Money Matters

How to make North American Paco-Vicuna® successful on your farm

Money Matters
One important point to consider is that the North American Paco-Vicuna® is a developing livestock
breed being bred to supply consistent luxury fiber to high-end fashion and textile markets. To grow
the breed and supply enough luxury fiber to accomplish this primary goal, it’s important for smaller
North American Paco-Vicuna® breeders to refine their genetics and make quality seedstock and
genetics available to the larger farms and vice versa… ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. The larger rebreed
farms often focus on raising animals that preferably of same fiber grade, and , when
possible, have color uniformity. Homogeneity makes it easier for a larger farm to produce a bale of
nearly uniform fiber which, in turn, helps the North American Paco-Vicuna® Association meet its
goal of providing consistent fiber to fashion designers to produce North American Paco-Vicuña
derived textiles. Large and small farms working together toward an attainable goal will help
increase the value of all North American Paco-Vicuna® farmers’ initial investments as well as build
the health and wellbeing of all North American Paco-Vicuña® that they raise.

 

Planning Your Business
To build an ordinary business plan, let alone an animal
fiber-based business plan, one has so much to consider…
we hope that your bottom-line business questions are
answered as you browse the online resources to the right.
As your North American Paco-Vicuna®-based business
takes shape, you may avoid financial surprises by
planning judiciously, having a realistic outlook,
finding ways to do many things yourself, learning
from those with experience raising North American
Paco-Vicuna®, and having sound insurance. Newly
minted North American Paco-Vicuna® farmers
should try to build a farm that is resilient and
prepared for the unexpected, from market
fluctuations to severe weather, from illness and
disease to predators, and from unforeseen life
events, etc. As your new farm is taking shape, it
might be wise to consider diversification into other
products so you don’t exclusively rely on selling
your North American Paco-Vicuna® fiber. Perhaps
your farm can accommodate different livestock,
can board animals for other small farms, can grow
fruits, vegetables, or other crops such as timber,
hemp, flax, etc. or maybe you can create a value
added product from a raw commodity it
produces. Perhaps you have the skills and space to
hold educational workshops. As they say, don’t
quit your day job just yet. Until you realistically can
turn a profit, you may want to keep that off-farm
job.

Income & Expenses
As you first build your business, you’ll experience mostly expenses. By all means, document all
initial business income and expenses as some may be tax-deductible (please consult a qualified CPA
for financial documentation and tracking guidance). Eventually, we hope that you will have more
income than expenses – or at least that you plan well enough to reach a break-even point early in
your farm’s first few years. Here are some examples of some potential Income and Expenses.

Expenses
Boarding Off-Site (agisting)
Everyday Herd Maintenance
Fencing, Shelter, Waterers
Gelding
Labor
Land/Pasture Purchase
Livestock Purchase
Minerals/Supplements, Treats
Off-Season Hay
Predator/Parasite Control
Shearing (hired or DIY?)
Taxes/Workers Comp
Veterinary Care

Income
AirBNB/Farm-Stay Experiences
Boarding On-Site (agisting)
Farm/Educational Tours
Fiber (raw fleece)
Fiber (value-added)
Livestock/Cria Sales
Manure (bricks for fire logs)
Manure (garden/crop amendment)
Other Farm Goods (diversification)
Other Farm Usage (diversification)
Other Livestock (diversification)
Stud/Surrogate Fees

Additional Business Considerations
When contemplating a livestock-based business venture, it is critical to assure that you can
properly and ethically care for your animals. Understanding that North American Paco-Vicuna®
farming is a business where you work with – and against – nature and semi-wild livestock animals;
both of which can surprise and humble you if you aren’t careful and mindful of all eventualities.

Your path to profitability may depend on if you are already a farmer, maybe with camelid,
livestock, or animal management experience – or – if you are new to farming, are you in a position
to put most of your available time into a venture with an even steeper and longer learning curve,
working not with any run-of-the-mill livestock, yet with a breed that is new and as of yet, not
widely known or raised in North America? It is definitely the hardest work – and one of the most
fulling occupations – you’ll ever encounter. Farming of any kind is also a long-term commitment
and rarely delivers a rapid return on investment. In all markets – including agriculture – there are
fads that temporarily drive up demand and prices – don’t fall for them. Raising North American
Paco-Vicuna® is not a fad or get rich quick scheme. However, if you raise North American Paco-
Vicuna® the right way, with the right planning, you can eventually earn some money.

 

If you aspire to do more than primarily market raw North American Paco-Vicuna® fiber, it will be
useful to consider how much knowledge of fiber and textiles you have – or need to learn – in order
to make good business decisions and someday create useful and marketable value-added products.
To increase your chance of realizing your long-term financial goals, you should consider
diversification to insulate your farm from fluctuating prices and to bring home additional income
from other types of livestock or farming that may not be the primary focus of your North American
Paco-Vicuna® business model.

Established February 4, 2009 as a Nonprofit Association.

The Association owns and manages The Paco-Vicuña Registry, and is the only home of North American Paco-Vicuna™.

Mission Statement: Develop and promote the Paco-Vicuña breed by focusing on vicuña characteristics, vigor, and fiber fineness while maintaining the gentle manner and fiber growth rate of the alpaca.

Board of Directors: Thomas Victor – President Stephen Fowler – Vice President Jane Levene – Secretary Nicky Elves – Treasurer