Alpacas were first brought to the country in 1984 and have since then become much a part of American farmers’ favorite animal. An alpaca looks so much like a llama; it has thick, soft wool and weighs between 45 to 90 kg. and is about 1 meter in height. It is easy to keep as herd animal, and like sheep or cows, alpacas chew a cud and graze on grasses. Their lifespan is about 20 years, and reproduce without many difficulties. Their fleece is similar to mohair or wool and because it takes longer for alpacas to grow their fleece, it is usually always in high demand and more expensive. Raising alpacas is slowly becoming part of mainstream livestock industry and if you want to start your own alpaca farm, you can apply for generous grants for alpaca farming that are available to alpaca farmers in the country. It helped that the federal government has officially designated this animal as a farm livestock and can thus qualify for federal grants for livestock animals.
Farm Ownership Loan Grants
This program is administered by the Department of Agriculture through the Farm Service Agency office. Loans and supervisory assistance are given to eligible ranchers, farmers, farming cooperatives, partnerships, corporations so they can efficiently use available resources and succeed in their farming operations and provide farm families with a reasonable living standard. Type of assistance is through direct loans and guaranteed/insured loans. Funds can be used to buy family farms, enlarge or improve existing ones; for the construction and repair of farm buildings essential for the operation of the family farm. Direct loans amount can be up to $300,000 and guaranteed loans, $1,112,000. More information about this program is available at the program’s headquarter located at:
1280 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, District of Columbia 20024
Telephone: (202) 720-1657
Fax: (202) 720-6797.
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grants
This program is spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990. It was established to help the plight of socially disadvantaged ranchers and farmers in the country so they can own and operate their own ranches and farms, be encouraged to participate in community agricultural programs which can eventually strengthen and expand the rural economy. The program extends training and technical assistance on various agricultural programs to eligible applicants. Average amount of financial assistance is about $200,000. You can obtain more information here:
Department of Agriculture
USDA Office of Outreach
1400 Independence Avenue, SW., AG STOP 1710 Washington, DC 20250
Fax: (202) 720-7489.
Alpaca raisers have called these animals as the finest livestock investment in the world. You can take advantage of these grants for alpaca farming and be on your way to a rewarding future.