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What COVID-19 Has Taught Us

It's hard to believe that August marks two summers of various forms of restrictions due to COVID-19. This greatly affected visitors to the farm store and cancelled any craft shows that we usually relied upon. But, it did not dampen our commitment to the alpaca industry. If anything, it allowed us to take the time to look closely at where our farm has come from and where it is going in a Post-COVID world. Our exposure to the industry over the past 18 years has been a focus on breeding show-quality animals with long-lasting fibre fineness. Historically, alpacas have been raised for their fibre production to create quality end products. During COVID many new alpaca farms have sprung up and their excitement and enthusiasm is taking the industry in new directions. Many of these farms have never shown or had their alpacas judged because their farms were launched during COVID-19 lockdowns. These creative farms are offering a variety of options to clients: yoga, event spaces, walking adventures, photoshoots, birthday parties, overnight experiences, and in-the-field visits with the animals. Keeping in mind the many options available to clients now, we have decided that we will maintain and increase our focus on fibre and the fibre arts, and our love for creating and sourcing amazing alpaca products. COVID-19 has taught us the importance of being able to socially distance, so we have modified our barnyard space to provided a self-guided option for visitors to see the alpacas, safely behind fences, in their natural habitat. Since fibre is our focus, on our Drop-by Saturdays in August and September, our Farm Store and Fibre Studio will be open to the public where we may be skirting, sorting, carding, dyeing, or felting using alpaca fleece. We are working with two young alpacas, familiarizing them with the visitors to the farm, so that they may enjoy hanging out with us, in their own space near the studio, for those who would like to see an alpaca close up. However, we will leave the hands-on farm visits to the farms in the industry whose focus it is to provide these up-close experiences with their animals. We think this is the right move for us as we grow our way through COVID-19 to focus on the elements of the industry that are best suited to our farm. We will continue to be present online, at craft shows, National Alpaca Farm Days, and in the Farm Store. We're looking forward to what this new normal will bring for our family!
Shannon Rouleau
Shannon Rouleau

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