Alpaca Farm in Mississippi
June 15, 2017
Stringer, Mississippi has the largest alpaca farm in the state, and one section of town is home to three dozen fluffy and colorful creatures.
While living in New York, Mary Ann and Terry Stroka saw an alpaca ranch and became smitten with their discovery. Neither of them had ever farmed before, but they decided nevertheless to invest in a hirsute herd of their own. They purchased their first alpacas in 2008. When their son moved south, the couple loaded up the alpacas and joined him. They now have 35 alpacas across 27 acres, making it the largest alpaca ranch in the state.
Alpacas are unique in many ways.
“They’re smaller than llamas and they’re solely for their fiber. Their fiber back in ancient times was the ‘gold of the gods.’ The Incas dressed in it. It was worth more than gold,” says Mary Ann.
Their colors range from white, beige, three shades of fawn, silver grey, rose grey, brown and black. Aside from the color variations, the fiber is very different than wool – three times warmer and 10 times softer, according to Mary Ann. It is also hypo-allergenic. You can expect to get about 20 sets of hats and scarves from the average alpaca.