Meet the alpacas & paco-vicunas at Jefferson Farms: GARNA's the Business of Nature series

Nature is much more than wilderness. When you think about it, just about everything in the Upper Arkansas Valley, whether skiing, hiking, fishing, rafting, ranching, agriculture, or the service industry that supports these activities and the visitors they attract, is in some manner related to nature.

While most of us are familiar with the many recreational activities nature provides, we may not know much about the nature-related businesses that have shaped this area over the last century and a half and those newer industries that continue to strengthen the region’s nature-based economy. This year GARNA is conducting a series of visits to some of these businesses to learn how they operate and work to maintain the open space and rural lifestyle that residents and visitors find so attractive about this special area.

2nd in the “Business of Nature” Series: Alpacas & Paco-Vicunas at Jefferson Farms Saturday, June 6 10:00 - 11:30 am

Jefferson Farms Natural Fibers has locations in Salida and Denver with around 100 alpacas and 300 paco-vicunas. Soft, very fine (around 18 micron) natural fiber yarn is their primary product. The earliest alpacas were domesticated from the vicuña by the native South American peoples as long as 6,000 years ago. The resulting fiber was so incredibly fine and soft that Incan Royalty alone was permitted to wear it. A Paco-Vicuna is a natural cross breed with the finer fiber of the Vicuna, but with the faster growth of the Alpaca.

This tour will be led by Jean Levene and will include a discussion of the breeding program, production of the fiber, and a visit with the animals. Jean is the owner, breeder, and producer of this ultra-fine natural fiber.

Cost: $8 for members, $10 for non members. Pre-registration at http://garna.org/events/jefferson-farms/.

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