Pohopoco Creek Alpacas
Hello. I am Mary Baxter of Pohopoco Creek Alpacas located in the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. Both my husband, Rob, and I are real estate brokers and have been for longer than we care to admit. We owned and ran 5 franchises, some with partners, before we decided to go back to just being agents, something we continue to do. We have two sons
in their 20’s and one 6 month old grandson. One day in the summer of 2013 I woke up and decided I should start looking for something to do when I retire in 10 to 15 years. To make a long story short I got onto alpacas and there went the 10 to 15 years I was going to wait to
start something new. Rob gave me 3 fabulous fiber boys that Christmas and I now have a herd of 32 and a successful farm store.
So far it has been a thrilling ride. Not having had any experience with farming or livestock my
naïveté came shining through but the support from everyone in the industry has been amazing.
I’d like to use my experiences and business skills to serve all of you as part of the PAOBA
Board of Directors. I welcome any questions and thoughts you might have so feel free to get in touch.
Dark Rose Alpacas
Famous throughout the country because college sports-casters enjoy reporting the football scores of our local university, Slippery Rock is my home. I’m Karen Bowman and I am honored to be considered for the Board of PAOBA.
My husband, Rick, and I have been married for 36 years and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. I am a graduate of Slippery Rock University and hold teaching degrees in Special Education, Physical Education and Family and Consumer Science. I also hold a Masters degree in Special Education. I have taught special needs children for 29 years in the Butler School District. Over the years, as my children were growing, I have held leadership positions in Special Olympics, local youth baseball, Cub Scouts, Swim team and Football Mothers.
We have raised beef cattle on our farm for many years but our journey into alpaca farming began with one crazy male who needed a good home. Alpacas were familiar to us as Fay Staving at Highland Alpacas was my coop teacher for my student teaching. I filled her teaching position when she retired. We visited her farm frequently to “get our fix” of alpaca socks and sweaters. We have taken in a few more “orphans” and though selective breeding have increased our herd to 37 great “kids.”
We spread the joy of “life with alpacas” throughout the community as friends and neighbors watch expectantly for each new arrival.
I am grateful to the owners of so many alpaca farms that we visited who so readily share their knowledge and experiences. It is this sharing that will enable our industry to grow and flourish. I want to encourage this growth in whatever capacity PAOBA feels I am capable of doing.
Sugar Hollow Farm
Sugar Hollow FarmMy name is Kathy Brown. My husband, Jay, and I own Sugar Hollow Farm Alpacas and live in Waynesboro, PA. We moved here in July of 2016, after raising our two children in Lorton, Virginia. I was a critical care RN, then went back to school and obtained a MEd with a specialty in school library services. I worked as a school librarian for 16 years and retired in 2015.
In 2009, Jay and I went to a fair in Lovettsville, VA and, since I like to knit, we sought out the only yarn vendor there, who was selling alpaca yarn. They had the funniest picture of their first cria with a photobomb of the cria’s “auntie.” Even though there were no alpacas there, we were smitten! The very next weekend we were driving home from a weekend away and spotted an “Alpaca Farm Store Open” sign. Of course, we stopped, met some alpacas, and talked of nothing else for weeks. We felt that doors were opening for us, and we kept walking through them.
A few months later we purchased our first animal. Because we lived in suburban northern Virginia, our growing herd had to be agisted until Jay retired from the US Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” in July of 2016. Agisting was frustrating, but gave us the opportunity to learn all we could about the care, feeding, breeding, birthing, and showing of alpacas. We met many friendly and knowledgeable people, and learned from all of them. We had some wonderful mentors across three different farms, so when we moved to Waynesboro we were ready to bring our herd home. We now have 17 huacayas, 2 llamas, pigs, chickens, cats, and a loveable dog named Molly.
In addition to raising alpacas, I am the author of the children’s’ book, The Alpaca-bet! ABCs of Alpacas. I’ve also written for Alpacas magazine: Agisting: How to “do” alpacas without “doing” alpacas, published in Summer 2015; and Alpaca Breeder, Science Teacher, submitted for publication in the winter 2018 issue. I was privileged to serve as the announcer at the last MABA show, and at MAPACA in the spring of 2017.
PAOBA is a dynamic organization that serves its membership well, and it is an honor to be nominated to serve. Having been an agistor for 7 years gives me a unique perspective on the challenges of new breeders. The Breeder’s Showcase and Summer Seminar offer prime opportunities for networking, and for beginning or continuing one’s alpaca education. Revitalizing the PAOBA Planet is important. If I am elected, I look forward to working hard on these and other projects for PAOBA.
Bedford’s Lincoln Pike Alpaca Farm
Bedford’s Lincoln Pike Alpaca Farm Hello, I am Valerie Csehoski of Bedford’s Lincoln Pike Alpaca Farm, LLC. Thank you for the opportunity to run for the PAOBA Board of Directors. My partner, Jake Hoover, and I live in the historic town of Bedford-located right along the PA Turnpike, halfway between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. My first encounter with alpacas was at the PAOBA Showcase in 2008 as a spectator. I fell in love with these elegant creatures at first sight. However, I was also very impressed with all of the PAOBA members that I met. They were kind, patient with all my questions, and very informative without being pushy. Over the next few years I did extensive research, visited lots of farms, and convinced my partner that owning alpacas was a great idea. As a result, we eventually started our farm. Growing up in the small rural town of New Florence, Pa., I had relatives and friends that owned farms of all varieties, and I always dreamed of having my own farm. I just never really knew what I wanted to raise, until I discovered alpacas. It was love at first sight.
My profession is nursing. I have worked in a wide variety of settings, including labor and delivery. This has come in very handy with alpacas also. While most deliveries are uneventful, there have been a few times when my OB skills have helped to assist with a positive outcome. I enjoy learning about the care and management of alpacas and sharing this information with others.
I am a member of PAOBA, MAPACA, and AOA. I would like the opportunity, as a Board member, to help keep PAOBA strong and thriving. Previous members have done a great job in making PAOBA stand out across the nation by promoting our industry, for uniting alpaca owners, and educating the general public. I would be honored to help move our organization forward, and would welcome the opportunity to work as a team member for PAOBA’s future.
Thank you for your consideration. Valerie
Nine Patch Alpacas
My name is Diane Kreider and I would like to thank you for nominating me for the PAOBA board of directors.
It was shortly after 9/11, my children were young, and the idea of simple farm life was appealing. I first saw alpacas at the local fair and fell in love. With my interest in the fiber arts and my creativity I knew I had found my perfect fit. After some research, although clearly not enough, I bought a male and female sight unseen from the internet. Not the best start to an alpaca adventure and one I would advise against, but I loved those animals and my little farm had begun.
Now, years later, I’ve been nominated to the Board of Directors. With such an auspicious beginning, you can be sure I’ve learned a lot and could not have succeeded without PAOBA. I believe in this organization and its people and I would like to use what I’ve learned to serve PAOBA and its members.
I currently serve on the Fiber Committee. I believe strongly in the value of The Yarn Project and Farm Show and have worked diligently on both. I work as a dyer for The Alpaca Yarn Company and I helped create and manage a local shop called The Makers Cottage where we partner with local fiber artists to sell their product.
If elected I hope to act as a liaison between the fiber committee and the board as we work together to add value to our alpaca fiber. I especially enjoy the challenge of finding value in higher grade fibers.
Thank you for your consideration.
Hello fellow PAOBA members. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and let you know a little about my amazing journey in the alpaca industry. Since a very young child, I spent time on my grandparents 150 acre farm in upstate NY; owned and showed horses, cleaned stalls, trained horses and gave riding lessons. I just knew I wanted a farm of my own. So in 2000, I talked my then husband of 5 years into following my dream and move from a new home to well let’s say a “fixer upper” farmette in Mount Joy, Lancaster County, PA. My love of horses continued as I owned 3 and boarded my sister’s. Then in 2001, I met alpacas for the first time at the PA State Farm Show, and that’s where this journey starts. After some time to research and get over the “sticker shock”, we bought our first 4 females in 2003. Over the first few years, we bred, had crias, showed and met some amazing people, one of who was Helen Humphries, now judge. She convinced me to help with the Breeder’s Showcase and become the Barn Manager which I continue to serve as to this date. Then I was introduced to what we do at the Farm Show, which at that time was to introduce alpacas to the public and sell a few socks. Boy have things changed since those days. After many years of helping with the Farm Show and the Fiber Committee, I continue to sit on the Fiber Committee as the Chairperson. This includes helping with numerous fiber sorts, dying products for sale, selling in our ever growing store, demonstrating fiber arts, and most importantly, educating the public about alpacas and the primary reason we breed them – their amazing fiber. This is where my personal interest really piqued. Over the years, I have learned to weave, spin, felt, knit and crochet, dye and prepare fiber to be produced into lovely soft yarns. My mother and I run a farm store where we focus on handmade products from our own animal’s fleece and some commercial products, focusing on US alpaca products.
This is not where my interest ends. I am encouraged by the recent upswing in the alpaca industry but also recognize there is work that needs to continue to move forward. PAOBA has been and remains to be one of the most dynamic and forward thinking affiliates in the alpaca industry. I am excited to be part of such a group and hope to continue my growth and participation in the growth of PAOBA and the industry as a board member. Thank you for taking time to read a little about me and my love of these amazing animals. Questions are encouraged.
Hello! My name is Sue Rose and it’s an honor to run for PAOBA’s Board of Directors this year. A couple of years ago, I became intrigued by the wondrous soft alpaca fiber in a beautiful Peruvian ruana. Then I fell in love with the animal! Along with my super supportive husband, Rick, we have a small Huacaya herd agisted at Heaven’s Hill Alpacas near Pittsburgh along with a successful online boutique.
This year I served on PAOBA’s Membership Committee. Professionally, I was an editor/writer at a publishing company in New York, followed by financial and consulting editing/writing for two Fortune 500 companies in Pittsburgh. Then I became a full time mom to raise my two wonderful boys and a full time volunteer in my community. I helped to start an indoor playground, served on the board of directors for a daycare center, preschool, library and PTAs; and was elected and served on Mt. Lebanon’s school board for eight years. In my spare time, I taught about animals through the National Aviary and National Wildlife Federation and created an outdoor classroom for a local elementary school.
La Paix Alpacas is a unique operation that focuses on bringing the benefits of alpaca fiber and ownership to a wider range of people across the country. I love to talk about alpaca to my friends in suburbia and around the world who haven’t yet had an opportunity to experience this wonderful animal and its fleece. I truly believe that we are on an upswing on alpaca popularity which includes the wonderful, back-to-earth enjoyment of alpaca farms and the incredible versatility of and desire for alpaca fleece products.
To this end, I am incredibly grateful to all the wonderful, giving people who helped me learn alpaca and those who give PAOBA, AOA and other organizations the vision, honesty and hard work that these animals deserve as they take their proper place in the livestock industry. If elected, I hope to continue this good work. Thank you!