Support Systems for Alpacas

Associations & information in the 7 billion dollar industry

aobaThe Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) was founded in 1988 with 87 members and approximately 390 alpacas. The membership has steadily grown to 3,865 members and 182,461 alpacas in 2010! The purpose of AOBA is to:

  • Promote public awareness of alpacas;
  • Educate the membership on care and breeding of alpacas;
  • Promote the alpaca industry;
  • Foster the establishment of the breed outside of its native land.

Alpaca breeders from all walks of life interact with each other through this association by participating in shows and open houses, co-owning animals, and by sharing their acquired expertise. (AOBA Mission Statement)

Membership entitles you to participate in annual national conferences, seminars, advertising opportunities and much more!

Visit the AOBA website to learn more at

The Alpaca Registry was established in 1988. The “Registry” is a record keeper and monitor of all registered alpacas. A five member elected Board of Directors governs the registry.

Approximately 95% of all alpacas in North America are registered. Registration requires DNA samples, without which tests recognition is denied. ARI owns the database that holds the genealogy, ownership and number of US alpacas. Membership benefits include access to this database, where one can find an alpaca’s heritage and offspring in order to make an informed decision.

Visit the ARI website to learn more at

The Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America, Inc. (AFCNA or the “co-op”) was incorporated in 1998. AFCNA is an organization with members in every state.   AFCNA members pool together their fiber each year to take advantage of the economic benefits of processing large volumes of fiber and market finished products on a national level.


The mission of the Co-op is to create, promote and market alpaca products for its members. It is overseen by a Board of Directors whose goal is to maximize the long-term benefits to the members of the co-op, individual alpaca fiber producers, and to our breeding industry as a whole.

The primary benefit of the AFCNA is the creation of a national brand, America’s Alpaca. Recognized by alpaca producers and consumers as being superior quality alpaca fleece products, this name is synonymous with the exceptional quality and breeding of North American alpacas.

Visit the AFCNA website to learn more at

National Conference
This is the pinnacle of the alpaca gatherings. Alpacas and their owners come together for show competitions, auction, fashion show, educational sessions, meetings and so much more. There is an air of camaraderie as alpaca owners share their insight and knowledge. Vendors are also present to entice all with their latest merchandise. Beautiful accommodations, luscious meals and delightful entertainment make this an event to not miss. Records are broken as the quality of alpaca continues to rise. The 2012 National Conference will be held in Louisville, KY , May 26 – 28, 2012.

(Click here for more information)

Visit the Alpaca Info website to learn more at

The Support Systems

  • National community of alpaca farms, owners, breeders with tremendous support
  • National Conventions, National Fashion Shows, Show Competitions and Auctions
  • AOBA (Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association)
  • Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI)
  • Alpaca Fiber Co-op National Association (AFCNA)
  • Fiber To Fashion
  • Alpaca Magazine
  • One Voice ( quarterly newsletter of AOBA and ARI )
  • Alpaca Research Foundation (ARF)
  • International Alpaca Association
  • Affiliate Associations

How To Get Started!

  • Do your Homework!
  • Consult your Accountant
  • Seek a qualified Veterinarian
  • Develop a Business Plan
  • Join national and local alpaca associations
  • Visit several an alpaca farm … hint: Atlantic Breeze Alpacas!
  • Buy alpacas!!

Books to consider:

  1. Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids by Murray Fowler
  2. The Complete Alpaca Book by Eric Hoffman
  3. Alpacas – Synthesis of a Miracle by Michael Safley
  4. The International Alpaca Handbook. Ian Watt ( Editor and Publisher )
  5. Alpaca Field Manual by C. Norman Evans, D.V.M.
  6. The Camelid Companion by Marty McGee Bennett


  1. AOBA
  2. AFCNA
  3. The Complete Alpaca Book
  4. Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids
  5. Alpaca from Fleece to Fashion
  6. Alpacas Magazine
  7. Focus on Fashion
  8. Alpaca Field Manual

Disclosure: Information on this site was obtained for educational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by Alpaca 101 nor by participating farms.