Alpaca farms across the country will celebrate National Alpaca Farm Days this weekend and Ellicottville is no exception. Western New York is home to many alpaca farms, many of which will welcome visitors to raise awareness of these soft and gentle creatures, numbering about 150,000 in the U.S.
On Sept. 25-26, Mager Mountain Alpacas, Sugartown Farms and Cardinal Acre Alpacas will welcome visitors to their farms to meet their animals, share information and sell quality goods made from alpaca yarn.
Timm and Helen Herman, owners of Sugartown Farms at 6277 Sugartown Road in Ellicottville, revealed in a chat that they family moved their family to the Ellicottville area so they could raise their children in a small town, after making a lifestyle change from the corporate world in order to become business owners.
Sugartown Alpacas stands out from the crowd in that it is an all-around farm, featuring their national class breeding program, participation in the nationwide show circuit and year-round retail operation. As a result of Timm’s meticulous attention to detail, each of the Herman’s 40 alpacas has its own histogram with show records and a detailed analysis of each animal. This has allowed them to breed show-winning alpacas, with some very famous and valuable studs in residence.
You can visit the farm on Sept. 29 – 30 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. to meet the animals and shop in their farm store featuring a wide selection of alpaca products. Sugartown’s online store, at www.myalpacastore.com, sells a wide variety of luxury alpaca apparel as well, many handcrafted by talented artisans. The Hermans look forward to welcoming you to their farm. For more information, call (716) 699-2902 or visit www.sugartownfarms.com.
On Sept. 29–30 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Mager Mountain Alpacas in Little Valley is hosting their 10th anniversary open house celebration with lots of fun and educational activities including spinning demonstrations, an alpaca “kissing booth,” games and prizes, refreshments and “Smitty” from WGWE radio doing a live broadcast in this Jambulance.
Paul Mager, owner of Mager Mountain Alpacas located at 69 Mountain View Dr. in Little Valley, explained that he and his wife Sue had been looking for “an agribusiness to retire to and a way to utilize our then vacant farm.” The Magers now have over 30 alpacas – including 10 alpaca crias (babies) born this season –and two llamas.
Mager said he hopes to have their online store at www.sosoftgiftshop.com published by this weekend, with plans to add items daily. The Magers also sell sweaters, throws, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and more at their on-site So Soft gift shop. At this time, most of the products in their gift shop are imported from Peru (common for many alpaca stores), where they have been processing alpaca fiber for centuries. The Magers deal with a lot of small family craftsmen in Peru to bring their ancient talents and crafts to our gift shop. They also sell pieces made by Nancy Blessing, an award-winning crafter from San Antonio, Texas, “whose items fly off the racks.”
For more information, call (716) 938-9077 or visit www.magermountainalpacas.com.
Located in the heart of Amish Country, Cardinal Acre Alpacas will welcome visitors on Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. for free refreshments, alpaca greeting and education, as well as fine shopping at their All Things Alpaca gift shop.
Owner Sue Hornberger said she and her husband purchased their first alpacas in 2009 and now own 15 animals. Their farm’s specialty is hand-knit items made from their own alpacas, including hats, scarves, mittens and socks, in natural colors like black, off white, fawn (a tan), rose grey, chocolate brown, along with some interesting tweeds. She said she also enjoys dyeing her own yarns, which she sells as well.
Hornberger invites visitors to come “rattle the coffee can” to call the alpacas over to the fence for a handful of grain. She said, “My husband and I do daily farm visits. Everyone is welcome to come, but we ask that you call first to make sure we’re here.” For details, call (716) 307-4582 or go to www.cardinalacrealpacas.com.