The U.S. alpaca industry began in the 1980s when small numbers of alpacas were imported from Chile. The low startup costs for an alpaca business, good returns on investment, and relatively generous tax write-offs fueled the growth of the industry. Today breeders and alpaca farm businesses are spread throughout the country.
Area residents can gain of unique glimpse into what it is like to raise alpacas at a free two-day event in Preston, Md., the 8th Annual Outstanding Dreams Farm Alpaca Festival and Open House. The event will be held on Saturday, September 17th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, September 18th from noon to 4 p.m. at Outstanding Dreams Farm, 24480 Pinetown Road, Preston, Md., 21655.
The festival will include:
- Farm tours by Outstanding Dreams Farm owners Phil and Vickie Liske and their 37 Huacaya alpacas;
- Craft and food vendors;
- Children’s activities;
- Fiber arts demonstrations;
- Live music; and
- Door prizes and a raffle.
Visitors can also browse through the farm store for a variety of products crafted from alpaca fleece. Products available for purchase include scarves, clothing, hats, children’s toys, jewelry, raw fiber and more. For information on the alpaca festival call (410) 673-2002 or visit www.OutstandingDreamsFarm.com.
Phil and Vickie Liske started their alpaca business in 2007 with the goal to run a successful business that was both enjoyable and profitable. It provided a good match to their primary hay business. Since then they have raised 250 alpacas and received more than 35 awards for the quality of their animals at certified alpaca shows throughout the country. A recent accolade was a first place finish at The National Show in 2014.
“When we started our alpaca farm we really didn’t know what we were in for,” says Phil Liske. “We researched and learned a lot over the years. This is much more to us than just a business; it is a lifestyle choice and a very rewarding one at that. Our annual festival allows us to share our passion for the alpacas and our farm business with folks who just want to visit for the day as well as those who are considering opening an alpaca business,” he adds.
Outstanding Dreams Farm is located on 15 acres in Preston, Md., in Caroline County. The farm offers top-quality alpaca sales and breeding services as well as a farm store that carries a variety of products crafted from luxurious alpaca fiber.
The Liskes are active in the alpaca community and have served on the Show Committee for the Maryland Alpaca Breeders Association (MABA). Phil currently serves as president MABA’s Board of Directors.
For event information or to arrange group tours, call (410) 673-2002, email pvliske@OutstandingDreamsFarm.com. Visit online at www.OutstandingDreamsFarm.com or Facebook.