forgotten. 

RIP Pepper - we will miss you always. 

Pepper 2004

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Contribution to the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary Rescue

In order to raise money for the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary Rescue - I will be booking a breeding to each of my top males for $500 each and send that money (all $500 per stud) directly to the South East Llama Rescue (SELR) for the Rescue of the animals in the miserable conditions at the "Sanctuary" in Montana.

MLS Peruvian Sebastian - breeding fee normally $1000
MSA Accoyo Volunteer - breeding fee normally $1250
ABC Balthasar - breeding fee normally $750

In addition to the 3 breedings mentioned above - I will continue to help by keeping the breeding fee of each of these 3 studs at $500 until Jan 31, 2011 and donate 20%  to SELR.

You can read more about these wonderful males here 

***Conditions - female must "drive by" my farm - we are in NJ.  Boarding available - fees apply.   We accept PayPal and Credit Cards for your convenience.  Breedings can be used ANYTIME.  50% must be paid at time of contract signing - so money can be sent to SELR with balance due in 30 days. 

Any questions - please call or email me - all our info is on our website.

My renewed objections to the MAPACA Jubilee 3 day show - and why I will boycott it !!

Last year - I formally objected to MAPACA Jubilee being a 3 day show prior to the show happening (Sent a letter to the BOD and to everyone in the region that I had in my database.  I also posted on Facebook and AlpacaNation) .  There was a lot of support (sent to me privately and to the BOD) . . . and supposedly it was to be re-addressed for 2011, because they supposedly were too far into the planning to change now.  I was already registered and god for bid I could get my money back, so I went to the show and it dragged on ridiculously !! To try to get numbers up to show that it is a "large, well attended show", they cut stall fees and class fees in half or giving them away - simply to make it look like it was still the 'Go To Show'. Supposedly 1000 alpacas were in attendance.

I also expressed my opinions after the show was over,  about the show dragging, coffee being charged for at the Norm Evans' dinner and the fact that the judge for the huacaya males was inconsistent and simple not a "level 5 judge" and many people flamed me.  Even the quality of the judges that the Jubilee used to attract at have degraded.  It used to attract top training judges such as Jude Anderson and Mike Safley.   Well here we are again - and it appears it will again be a 3 day show !  And stall prices are going to be $280 (for 3 juvis or 2 yearling/adults) - are you kidding me?????  In a letter to renew membership today - you can save 30% on stalls - which is still $196 a STALL!!  If the venue was moved or less expensive or sod was not provided - there can be a significant savings - but it seems that the elitist movement is alive and well for this show.

Here is what I posted to the AN boards in April (after the show) as the show's highlights (negative highlights that is):


1 - A judge change at the last minute for black juvi females which one of my clients had in the show --- I think this is actual an AOBA violation and will be asking AOBA Show division later today.
2 - Only 2 rings were utilized on Friday. Then Sat and Sun they used that ring ONLY for the performance classes - so 1000 Suri and Huacays had to be in 2 rings!!! There were enough Suris there to have a ring all by themselves!
3 - They seemed to purposely drag out the show to prove it needed to be 3 days because of my and many other folks complaining about the 3 day format. People were there from Maine, Virginia and Ohio and the the huacayas didn't finish until 5 pm on Sunday - I am sure that people I know with Grey Huacaya females in Ohio didn't get home until after midnight. After the poor animals were stalled in tiny pens for 4 days. How about we start thinking about our animals HEALTH and stress???
4 - Seminars in which I was a speaker was again a football field away even tho we were told it was all under one roof
5 - Dinner with Norm Evans (tickets were $20 per person) and they charged an extra $2 for a freaking cup of coffee - are you kidding me? Coffee should come with a buffet - are they THAT desperate for money? When the question was posed to the board the response was "I don't know"
6 - Spin Off - they decided to only give ribbons for 1-3 place - who made that decision?? There are always 1 - 6 ribbons in spin off unless otherwise stated up front
7 - Color check in – the people who were doing check in were checking at the tip of the fleece or in the middle rather than at the skin - so that I had to argue on almost every animal except my whites. How about you train the volunteers or have someone there who actually knows how to do it?
8 - Exhibitors meeting was at 8:30 am and my first seminar was at 9 am (mind you a football field away) – the projector wasn’t in the room and the length that people had to walk made for low attendance – however the second time I did the seminar – I had approx 25 people – which makes me think – if your show opens at 9 – then let people get settled and start the first seminars at 10.
9 - Isn't it customary to have 2 judges judge the production classes? Well they were SO behind schedule that they only had one and kept the performance ring open - so that had to wait for people in the get because they were also in the performance ring.
10 - How come we don't have top judges at MAPACA this year. I don't consider the male huacaya judge a top judge and at a level 5 show - there should be a bigger name!
11 - let's not even talk about how expensive a show it is !!

MAPACA thinks they are an "Elite" show because of their "events" like wine and cheese and other stuff like that. How about they try to make the event more efficient, less stressful for the animals and humans !!

It was absolutely the worst show I have ever attended! It was drawn out, long, disorganized and no one seemed to know what was going on when asked at the super's stand and things just kept changing. . . ridiculous.

With so many competing shows out there - there are cheaper and better run alternatives.  


I won't be attending the Jubilee this year - nor will I be renewing my membership to MAPACA

Here was my open letter to the BOD last year and I think that it applies. This was sent for the 2010 Jubilee on March 18, 2010)


The MAPACA Jubilee is a must do in the Northeast region of the alpaca world.  In 2008, we saw record breaking numbers of 1700 animals  registered under Wayne Robinson's leadership.  However due to economic changes, competing events and industry focus, registration last year was much, much less.  The show dragged on and was not a happy place to be.  I personally stood at the gate after last call for 15 - 20 minutes waiting to show which makes a bad experience for the alpacas and exhibitors.  Sunday could not come quick enough for me to pack up and go home.  The building was a ghost town by 11AM Sunday morning.

I believe there are several compelling reasons to make this a 2 day show:
1 -- When the MAPACA Jubilee had an auction component the 3 day show was necessary - since there is no longer an auction component  - that 3rd day just extends the time between classes and everyone's frustration at these low registration numbers
2 -- People with children find it difficult to make their child take an extra day off from school
3 -- People who work find it difficult and may even have economic challenges to take an extra day off from work
4 -- The show is already one of the most expensive in the country and the extra night in a hotel room has economic challenges for many
5 -- If a level 3 show can manage 300 animals in 1 ring over 2 days, a show with approx 800-900 animals can manage 2 days with 4 rings
6 -- Many breeders I have spoken to specifically stated they will not be showing at MAPACA this year because it is a 3 day show
7 -- Many breeders I have spoken to have decided not to show because of the expense
8 -- Many breeders I have spoken to have decided not to show because it dragged on forever last year
9 -- Many small farm simply cannot do a show of this cost over 3 days

The alpaca industry is not just retired / rich folks anymore.  We come from all walks of life and many need to watch expenses and need to work in order to be in the industry they love especially in this economic environment.

We also need to make sure we are not alienating the small farms out there.  Small farms are the future of our industry and are also the customers for the large and medium farms. 

I implore you to make the decision to make this a 2 day show this year and in next year's planning start with a clean slate, don't look back to the MAPACA of the past - it will not be that again.  Look to the MAPACA of the future and make it the GO TO show again.  Because right now - it is an afterthought for many people.  I personally no longer look forward to showing there - I just feel as a large breeder I must, but it is my least favorite and least fun show I do all year.


To the Alpaca Breeders out there, if you agree with making MAPACA Jubilee a 2 day show this year - please voice your opinion to the BOD as well.  You can email them all at or go to the website for contact info.