Located just 23 miles east of Cincinnati is the family-owned New Richmond Alpaca Farm. This 175 year old farm is located among the rolling hills of Southwest Ohio along the Ohio River.
In its more recent history, the farm was converted to accommodate alpacas after owner Lori Wahl’s father purchased one of these gentle creatures for himself.
“Not unlike many people, the first words out of my mouth were ‘What’s an alpaca?’” she laughs. “We started our journey of investigation, making multiple farm visits, evaluating the investment opportunities and educating ourselves in any way that we could while, along the way, falling in love with these unique animals.”
The first herd of five alpacas were purchased in the summer of 2006 with their arrival a year later in the summer of 2007. “The rest is history, as they say, and we are experiencing the best times of our lives as a result of these animals,” says Wahl. “Our business has evolved into a very successful caring, boarding, breeding and selling alpaca program. We personally provide the hands-on care of our animals daily.”
Wahl says they also focus on ensuring the health of the alpacas and enhancing their trainability to create a well-mannered animal.
Today, the New Richmond Alpaca Farm has launched a store – The Alpaca Shop – and is selling clothing items made from the fibers of alpacas. They sell socks, scarves, gloves, sweaters, blankets, teddy bears and much more.
Wahl says they shear the alpacas once a year and have the fiber turned into yarn and rovings for knitters. What they don’t use is then sent to a few different co-ops and buy back product. They also import product made from Peru as well as turning to a few local knitters that make products directly from New Richmond alpaca’s fiber.
Prices range from $20 for a pair of socks up to $175 and up for the sweaters and other items.
Wahl says that in addition to the clothing they’re also making cat toys and dryer balls from the fiber. She also hopes to host a new annual craft and art show on the farm in May 2016.
To learn more about the New Richmond Alpaca Farm or The Alpaca Shop, visit www.nralpacafarm.com. There you can find a list of all upcoming events that they’ll be at as well as a list of open houses for those who would like to visit the farm.