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Seminars & Workshops

2017 Virginia Alpaca & Fiber Festival Seminar Schedule

Alpaca Color Check/Compliance Training Clinic   Friday 10am – 2pm with lab till 6pm 

This FREE clinic will focus on training you to be the best compliance checker in the business.  The training is being provided by a certified AOA halter and fleece judge, Kathy Klay.  If you take part in AOA show administration, color checking, fleece, spinoff, or as an owner and want to know more about the specifics of color classification through the eyes of the judges this seminar is for you.  Following the seminar you’ll have hands on experience assisting with the color checking of alpacas arriving for the VAOBA show.  For those attending the seminar and taking part in the VAOBA Alpaca & Fiber Festival, you may check in your alpacas on Thursday Nov 16 from 4 to 7pm.  You must pre-register for this seminar with Patty Fuller at 540-953-0439 or email:

Breathing and other necessary things you need to do in the show ring  Friday at 6:30 pm
Patty Fuller of Poplar Hill Alpacas provides valuable information for those about to enter the ring.  In the ring between our alpaca and the judge it’s all about 90 seconds.  This lighthearted look at what you’re doing in the show ring with your alpacas will raise your confidence and final placements too.  It provides a good overview for owners new to the show environment and a quick refresher for those breeders looking for a hit or two on successful show techniques.  From halter fitting to dealing with the PacMonster; this seminar will review the show ring process from start to finish, highlight some do’s and don’ts, and demonstrate safe handling techniques.  You’ve worked hard all year, make the most of the 90 seconds you have to present your alpaca and have fun too. 

Essential Oils and Alpacas   Saturday 9am – 10am, and Sunday 11:30 – 12:30
Jeanne Krause and Dave Grembi will talk to us about how to use essential oils with your alpacas.  Learn how to calm your alpacas during shearing and other stressful times.  Attendees at the Essential Oils and Alpacas seminar will gain an understanding of essential oils, including the sources of these amazing oils, how they are extracted and made into products, various grades of 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.

Toxic Plant Identification    Saturday 10:15am – 11:15am
We are very lucky to have veterinary support from Virginia Tech each year to help us check in our alpacas, provide emergency care if necessary and do a seminar for us.   This year, Dr Katie Wilson will offer us a very informative seminar on identifying toxic plants.  They had a lot of interest in this topic over the past summer and will give us the low down what plants to look out for in our pastures in the coming year.  

A Conversation About The Alpaca Industry and AOA  Saturday 11:30 am – 12-30, and
Sunday 8:45am – 9:45

Bud Synhorst is the Executive Director of the National Alpaca Association.  He will be at our show this year and is ready to discuss what’s going on with the alpaca industry at the national level and to address questions you may have.

What Makes a Successful Farm Store    Saturday 11:30am – 12:30am
Long time alpaca fine product sales expert, Chris McCue of Classic Alpaca will talk to us about some of the many things he has learned over the years in what makes a successful farm store.  This is the season of the farm store. Come to pick up tips and tricks to improve your sales this season.  

Alpaca Insurance Issues   Saturday from 1:30 – 2:30
Steve Purdy, a farm insurance specialist, will present an integrated view of alpaca farm insurance that emphasizes the ways in which it is different from and goes well beyond homeowners insurance.  Some of the important farm insurance topics he will discuss are:
- Possible gaps between separate policies for differing parts of your coverage
- Common mistakes made in selecting coverage for property, liability, vehicles and workman’s compensation
- How the rise of Agri-Tourism affects your farm operation
- Questions you should ask your agent

Livestock Guardian Dogs – Presentation and Q&A  Saturday 1:30 – 2:30
Livestock Guardians are a valuable resource in protecting our herds.  They come in many shapes and sizes and range from dogs to donkeys to llamas and more….  This weekend we have two different dog breeds represented, the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America and the Kangal Dog Club of America.  They are here to do a round table discussion of the traits and advantages each of these breeds bring to your farm.  Followed by a question and answer period.  Come find out about these breeds and see if they are right for you!

Maximizing your Return – How to Prep Your Fleece for the Fiber Mill
Saturday 2:45 – 4 pm, and Sunday 10 am – 11:15am

Susan Rabern from the Shenandoah Fiber Mill in Fairfield VA will talk to us about how to get your fleeces ready to go to the mill.  Learn secrets to quickly preparing your fiber for mill processing that will save you money up front and enhance your finished product for higher returns to you.