It's amazing how far we've come as an industry in exposing the public to our great animals, and I get only infrequent "ignorant" questions and far fewer people ask if they're baby llamas, etc. I like to think that it's partly because of those of use who "get out there" with our animals, to farmer's markets, festivals, libraries, schools, farm events, parades, etc. We have done literally dozens of these sorts of things over the years, and they are still gratifying.Even though we live in a rural county, there are children growing up in our area who are completely out of touch with farms, their food sources, and exposure to animals. Fourth graders, I believe, are ideally receptive to learning about these things and I was very impressed with some of their great questions and attention.
We talked about the alpaca's use and origins, their habits, and defenses. I demonstrated my spinning wheel and let them all try treadling on it. They got to pet our 4-day-old cria, Ginger Spice. Each child left with a little bit of roving- what a thrill that was for some of them! Hopefully they'll go home and tell their parents about all that they learned and saw today- who knows, some may become alpaca breeders or at least consumers of alpaca products someday!