In our blogs and social media, we frequently share updates about our alpaca, event news, show winnings, new babies, and new homes. Yet we haven’t taken the opportunity to share information about our wonderful and knowledgeable team! Behind the scenes of many ranches you will find a dedicated team, and at Golden Spirit we have the best.
Although the team changes periodically, our core members, Herd Manager Angel Rodriguez, along with Aaron Cotton, and Heather Prosperi, keep the wheels turning. Angel has worked in the alpaca industry nearly 20 years, and helps us to maintain close observation and health standards. Heather and Aaron weren’t sure what an alpaca was when they applied for their jobs, but have proven invaluable at the ranch as they have learned about many facets of alpaca care and handling as well as property maintenance. Heather brings a varied perspective. She has worked with horses from a very young age and her talents are being transferred to alpaca as she helps with many jobs, including working with the animals before they go to shows.
With our strong belief in learning, we always hope to have people surrounding us at the ranch who want to challenge and extend their continuing education in this industry. As a team, we recently worked on improving our handling techniques at a two day CAMELIDynamics seminar. We had a fun time practicing techniques that can be used in day to day activities. It was two full days of rethinking our ranch set up and nuances and applying new methods that might make it easier for both the alpaca and handlers. We took three of the boys – Ice T, Moki, and Maverick – from the ranch to be ‘victims’ for the attendees. And good sports they were.
We returned to the reality of our work with an enlightened view from the eyes of an alpaca. It does take practice to change habits, and after years of working with alpaca, we have some habits we want to break. Fortunately our herd – for as large as it is – has tolerance for our misbehavior. After working with different techniques, the alpaca probably go back to their pastures shaking their heads and wondering why our handling is alpaca-friendlier these days. Whoever doesn’t realize how smart alpaca are doesn’t know alpaca, because we are sure they have been training us all of these years.