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Accoyos In North America

excerpts from a speech by Don Julio Barreda in Oregon, July 3, 1999 (translated)
 

Today, the llama and the alpaca have become the ambassador of goodwill between North and South America. Many friendships have been born having as connection the alpaca, which is turning out to be fashionable. Today, you find them in every corner of the world, and it appears, tired of the lack of attention in their countries of origin, they find themselves happy and prosperous in their newfound homes. Luckily, today the airplane saves them from walking. The environment weighs in the life of the animal, shaping their anatomical structure and attributes of their chief product, which is wool.

 

The alpaca is very susceptible to environmental changes. Even though this applies to all types of livestock, in the alpaca, the zone it comes from is easily detectable. This is due to the fact that it is only nature who supports and sustains it. In dry zones where the grass lacks humidity and its permanent green foliage, course wool is produced, rough to the touch and low in density. On the other hand, the alpaca from humid areas has fine softness to the touch and a light color due to the absence of dirt, dust and impurities that penetrate the dense coat.

 

With all the advantages you possess, I think you are about to create one or several very special types, and you will have outstanding characteristics due to your methodology applied in their rearing. In that way North America could produce the finest alpaca wool in the world.

From the minute I was lucky to set food in this land of greatest potential in the world, I started to admire the great organizational capacity of the ranches. After the festival and the competition in Salem (Oregon), I returned to my homeland convinced that the future of the alpaca was reserved to grow at great scale in this land.

 

It was believed that the alpaca could find no better habitat than the Andean summits above 4000 meters and that adaptation to the low lands brought thickening and lowering of the wool's quality. In Michigan, however, I was given the opportunity to select over 450 alpacas for production categories. After two long quarantine periods in different climates and altitudes, I found they had not suffered alterations to their follicular roots, and even more, the animals growth wise had developed better.

 

These observations reminded me of the Vicuna who, for better or worst, always continued to produce fine wool. This helped me conclude that the purity of blood - the genotype - causes their attributes to be unchanged. And with the introduction of a well balanced diet, abundantly green, and plenty of water and humidity (as opposed to their cousin the camel), the alpaca would continue to be an exceptional producer of fine wool.