Monday, April 30, 2012

PR Zack

They say when you have an alpaca farm you need a good PR alpaca.

PR = public relations

A good PR animal is one who is friendly and not easily scared off.  Some alpacas can be jumpy which doesn't make for good relations for people not familiar with alpacas.  People want to have the alpacas come  up to them and people want to touch them.  There are such alpacas, and often farms will hang onto a good PR animal even if it isn't in their breeding program (such as a friendly gelding). 

We actually do have a PR animal and that would be Rose.  She always comes up to visitors.  She LOVES small children and will follow them around the farm sniffing at their head.  At shows she will come up to people.  Not only is she so friendly, but she's cute, with that beautiful rose grey coloring.  She does a great job.   Twilight is quite friendly also, she and Rose are a really nice pair.  And even better, they are a big part of our breeding program.

I've often wondered if the fact they are friendly and not easily scared off is because they grew up on our farm (Twilight was born here, Rose came as a very young cria at her dam's side).  Our dams and cria live in our backyard.  From the time they are born we are around them (not in their face, but just there).  Our kids run and play in our backyard, right there with the dams and cria.  This means they are used to loud noises.  They are used to movement.  I've seen it at a show before where a young child runs down a pathway between stalls and the alpacas scatter to the furthest end of them stalls away from the kids.  Our alpacas don't seem to notice.  And especially for Rose, she's actually drawn to young kids.

But we found something better than a good PR alpaca ~  a PR son! 

Zack spent some time helping us set up at the show, he was great helping with any chore we needed to do, and any time we needed help getting the animals to the ring (as I mentioned in the last post he held onto Rose while J and I were both showing other animals).   Zack is also a friendly and talkative guy.  He loves to talk about what he knows, and he does know a fair amount about alpacas.  This was quickly picked up by some of the people walking around the show venue.  People who had never seen alpacas were referred to our stall, to hear Zack.  We ended up with quite a few people coming to our stalls.  In fact, J and I came to get some animals from our stall and found Zack in front of a TV camera!!! 

Later we heard the story that some university students were working on a documentary on alpaca farming and asked to talk to some people who could tell them what it is like to be an alpaca farmer.  They were instantly referred to Zack, who was already building a reputation.

Zack told me that he asked the university students if he could get a copy of their report.  They took a card and said they would email it to us.   Kind of funny how Zack came with us to the show for "fiber research" and ended up being a part of another research project :)   On the fiber research end, Zack did get his hands on a lot of champions.  It was quite an educational experience for him.

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