Seminars

Registration for a weekend pass is a bargain at only $150! The weekend pass includes your choice of seminars in the Chattanooga and Memphis rooms, Friday Night Meet & Greet, Annual Luncheon and Keynote Speaker, and the Saturday Evening Fleece Reveal and Social.

If you are unable to attend the event in person, virtual registration is available for $65 for all seminars in the Chattanooga room only. Live-streaming will be available during the event. On-demand videos of the seminars will be made available following the event and are included in the registration fee.

Download Education Schedule

Schedule subject to change. All times CDT.

Register for Weekend Seminar Pass and Workshops   Register for Live-Streaming


Agritourism: The Value it Brings to Your Farming Business

In this seminar Shelly will discuss what agritourism can look like on your farm (one size does not fit all), pros and cons of participating, offer guidance and advice about marketing your events, and discuss the financial possibilities. Bring your questions! Let’s talk specifics about your farm so you get the most value from the seminar.

Presenter

Shelly Walsh

Saturday • July 10 • Seminar
Chattanooga/Memphis Room
8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.


Alpaca 101

Open to the public. Invite your friends!

Are you a new alpaca owner or considering buying alpacas? Hang onto your seat as Char dives into a quick overview of some of the basics about alpacas and shares with you her compilation of 15 years’ worth of resources and knowledge.

Join us virtually or in person at no charge.

The seminar will be recorded and the link sent to all registered attendees following the event.

Register for Alpaca 101

Presenter

Char Johnson

Saturday • July 10 • Seminar
Chattanooga/Memphis Room
2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Alpaca Conformation and Fleece Evaluation

Using slides Laurel will give alpaca owners the tools necessary to evaluate alpaca conformation. Fleeces and fleece samples will provide the opportunity to learn how to evaluate different fleece characteristics.

Presenter

Laurel Shouvlin

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.


Alternative Animal Fibers

Wini works extensively with animals’ fibers, specializing in those considered exotic or rare by many. Animals included in the talk are yak, quiviut, cashmere-producing goats, angora rabbit, and others. This presentation is a discussion of these animal’s history, fiber produced, yarns, and some products. Animal models and some samples will be available to help the audience understand the fibers.

Presenter

Wini Labrecque

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Building Fibersheds & Replicable Sustainable Textile Systems | Keynote Address

Communities across the United States and beyond who’ve traditionally been reliant upon exploitative textile systems are working at a grassroots level to develop place-based regional fiber and natural dye systems that work to generate necessary forms of material culture that simultaneously regenerate lost carbon stocks in our soils, provide meaningful livelihoods, develop new natural fiber and dye recipes, while consciously consider how we can reduce pressure on highly polluted regions in the world.

The keynote address will be live-streamed and recorded for members unable to attend the event. Registration for just the keynote address is $15 at https://fiberextravaganza.regfox.com/2021-virtual.

Keynote Speaker

Rebecca Burgess

Rebecca will present virtually.

Saturday • July 10 • Seminar
Chattanooga/Memphis Room
12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Sponsored by

Kentucky Alpaca Association


Estate Planning for Alpaca People

Everyone over the age of 21 needs financial and health-care powers of attorney, a living will (sometimes known as an advance directive), and a last will and testament. That's how we make sure someone has the authority to take care of our needs if we become temporarily incapacitated during our lifetime, how we make clear our end-of-life wishes, and how we control the disposition of our property once we're out of the picture. But people who own and run businesses need more. We need estate plans that acknowledge our work, accommodate our tools, and treat the unusual resources we have with care and clarity. And we need estate plans that address the fate of our businesses after our lifetimes, whether that's sale, transfer, or closure.

Presenter

Liza Q. Wirtz

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Memphis Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Farm Income Taxes: Paying Less and Preventing Audits

A review of current farm income tax issues highlighting legal methods to pay only what is required, often overlooked and misunderstood tax breaks, and tips to prevent an IRS audit.

Presenter

Alan Galloway

Friday • July 9 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Fiber Mill Discussion Panel

Panel Members
  • Ruth Anne & Brad Goss, Two Roots Fiber Mill
  • Brenda Wyler, Crossed Arrows Alpacas & Fiber Mill, LLC
  • Sally Brandon, The Shepherd's Mill, Inc
  • Lindsey Higgins, Red Hill Fiber Mill
  • Jean Van Effen, Tahoma Vista Fiber Mill
  • Wini Labrecque

Saturday • July 10 • Seminar
Chattanooga/Memphis Room
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


From Lab to Farm & Back Again: How Alpacas Can Help Biomedical Research

Alpacas and other members of the camelid family (e.g., llamas, camels) express a unique type of antibody that can be utilized for various biomedical applications. We have been developing a variety of alpaca antibodies for our research program, which is focused on a group of proteins (i.e., protein phosphatases) that have been linked to Alzheimer's disease, autism, and some cancers. The alpaca-derived antibodies have proven to be very useful for our research on protein phosphatases as well as the research of collaborators studying other proteins of biomedical importance.

Presenter

Dr. Brian Wadzinski

Saturday • July 10 • Seminar
Chattanooga/Memphis Room
9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Greener Pastures with Agritourism

Agritourism is a growing opportunity perfect for alternative livestock like alpaca farms. If you have been looking for a way to increase farm revenue, this could be what you have been looking for. Tourism and agriculture are among the top industries in many states. And according to the USDA agritourism is one of the fastest-growing revenue streams for small farms in America. Get out there and make some memories for people who are willing to pay.

This seminar will focus on up-and-coming trends in the agritourism industry that may be appropriate as an additional revenue stream for alpaca owners. Topics include defining agri-tourism, defining agri-education, defining agri-tainment, review of current national trends, business models, liability considerations, insurance considerations, marketing considerations, and more.

Presenter

Jay Reeder

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Memphis Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Herd Health

How to keep individual animals from getting sick by keeping the herd healthy. Discussion will include topics such as biosecurity, vaccinations, nutrition, herd management, and more.

Presenter

Dr. Roland Abma

Friday • July 9 • Seminar
Memphis Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


How to Diversify Your Farm

From alpacas to sheep, and everything in between! Learn how to manage and expand a diverse line-up of animals for your herd.

Presenter

Jennifer Myka

Friday • July 9 • Seminar
Memphis Room
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


Practical Marketing in a Digital World

The internet has forever changed how we decide what to buy. We can have two responses to how this change affects our alpaca business. One approach is to resist. We can seek to maintain the status quo, lament about the good old days, and even try to convince ourselves that things will get better if we just stay the course. The other approach is to embrace the change. We can see change as an opportunity in disguise and then figure out a way to grab hold of it to seize the potential that it presents.

This seminar covers practical marketing tips in a digital world. If you're interested in growing your business and connecting with new buyers, you'll learn proven tactics for every farm that can be put to work right away.

Presenter

Jay Reeder

Friday • July 9 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


The Climate Beneficial Fiber Journey

Join Charlene Schmid with Integrity Alpacas & Fiber in a conversation that unpacks Climate Beneficial Fiber, regenerative place-based practices, carbon sequestration, sustainability, and alpacas ranching.

Presenter

Charlene Schmid

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Understanding Alpaca Fiber

Join fiber expert, Laurel Shouvlin, in exploring the ins and outs of alpaca fiber and what makes it spectacular.

Presenter

Laurel Shouvlin

Friday • July 9 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


Uniformity of Micron: Challenge and Reward

This hands-on seminar will focus on defining and identifying uniformity of micron throughout the blanket fleece of both suri and huacaya alpacas. Participants will be given a guided tour of follicle development and the resultant expression of fibers exhibited within groups of staples and locks. Consideration will also be given to data collection and record-keeping methods applicable when making breeding decisions; selection criteria critical to achieving generational improvement. The value of uniformity of micron to both producer and consumer will be discussed. End-use and product development from the processor point of view will also be highlighted.

Presenter

Cheryl Gehly

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Memphis Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Using Genetics to Improve Your Breeding Program

From EPDs to results in the show ring, many factors go into making breeding decisions. Join Sharon Milligan of Red Granite Ranch as she explores what genetics can do for your herd.

Presenter

Sharon Milligan

Friday • July 9 • Seminar
Memphis Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Yarn Weight Standards and Struggles

A discussion of yarn weights and why standards are struggles in the small-batch industry. Including information on how twist, grist, and fiber affect the handle and visual sizing of yarns. Factors to keep in mind when discussing yarn weights with customers and mills.

Presenter

Sally Brandon

Sunday • July 11 • Seminar
Chattanooga Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Cancellation Policy

If you have to cancel your workshop and/or conference ticket(s), contact us at nationals@alpacainfo.com at least two weeks before the event. A refund will be given minus a 15% cancellation fee for all registrations. Cancellations made within two weeks of the first day of the event and attendees who fail to attend will not be considered for refunds.