Smith Mountain Lake Farm - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Smith Mountain Lake Farm

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Smith Mountain Lake Farm is an educational and breeding facility that offers 1-2 hour tours on the aspects of alpaca, including the history, science, business, and textile use. The alpaca fiber from the farm goes out to Pendleton in Oregon to be made into luxury blankets and scarves, as well to be made into socks, and their company, USAlpaca Company, where it produces healthy, hypoallergenic alpaca bed pillows, and now pet bed pillows as an alternative to the toxic chemicals used in the bedding industry. They  are also developing their own fashion line, and  have an annual Fashion Show every March at the Westlake Country Club,

Alpaca come from South America, the countries of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. They are very rare! Less than 4 million worldwide, Peru holds the most at approx. 3 million, and outside of South America it is the USA that is the second largest holder of alpaca at less than 200,000. No longer are alpacas imported to the US, they are registered and carry a DNA blood card as well as micro-chipped or tagged.

Alpaca is half the weight of wool but twice as warm and 7 times stronger! It does not contain lanolin, which is a grease found in wool, nor does it have the pick and itch of wool. Alpaca compares to and feels like silk against the skin.

Alpaca are also called the Green Livestock because of their gentle footprint upon the earth-literally! They have pads on their feet not a hoof, and only one set of teeth on the bottom. Along with a host of other attributes, alpaca are nature-friendly.

Alpacas are part of the camelid family, cousins to the llama and the camel. They are very hardy, and still exist as they have for over 6000 yrs in South America, by living in wild herds. They are sheared once a year in the US, and on average every two years in South America due to economics. However, Alpaca textile is a multi-billion dollar industry in South America, especially in Peru. It is the most sought-after fiber in the world and the most expensive! It is better than cashmere or angora, which comes from goats, which is fragile; alpaca is strong and durable, does not pill nor have fly-away like those do. 

  You can call them at 540-719-0281 or go to the website at SmithMountainLakeFarm.com for more information. Tours are done daily and you need to have a reservation. The cost is only $5 pp.

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