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C&M Acres is open for National Alpaca Farm Days

By Staff | Sep 15, 2011

MAXWELL – If you’ve ever wanted to see tromp around a working alpaca farm – or if you’re not quite sure what an alpaca is – opportunity awaits at C&M Acres, southeast of Maxwell.

Owners Christian and Michelle Davies are opening their gates to visitors on Sept. 24 and 25 in conjunction with National Alpaca Farm Days, a coordinated effort across the United States and Canada to introduce the alpaca and its fiber products.

The goal is to show people how alpacas are raised, why people raise them and to let people come face-to-face with the llama’s smaller cousin.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, people can tour the farm, get acquainted with the animals and check out the barn layouts.

Before they launched C&M Acres, the Davieses were looking for a business opportunity that would provide some stress relief and get Christian out of his office job more often. He is an executive vice president and chief financial officer who oversees operations for a variety of companies.

“We wanted something small enough that Michelle could handle, something that wasn’t a meat animal and something that didn’t bother her allergies,” he said.

Alpacas fit the bill on all counts.

Adult alpacas stand about 36 inches at the shoulder and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. Although the meat is consumed in South America, there is no market for alpaca meat in the United States, and since the fiber contains no lanolin, it’s considered hypoallergenic.

During National Alpaca Farm Days, members of the Des Moines Knitting Guild will be on hand, demonstrating their craft. Alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere and is far warmer than wool. It also is wrinkle resistant, repels water and has little or no odor.

C&M’s farm store, which is filled with all types of products made from alpaca fiber, will be open during the event.

If you can’t make it to the national event, the Davieses offer a full range of educational seminars throughout the year, ranging from an introduction to alpacas to spinning, weaving and felting classes. The farm is open by appointment at other times.

C&M Acres has more than 90 alpacas on site, ranging from newborns to mature animals.

For more information, call (515) 387-8607 or visit www.cmacres.com

Contact Barbara Wallace Hughes at (515) 573-214 or bwh@messengernews.net

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