On Saturday, I attended Paca to Product in Wooster, Ohio.  Paca to Product is a network involving Morning Star Fiber Mill and the Ohio Alpaca and Breeders Association that “hosts a yearly forum which exists to establish a cottage industry level platform from which the exotic fiber producers, harvesters, processors and artisans will be able to realize an ever expanding market that is both profitable and sustainable for all involved.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speaker, Susan Gibbs. She originally started niche farming on Martha’s Vineyard an island off the south of Cape Cod and created the first ever Yarn and Fiber CSA. She has since moved to Virginia to start Juniper Moon Farm.

The Success of Niche Marketing: The Susan Gibbs Story

Susan shared her story of leaving the corporate world as a CBS news producer in New York City and moving to the country to reconnect with her agricultural roots and also what she would do if she had the chance to do it all over again.

The Program at Paca to Product was good and included topics such as Shearing for Maximum Profit – you can watch the video,  An Alternative to Common Market Strategies, Social Media Marketing, and Evaluating Fiber for Processing.  I would highly recommend Paca to Product for any alpaca breeder looking to further their knowledge of the fiber that their alpacas are producing, as our industry moves forward in developing an alpaca fiber industry.

Next year’s event is already being planned and the dates set for November 11-13, 2011. You might want to put that on your calendar!




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