Alpaca Youth Association

alpaca-youth1 In 2009, the AOBA (Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association) proudly unveiled the AYA (Alpaca Youth Association) For us here at Alpaca Bella Fina, it was very welcome news indeed. For the longest time we have worried about the future of the alpaca business and its continuation as most breeders are like us and a part of an older generation. We believe that children are the key to the future of the alpaca business. Our twin girls are heavily involved in the day to day care of our farm and they enjoy showing alpacas. Last year in November, I gave the girls the choice of going to Disneyland or an alpaca show for their birthday. They chose the alpaca show.

I believe for the most part that we are the choices we make within reason. If we make a wrong turn, which is so easy to do at any age and particularly easy to do while young, we end up living a life we wish we weren’t.

Getting involved in the alpaca business has been the best thing we have ever done. It has been wonderful for all of us, but especially so for our girls. Every day they are up and out of the house at 7am. Every day, no matter if there’s rain, snow, or shine. They giggle and race to the barn, and fight sometimes over who’s going to do what – feed pellets, empty water, etc. They have assigned jobs, but they love to trade them for variety.

One afternoon the girls said they were going to play outside. After 30 minutes, I hadn’t seen or heard them, so I went outside. There they were, nine years old, pushing a wheel barrow bigger than they were full of poop around the paddock. I asked them what they were doing. “Picking up poop mommy” they said. I asked “Why? You said you were going to play.” Their reply overwhelmed me with pride. “But mommy, this is fun, and we wanted to help!” At the tender age of nine, they have learned such good work ethics and have taken on such adult responsibilities.

The alpacas have taught us all so many things. How to be patient and slow down are just a couple. What our girls have learned on the farm will last them a lifetime and have given them a huge advantage over many their age. alpaca-youth2

They AOBA Youth Committee mission statement is to make positive difference in the lives of youth by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth, and success in the alpaca livestock industry.

We at Alpaca Bella Fina strongly support this endeavor by the AOBA, and encourage you to do the same. Please visit the Alpaca Youth Association website for mare details.