Your EAA
November/December 2020
Fleece Show a Success!!!
Huge "THANK YOU" to all who participated! We really appreciated how so many folks jumped in to help out when we needed to put this together so quickly.
There were 131 entries fleeces with 129 shown
Congratulations to our Special Award winners:
EAA Symposium
Feb 27, 2021
Batavia Downs
Attend in person or virtually via Zoom
Details to follow

Showtacular 2021

Halloween Weekend
Thurs October 28 (check-in)
Oct 29-31st Show Dates
at the NYS Fairgrounds
Empire Alpaca Association Merch- email Jay Russell to purchase. These make great gifts!
Reminder for Members!

Please be SURE that you've updated your FREE Openherd website! We will be using THAT information for our Member Spotlight on our Facebook page. Member farms will be chosen at random.
If you need help with your Openherd account - here's the contact information for Openherd.

Getting your farm listed on the EAA website
EAA participates in the Openherd Affiliate Program, which allows you to use Openherd's system to upload and manage your farm information, sales lists, and other pages FREE of charge and your information will be automatically synced to your profile on the EAA website.

To get your farm listed:
--simply create a free account on Openherd (scroll down the page for the free option).

--activate by going to "My Farm" in your Openherd account and click "Edit My Farm Page".

--once you have clicked "Create Farm Profile" you're done

--send an email to the Empire board at to let us know you are have created your Openherd farm profile.

We will add you to the membership list. 
Empire Alpaca Association is bringing back Member Spotlight.
If you would like to be featured as a Member Spotlight farm, please contact us.
All we need is your logo, if you have one, two pictures from your farm and information about your farm.

This weeks farm is Alpacaville in Bemus Point, NY.
To contact Shauna & Dan Anderson please call 716-664-0663.
Many fashion brands chose to stop using alpaca fiber this year due to pressure from PETA. This is AOA's Open Response: Alpaca Wool Abuses

The Truth about Treatment of Alpacas in North America
Lincoln, NE — A recent investigation by PETA against shearers at Mallkini, an alpaca farm near Muñani, Peru has been brought to our attention. Members of the Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. as well as North American based shearers and veterinarians were shocked and appalled at the harsh treatment portrayed in the video.
While there are good and bad practices in every industry, the investigation uses the most egregious video of alpacas being shorn poorly and inhumanely. Kind and compassionate alpaca owners and shearers throughout the world far outweigh practices like the one shown.
“We cannot speak for the standards of other groups, but in the United States we have support and resources on the proper handling of alpacas readily available,” said Wendy Dittbrenner, board member of the Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA).
Just as mammograms, colonoscopies and having blood drawn are not pleasant experiences and in a snapshot, can appear torturous, they are indeed briefly uncomfortable but are important steps we take to better preserve our health. Shearing is the same. It is typically done in a gentle, caring, and non-fearful manner for the animal. It is also imperative to their survival.
“A full fleeced alpaca during summer months will suffer from heat stress. Heat stress (hyperthermia) can be a life-threatening medical condition,” said Michelle Ing, DVM. “Sadly, an unshorn alpaca can die from this condition. When prolonged hyperthermia occurs without intervention, organ failure ensues and death is inevitable.
“As a veterinarian, I have specialized in the care and wellbeing of alpacas for 22 years. I have witnessed the humane shearing of thousands of alpacas during my career and I personally shear my own herd. Because of their fiber characteristics, alpacas in North America are prone to hyperthermia and failure to shear after a year’s growth is inhumane. I have treated alpacas for heat stress and the first line of treatment is shearing!”
As domesticated animals, it is up to us to ensure the survival of alpacas through proper, constant care.
“Alpacas do not live in the wild,” said D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Biology and Chair of Anthropology at Binghamton University. “They were created by Native Andeans 6–8,000 years ago. Like some breeds of sheep, alpacas don’t shed. They will continue to gain fleece until they die.”
There are two main methods of properly shearing alpacas. They can be shorn in the standing position, which is best done for alpacas that do not resist being restrained. If they do resist, there is a risk of injury. The more common method of shearing an alpaca is to lay them on their side and restrain them by their legs to prevent any harm coming to the alpacas and the handlers. The alpaca’s head should be positioned so that it is properly supported.
“I have owned alpacas for 20 years,” said Dittbrenner. “I have not had one of my animals cut or injured by shearing because they are properly handled. The alpacas are simply restrained for approximately 8 minutes in a comfortable and safe manner. Here, we have a human ‘ambassador’ at their side the entire time to walk each alpaca into the shearing barn, and help during the process of shearing, then walk them out 8 minutes later. I have welcomed people to watch the shearing process at my farm. Those who have come for the first time have always left our shearing expressing appreciation for the attention to care and safety of my animals. We use professionals who care about alpacas. This is how it is done in the U.S.”
Jason Siffring, owner of High Plains Shearing has been shearing alpacas professionally on his own in North America for more than 6 years.
“The investigation focused on a shearing practice that is not here in North America,” said Siffring. “Most alpaca owners in the United States see their animals as part of the family. They don’t want to hurt them and neither do I. We are very gentle and know how to handle even the feistiest alpacas. We go slow and take their fleece off nice and easy. It’s all about the animal and preserving the product. We carefully follow the lines of the animal to avoid injury and after shearing is done, everyone is happy. The owners have a nice fiber and the alpacas have a nice haircut and are cool and safe for the summer.”
Like a child experiencing their first haircut, being made to sit still with new people, sounds and sensations surrounding them might cry out, so do some alpacas. Because alpacas are typically quiet animals their alert sound can be surprising to those who have never heard it.
“We communicate specific needs and concerns about alpacas to our shearers,” said Dittbrenner. “My shearer, Joshua Klein will stop everything to help an older alpaca, or pregnant alpaca have a soft and comfortable shearing experience. Last year I told him I had a young alpaca that was blind and he stated we would shear her last with less commotion and noise around her. As I stood and watched, I felt so proud of how much we did to help one little alpaca feel safe and comfortable.”
While they are restrained, many alpaca owners take the opportunity to have their animals’ nails and teeth trimmed as well as vaccinations administered. These are all important to the overall health of alpacas.
It is important to have advocates bring attention to those who do not put the care and wellbeing of their animals first. It is, however, equally important not to assume that all business practices are the same. The Alpaca Owners Association and its members are eager to show that what the investigation of one business found is not how we do it. We do not condone this type of treatment and are here to help educate how shearing and overall alpaca care should be done.
As states re-open, take the time to contact a local alpaca farm and schedule a visit to see firsthand how loved and cared for these animals are. You will likely find that many in the North American industry began their business with alpacas because of their deep love and respect of animals.
Please see the following links for video examples of shearing in North America
North Plains Alpacas:
Peaceful Prairie Ranch:

Quick Reminder
AOA Membership Renewal opened Dec 1st
𝗥𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝘂𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴-𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝘀𝗰𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵. Whether you’re a seasoned member of the industry, or someone just getting started with alpacas, AOA has a wide variety of resources to keep you educated and informed on what’s new in the industry. Alpaca Academy is a tool on our website that archives a wide range of informational articles and videos that give you continued access to ongoing education and cutting-edge scientific research.
Check out the TOOLS under member resources!!

EAA is proud to be a Regional Affiliate of AOA!
For you, our Members!
Deadline for this program is 12/10/2020- you can apply directly with no fee using the links below.

More than $7 Billion Paid in Second Round of USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 
(Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that in the first month of the application period, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $7 billion in payments to producers in the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. CFAP 2 provides agricultural producers with financial assistance to help absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These payments directed by President Trump will continue to help this critical industry recoup some of their losses from ongoing market disruptions and associated costs,” said Secretary Perdue. “This program builds upon the over $10 billion disbursed under the first round of CFAP. Agricultural producers who have been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020 are encouraged to apply for assistance.” 
Since CFAP 2 enrollment began on September 21, FSA has approved more than 443,000 applications. The top five states for payments are Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and Kansas. USDA has released a data dashboard on application progress and program payments and will release further updates each Monday at 2:00 p.m. ET. The report can be viewed at
Through CFAP 2, USDA is making available up to $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first iteration of CFAP (CFAP 1). Farmers and ranchers who participated in CFAP 1 will not be automatically enrolled and must complete a new application for CFAP 2. FSA will accept CFAP 2 applications through December 11, 2020. 

Eligible Commodities
CFAP 2 supports eligible producers of row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture, and many other commodities, including many that were ineligible for CFAP 1. FSA’s CFAP 2 Eligible Commodities Finder makes finding eligible commodities and payment rates simple. Access this tool and other resources at
Getting Help from FSA
New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center. 
FSA offers multiple options for producers to apply for CFAP 2. Producers with an eAuthentication account can apply online through the CFAP 2 Application Portal. Also available is a payment calculator and application generator that is an Excel workbook that allows producers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, signed, and submitted to the local FSA office. Producers can also download the CFAP 2 application and other eligibility forms from  
Producers of acreage-based commodities will use acreage and yield information provided by FSA through the annual acreage reporting process. Producers have the option to complete their application by working directly with their local FSA staff or online through the CFAP 2 Application Portal. 
CFAP 2 is not a loan program, and there is no cost to apply. 

More Information
To find the latest information on CFAP 2, visit or call 877-508-8364.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can be found at
Membership options-
Full Membership - $80
or Associate Member- $40

Full Member's benefits:
*Member seminar discounts
*Farm and farm events listed on EAA website
(the free openherd site required)
*Voting rights & ability to run for board
*Participation in EAA store at shows & events
*Free fecal sample testing sponsored by Merk Labs
*Participation with Fiber Project with discount pricing
*FREE eblast options thru EAA constant contact (rules apply)
*Inclusion in member farm search via zip code for folks to find your farm
*EAA newsletter & eblasts
*Free listing on EAA website as an associate member (free openherd site required)

Associate Member Benefits
*EAA newsletter and eblasts to keep you updated
*List farm events on website
*Free fecal sample testing sponsored by Merk Labs
*Participation in EAA Fiber Project with discount pricing
*Inclusion in member farm search via zip code for folks to find your farm

We'd love to feature alpaca related youth projects & groups!
Please send article & photos to Sarah Lamanna
Fiber Project Update
Theresa Jewel, fiber committee chair, reports

Blankets & seconds are still needed- see info. below.
Autumn Mist Fiber Mill and Rosehaven Fiber Mill are working together on the 2020 Fiber Project. For those interested in donating fiber to the fiber project please contact any board member or Theresa Jewell. Fiber can be dropped off at any BOD farm.
Clearance Sale!!
2019 EAA Yarn now $10/Skein
black fingering & gray sport
Contact Theresa Jewell to order
2020 New Products and Prices

Please consider donating to the Empire Fiber Project.

To participate in the Fiber Project for 2020/2021:
1. You need to be a current EAA member in good standing;
2. Complete the Fiber Donation Form (below) and place in each bag of fiber
Donate skirted blankets and 2nds that are use-able
(free from vegetation, mold, urine, poo, foreign materials etc)

  • The Empire Project currently has in stock: socks, yarn, insoles, roving, and rug yarn. 
  • If you have a resale certificate and are tax exempt, we will require that information.

To Purchase Products:
An EAA donating member is able to purchase at cost with no minimum.
EAA non-donating member can purchase wholesale with no minimum.
Non EAA members can purchase at retail with no minimum.

For more information regarding the Empire Fiber Project contact :
Email Theresa Jewell  Stoney Meadows Alpaca Farm 
Call or Text 585-750-9332