As someone who was born and raised on a farm, I always knew that there were two most important things about being a farmer. First, one was to be hard working, like my parents and grandparent were. But this is something many people instinctively realize. But, the other essential thing is to be innovative.
This might come as a surprise for a lot of folks, mainly because we tend to see farming as something that is very static and slow-changing, especially when compared to other industries. The IT technology might change constantly, but farming remains the same for years and years. Well, if you perceive things like this and run your farm, in the same way, I hate to tell you, but you are going to go bankrupt in less than five years.
To run a successful farm you have to be willing to take risks and move faster than the pack or you will be simply left behind. I was taught this by my parents when they decided to start growing peanuts. As regular farms that relied on standard crops in our region, they started to realize they are making less and less money. Then, one year, they decided to risk it with organic peanuts. At first, our neighbors were skeptical, even dismissive, but when the year came to a close, my parents made three times what they would earn by selling crops like corn and wheat.
The Strange and Wonderful Life of a Modern Llamas Farmer
Twenty years later, I was in the same situation, along with my wife and small son. My crops had made poor results for several seasons and we were close to having to mortgage off the farm. But then, I made my decision, which almost led to my wife falling on her back in shock: we were going to start to raise llamas!
As one of the most overlooked animals in any part of the world apart from the Andes Mountains, llamas are quite a fascinating species. Just one llama can provide a huge quantity of wool used for spinning, matting for things like cushions and blankets, while their milk is very healthy and sought after. Additionally, they are a fantastic beast of burden, capable and willing to carry huge loads relative to their body weight.
I attained a herd of 20 llamas and began raising them on my farm. At that time, I was edging close to being overweight and my family was teasing me about it. But, all of this changes when those llamas entered our lives. While I somewhat lacked the proper weight loss motivation, those animals gave me the right push almost instantly. This came about because I was still rising, amount my primary crops, corn. But, I did not know that llamas simply adored corn, so they immediately took off from my poorly-constructed fence and entered the field of corn.
Like a maniac, I began chasing them and slowly returning them to their enclosure. However, this happened time and time again because llamas are very clever and able to go over obstacles in ways a person would never guess. As I ran around getting my llamas, my wife and son were having a time of their life, looking at their chubby dad running all over the place trying to catch up with some funny-looking animals.
My son coined the term “llamas eat our crops diet” and it was pretty accurate. But, while I stumbled and ran to my scattered herd, I was surprised to see that I was whipping myself into shape at a really staggering pace. Just three months since I started raising llamas, I was ripped like never before in my life and my custom llama diet was definitely working.
But, at the same time, I began breeding my animals and collecting milk from them. Because they were completely raised in a free-range environment, their milk fetched a nice price. The wool came soon after, which added to my profit margins. My small herd started to grow, so I could sell my younger members and still add other ones to my farm. The biggest advantage to owning llamas came about when my wife’s mother got diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thanks to the heard, we were able to afford her a fantastic treatment that took care of the diseases. Now, two years later, she is breast cancer free and living well. My herd is so big that I took on two new employees to work as shepherds and we are doing great. I am also happy that my llamas do not go into the cornfield anymore, but my llamas eat our crops diet is still working. Because of this, I feel better than ever before in my life.