Like many others of our “Boomer Generation”, we have engaged in numerous business endeavors over the years. Originally Walter taught microbiology at a college in Boston, MA, and Doris worked as a laboratory technician in a suburban hospital.

After a few years, several business adventures and two darling children, we settled in New Hampshire, where we ran a full-service printing company.

No doubt we were entrepreneurs but livestock business and alpacas?

Why Alpaca Farming?

We happened upon a local newspaper article about a couple in the next town who raised alpacas. Intrigued, we decided to investigate.

We called and visited the alpaca farmers who gave us lots of helpful information. They encouraged us to do further research. We loved animals, enjoyed working together and liked the idea of an ‘investment’ we could help control and insure. Coupled with the peaceful and rewarding lifestyle evident in alpaca farming, we sensed we wanted to do this in the next phase of our life.

We attended shows in New England and visited several farms. We devoured alpaca information we received in the mail and on the net. Every piece of information we received in the mail confirmed our decision: we wanted to become alpaca farmers.

Planning Stage

At this point, we still had commitments to our business and we did not have suitable property for farming. Regardless, we were eager to get started. We purchased two female alpacas, registered them and then bought Calypso, daughter of Peruvian Bueno at the Futurity Show and Oklahoma.

In order to broaden our genetic base, we added two Bolivian females and several other Peruvian females from the west coast. With a growing family, we needed a home and time to enjoy the “kids”.

Search for a Home

The search for the perfect property took more than two years to complete. Admittedly, it was a struggle, but then everything worthwhile usually is.

More than a year after finding the lovely property in Kennebunk, Maine, we were happily situated with an ever-increasing family. Lightfoot Farms is now home to one Llama and a herd of alpacas numbering 30-50 animals. We also began the operation of an environmentally friendly fiber processing mill, where we transformed fleece into yarns and rovings.

After five years of processing fiber and learning all about alpaca ‘wool’; we sold our mini-mill to a new enthusiast who had many years of experience with fiber and hand spinning.

Although we have been involved in the Alpaca business for many years, we still take pleasure in the daily encounters with the Alpacas. Believe it or not even cleaning the barn can be fun! It continues to be rewarding and the reason Alpacas are our business – our only business!