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LITTLE
SHOPPE

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A Brief History of Black Watch Alpacas

Several years ago my wife Deborah (here holding Bocelli, our first born) and I were spending some time at our vacation home in Maine when Deb came across an ad for an open house at Lightfoot Farms in Kennebunk. With some reluctance, I agreed to go along to find out about alpacas – and to avoid any problems that might arise from saying no.

The owners of Lightfoot Farms, Doris and Walter Van Buskirk, are two of the nicest, and knowledgeable, people you could ever find. They took the time to answer a lot of dumb questions (those were mine) and to talk about the animals and the lifestyle that goes along with raising alpacas.

After getting back home to Miami, Florida, Deb began her due diligence on the animals and the industry. We both agreed that raising alpacas might be a good way to stay busy after we retire. Neither of us plan to sit around and do nothing, and raising alpacas will let us make money without the headaches and hassles of demanding careers – Deb was a senior retail exec and I telecommute as a partner in an ad agency in Coral Gables, Florida.

Our herd started with Symphony, a white huacaya that we purchased from Lightfoot Farms. After a couple of crias, we expanded our herd by buying Sonata from Walter and Doris, and then Charo. In December 2012, we sold the condo in Miami and bought our small farm in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. After a lot of work to get the property "alpaca-ready", our herd finally arrived in September of 2013. The Little Shoppe on the Farm opened in November 2014.

We're at the farm almost all of the time and would be more than happy to discuss sales, breeding opportunities, or alpacas in general, with anyone interested. So, when you're in the heart of the Bluegrass region of Kentucky or on the bourbon trail, stop by – you're always welcome.

Paul & Deb Slaninka

 

 

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