FFA Students at their first practice – selecting or remeeting their alpaca for the State Fair (Feb 18-21, 2021)
Golden Spirit Alpaca Ranch provides sponsorship and a lease program for the students from Martinez, Steinbrenner and Sickles to show alpaca at the fair. From the first to the last practice their job is to learn about handling, showmanship and care of alpaca so that they can demonstrate to the judge that they have developed a relationship with him/her. We get excited but we’re not certain the alpaca are as excited yet !
Our finest alpaca fashions and accessories are sold at our EveryWear alpaca store. You will find clothing, toys, scarves, belts, hats and many other items made from alpaca. Our specialty yarn from our very own alpaca in natural or dyed colors will make yarn enthusiasts melt. Shopping can take place by appointment or during tours and during the holiday season to accommodate all of your gift-giving needs. Consider buying the special people in your life a unique and timeless gift of products made from alpaca fleece. They will love them! We have items for babies, kids, men and women – plus items for the home.
We look forward to your visit and hope to see you in some alpaca merchandise!
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.
We had a very busy jump start with our show schedule. We had a stellar line up to take this year and each one of our animals showed very well. We attended Royal Alpaca Challenge, VAOBA Alpaca Expo, Sunshine State Alpaca with Florida Alpaca Breeder’s Association (FABA), Carolina Alpaca Celebration with Carolina Alpaca Breeders and Owners (CABO), and Southern Select by Southeastern Alpaca Association (SEAA).
Kairos took 4 first places, Vera took 3 first places, Sensi took 3 first places, GQ took 2 first places, and Myrrh took a first place. We cannot be more proud of the caliber that represented Golden Spirit this show season.
If you cannot see the Facebook photos below please click here
What better time to recount our experiences than the beginning of a new year? When we consider the gratification of the alpaca livestock business that Frank and I started in 2006, we wonder how we can slow down each passing month so that the next seven years won’t fly by as rapidly as the last.
Our years in this business have been filled to the brim with experiences and learning we didn’t know existed. I traded human doctors for our great veterinarian; nursing magazines to alpaca publications; lecturing about care of the surgical patient to seminars on anything alpaca; and packing suitcases for packing a trailer. I didn’t trade the boots. After all, twenty years in Texas left me with quite an array of boots that have remained a mainstay in my wardrobe. As a fellow alpaca owner said to me “you didn’t have any idea how smart you would get until you starting raising alpaca.” That eye opening statement made me take stock in how much we have learned in a short time. The truth is, our conversations aren’t what one would consider enlightening cocktail conversation, but it is fulfilling to have developed an understanding of agriculture, animal husbandry and livestock business practices that gives us a secure and comfortable feeling with our own business decisions as well as helping others.
We started with four and now have over 170 alpaca grazing our property. The foundation of our business plan was to own, breed and sell alpaca and to yield an ongoing dual crop of offspring and fiber. We find those two commodities continue developing as we do the same with our understanding of thebusiness. We’ve benefitted from our education, research, skill development and leadership strengths – and little did we realize the extent of need and application. Like others who started in this business about the same time, we were hit by an economic slump that was not in our plan. So as we venture into 2014, our commitment and dedication to the herd, our boarders, customers, employees, acquaintances and each other is strengthened by the knowledge that the industry is developing differently than perceived when we developed our business plan, but is consistent with our realization that the hurdles and bridges are great opportunities.
Any business that is ever-changing can be exciting! Frank and I hope to share our ventures with you and continue our events on the Ranch that will educate and interest others who want to join the forces of alpaca ownership.
We have a sire that exudes perfection in every way possible. From his perfect conformation to his impeccable fleece counts, Brilliance of Peru is a model male. When all signs of age point to degrading genetics and representation, Brilliance’s stats reflect one who is years younger. His genetics are proven time and time again with his offspring.
Brilliance’s histogram at 10 years is 20 microns, which is very unusual for his age. So in addition to his histogram, we did a skin biopsy to look at the glands to see how many follicles are in each one. And his glandular structure supports the numbers on the histogram, basically pointing out that his glands are the driving force of his fiber excellence.
Why is this such good news? Well, if Brilliance is bred with females, ones who are also going to add qualities to the offspring, he brings to the table the ability to produce animals that will in turn produce long term fineness. This is his strongest characteristic. If your herd is populated by Brilliance and a dam who has the ability to recreate the same fineness level in offspring, over time the herd collectively will have 20-22 micron fleece counts. There will be a longer term profit, and a long term ability to reproduce these genetics.
Brilliance has a track record in his offspring. His cria have all been excellent and beautiful. He has passed on the characteristics you look for in an animal – a full fleece head, full coverage, perfect conformation, and a gentle spirit. Every one of his cria look just like him. Take a look at some of his offspring: Rainman, Flashy, Aurora, Encore and Zivah.
But you don’t need to take our word for it, just ask Dr. Norm Evans DVM, renowned veterinarian.
I would describe this guy, Brilliance, as a Wow male much ahead of his time. I would certainly like to check some of his offspring for the hybrid vigor he has thrown as they are likely better than him. I have never seen these stats for this age male. Breed this guy to the best females you can arrange to maintain these genetics. There is no fiber blow out with Brilliance. I appreciate the opportunity to be a party of your program.
When considering who to breed with Brilliance, you want to pick one quality that you really need to improve on. Does your dam have great coverage but you want to improve the consistency of the blanket? Make sure you first decide on your end goal and then figure out if you are wanting to have a fleece improvement or a show animal. We can help you figure that out!
Contact us if you would like more information on Brilliance and to see how we can work together on breedings.
It’s go time! We have unveiled the new Golden Spirit Alpaca Ranch website. It has been a work in progress for some time now and we are so excited to share it with you! We look forward to expanding on what we already have and adding in the future features that will better help you and all our visitors.
Let’s take a quick overview of the features of our new site!
We are excited for the new site and how our users will be able to find what they need quickly and easily. Thanks so much for supporting Golden Spirit!