Seminars

Event registration fee of $150 includes admittance to all seminars along with the Friday Night Meet & Greet, Annual Luncheon and Keynote Speaker, and the Saturday Evening Fleece Reveal and Social.

Download Schedule

Download Seminar Schedule

Register for week-end seminar pass

Seminars

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 13 years’ worth of resources and knowledge.

Presentor

Char Johnson

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Memphis Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.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.

Presentor

Laurel Shouvlin

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Memphis Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


An Introduction to Terminal Markets

Members of the AOA Alternative Products Committee will be facilitating this introduction to terminal markets in the US alpaca industry. The seminar will feature a brief introduction which speaks to the regulatory landscape throughout the United States as it relates to issues surrounding the slaughter, processing, and sale of alpaca meat and related products. We will also feature a round table discussion with producers from various parts of the country, sharing what they have had to go through in setting up their terminal market businesses and how that part of their operation has affected the rest of their alpaca businesses where applicable. This will be followed by a question and answer session with attendees.

Presentors

Alternative Products Committee

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Memphis Room
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


Carbon Farming for Alpaca Farms

Chris Riley has recently organized a carbon farming group of local alpaca farms, federal, state and local agriculture organizations to study carbon farming and its effect on the environment. In a time where sustainable manufacturing, natural fibers and slow fashion are at the forefront of everyone's mind, the carbon farming discussion is extremely timely.

Presentor

Chris Riley from NEAFP

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Cottons Place in the Consumer Universe

Cotton is the most used natural fiber in the world today. However, the natural fiber of choice for many textile producers and consumers, cotton faces increased competition from synthetics and an increasingly crowded consumer market where electronic gadgets often compete directly with apparel and home textiles for consumer dollars. How does cotton best compete in such a market? And if cotton has challenges, what does this mean for other natural fibers such as wool and alpaca?

Keynote Speaker

Bob Antoshak

Saturday • July 20 ;• Seminar

Chattanooga/Memphis Room
12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.


Digging Deeper: Hemp Fiber, Sustainability, and Textiles

Consumers and brands are actively seeking environmentally-friendly and high-performing fiber solutions as they become increasingly aware of and accountable to the textile industry's role in pollution, fossil fuel use, labor practices, and landfill waste. While hemp fiber has been around for thousands of years, recent technological advances, a new demand for sustainability, and recent updates to US law have opened the gates for hemp fiber integration into the US textile value chain. Learn how hemp fiber can meet sustainability goals while retaining high-value, differentiating performance properties.

Presentor

Claire Crunk

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


ELD's & USDOT

The Who, What and How

The governmental regulations that apply to transporting alpacas can be confusing. No one wants to be pulled over and given a huge ticket. Do you need a DOT # or a CDL? What is the unified carrier act? Join Rick for an easy to understand explanation of what the current laws require, how to determine if they apply to your farm, who you need to contact, and what you need to do.

Presentor

Rick Johnson

Saturday • July 20 • Seminar

Chattanooga/Memphis Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Essential Oils and Alpacas

Jeanne Krause and Dave Grembi will talk with us about how to use essential oils on your alpacas. Attendees will gain an understanding of current veterinary trends toward the inclusion of holistic and natural practices in the care of animals, current research regarding the use of essential oils on livestock, actual results from implementation of parasite treatment protocols on alpacas, various grades of essential oils, application techniques, and some common uses for alpacas. In addition, attendees will learn how to get started with essential oils in their own homes and farms.

Presentors

Dave Grembi and Jeanne Krause

Saturday • July 20 • Seminar

Chattanooga/Memphis Room
2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Farm Fun Agritourism

Share your love for farming while adding a revenue stream to your operation. This seminar is for farmers and ranchers who are interested in opening their gates to the public as part of your business. Alvina will share her experience offering a range of agritourism events, from basic tours to Ranch Camp. We will explore various legal, accounting, and permitting considerations as well as additional aspects that may impact the success of your agritourism adventure; a laptop or tablet to conduct research on state and local requirements is recommended to make the most out of your time.

Presentor

Alvina Maynard

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Memphis Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


From Angora to Yak and Fiber In Between

Join us for this enlightening discussion on some of your favorite fibers. Learn some new facts and review some old ones. Discover a new fiber or yarn to explore or rediscover one you thought you didn’t like. This presentation covers a wide variety of fibers including protein, cellulose, man manufactured and synthetics. Fiber structures, properties such as elasticity, insulating factors, and drape-ability as well as best end use blends and possibilities will be discussed. Comparisons between fibers for similarities and differences will also be touched upon. Actual fiber samples in raw or roving form along with some finished yarns will be on hand for review. Fibers presented will include a variety of sheep wools, alpaca, llama, angora rabbit, mohair, cashmere, camel, bison, silk, yak, cotton, flax, bamboo, soy, lyocell (tencel), corn silk, milk protein, rayon, nylon and hemp. Time permitting other less common fibers will also be reviewed.

Presentor

Wini Labrecque

Sunday• July 21 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Grazing Management for Quality Fiber

Options to grow and manage forages for a consistent quality diet and high quality fiber.

Presentor

Dr. Greg Brann, USDA

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Memphis Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.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.

Presentor

Jay Reeder

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.


Launching a Mill Business Successfully

The great ideas that will spark the next successful mill start-ups.

The rewards in business are always in direct proportion to the difficulty of the problems that they solve. Do you know of a difficult problem that has yet to be solved? Join us for a walk through the essential questions that need to be addressed in order to launch a successful startup, and the ideas behind why those questions are important. Often times we don't even know the right questions to ask, but that's where we must start. Come and learn what resources and people are available to help you gain valuable insight into the answers to those questions.

Presentors

JC Christensen and The Artisan Fiber Mill Network

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Mary's Poop AND Power Scour

How it came about and Power Scour: Cleaning your fiber the easy way.

Discover how Mary Forte came up with Mary’s poop, and how the idea has become the success it is today. Also, looking for an easy way to clean your fleece? Learn more about Power Scour and how it can help you, the alpaca owner.

Presentors

Mary Forte and Pino Blangiforti

Saturday • July 20 • Seminar

Exhibit Hall Room 2
3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.


Meet the Natural Fiber Extravaganza sponsoring Mill Owners

A Fiber Mill Discussion

Round table question and answer session with the ten sponsoring mill owners. Learn what different mills do around the country; their capabilities and capacities. It is your opportunity to ask questions directly of the people that are processing your fiber. Learn what kind of value-added products are being made. What are some mills specialties?

Presentors

The Artisan Fiber Mill Network

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Multi Species Grazing

How to manage forage and livestock for optimum utilization and production. Matching livestock to forage with emphasis on your goal.

Presentor

Dr. Greg Brann, USDA

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Memphis Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.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.

Presentor

Jay Reeder

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Registry Science

A non-doctoral overview of DNA validation, histograms, and EPDs, and how they help you, the alpaca owner.

Laurel will simplify the science of the DNA Validation, histograms and EPDs to help the alpaca owner better use these tools for the betterment of their alpacas and their farms/ranches.

Presentor

Laurel Shouvlin

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Memphis Room
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Small Farm Success…What Can it Look Like

In this session, Jeff Williamson of Liberty Alpacas will share their 12-year journey as a small farm in the alpaca industry, and the lessons they’ve learned to help them succeed as a small breeder.

Presentor

Jeff Williamson

Saturday • July 20 • Seminar

Chattanooga/Memphis Room
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Strategic Plan Overview

Participate in an interactive discussion between the Executive Director and board members about the strategic plan. This will include where AOA is today and where AOA will be going in the future.

Presentors

Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA)

Saturday • July 20 • Seminar

Chattanooga/Memphis Room
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


The Journey: Responsible Design and Sustainable Fashion

This seminar brings a greater understanding as to what sustainable fashion means to the individual designer and business in the textile and apparel industry. It explores how one can make better choices in their design decisions at any level from fiber, to fabric, to manufacturing and beyond. Join the discussion, as we discover the future directions of responsible design and sustainable fashion.

Presentor

Dr. Gina Pisut

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Chattanooga Room
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


Using Science to Improve Pastures

This seminar will discuss management practices to improve pasture conditions, and the scientific principles behind their success.

Presentor

Dr. Gary Bates, UT Dept. of Sciences

Friday • July 19 • Seminar

Memphis Room
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.


You Shampoo Because Fiber Collects Oil

You are so vital to what has always been important sectors on the planet. Now shepherding and textiles can lead us into a healthier direction for industry as a whole. Join Lisa for a lively conversation with vivid visuals plus plenty of good environmental news! How is that for a change? From cleaning up oil spills to green jobs to recycling useful waste fibers, this is a commonsensical, feel good 90 minutes you won’t want to miss!

Presentor

Lisa Gautier

Sunday • July 21 • Seminar

Memphis Room
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Cancellation Policy

If you have to cancel your workshop and/or conference ticket(s), please us an email at nationals@alpacainfo.com at least 2 weeks before the event. Once you cancel the ticket(s) you will receive a refund of your reservation. There will be a 15% cancellation fee for all registrations. Cancellations made within 2 weeks prior to the first day of the event and attendees who fail to attend will not be considered for refunds.