make the perfect small farm investment animal and Lana Bella Alpaca Farm is a prime example of how with only a few quality
alpacas, breeders can turn that small farm into big opportunities
and rewards, Jody says. Since a barn and two pastures had already been constructed on
the property, it wasn't long after the couple purchased the property
that they began to mull over the idea of raising some type of
Both Frank and Jody grew up owning and raising farm animals, including
cows, goats and chickens for Frank, and horses for Jody, so it
was only a question of what type of livestock to invest in.
In addition to space and financial concerns, the Hezouckys had
two more concerns when it came to finding a type of animal to
raise. First, they wanted an animal that would be safe for their
two young sons, Derek and Deven, to play around. And second, the
family wanted to find something that wouldn't set off Jody's allergies
like other farm animals had done in the past.
We chose to purchase alpacas with the goal of selling quality
offspring as a small family business that we could enjoy while
working full time and still have time to enjoy other activities
with our two young boys, Jody says.
The family set out in search of such an animal during the summer
of 1997, county fair season. Through these fairs, the Hezouckys
learned about alpacas and decided they needed to know still more
about the animal. Trips to local breeders, the Internet and AOBA
provided them with as much alpaca information as they needed.
Like most people first exposed to the idea of raising alpacas,
sticker shock soon set in. With a new house payment, car payments
and two kids in day care, many people would have given up on the
idea of investing in anything, let alone an alpaca farm. But Frank
and Jody did not give up. Because of the tax advantages owning
alpacas offers it was simple for them to take out a second mortgage
interest only loan on their house to invest in two bred female
Getting started as alpaca breeders was easier then we ever imagined.
With the type of loan that we obtained, it was just like buying
a new car, except we could depreciate the alpacas and deduct the
interest we pay on the loan along with all the other expenses
associated with the farm at tax time each year, Jody explains. After only 18 months, the Hezouckys had sold one offspring of
one of the two original females and still retained three for breeding.
The family needed to sell only one more offspring to recoup their
According to Jody, improving the quality in the offspring of the
investment happens one generation at a time. Part of the fun of
raising alpacas is the breeding choices we make that will improve
the next generation's cria. The stock market is so unpredictable
and as investors we have little control over the final outcome.
We love having our investment right outside our windows where
we can watch and see it grow, she says.
In the fall of 1999, CPeruvian LB Remington, at nine months old,
was added to their herd as the future herd sire. At the 2000 AOBA
National Conference and Show, Remington was awarded Grand Champion
for Age and Color. The Hezouckys realized Peruvian Remington was
growing into an outstanding herd sire and turned out to be just
what the family was looking for in its goal of breeding top quality
alpacas. This was the first big alpaca show the Hezouckys attended
as a family.
After attending the AOBA National conference in 2000, Frank and
Jody really began to realize that they were in the right direction
in their breeding program and that you did not have a lot of land
or big herd of alpacas to be successful.
We enjoy attending the area alpaca shows and events. Not only
is a fun family activity, but it also economical way for us to
network with other alpaca breeders and showcase our offspring
to potential investors, Jody says.
After the long winter, the Hezouckys were looking forward to the
spring show season. They only owned eight alpacas-four breeding
females and four males, including one pet quality companion male.
They chose to take three males to the shows: Remington their future
herd sire, LB Peruvian Castano Bay and LB Copper Moon their only
2 cria born on their farm in 2000.
At the MAPACA show in Harrisburg, PA, probably the largest show
in 2001 with over 800 entries, their boys made them very proud.
All three of the males that the Hezouckys entered in show were
brown males. Castano and Copper competed against each other in
the medium brown juvenile class. Castano, only six months old
at the time, won the class and Copper received sixth place. Remington
then took first place in the adult male brown class. But they
were not done yet.
All the first place winners from all the brown male classes were
brought back into the ring for the Grand and Reserve placing.
When the judge had made the final placing, it was CPeruvian LB
Remington chosen as the Brown Male Color Champion and LB Peruvian
Castano Bay as the Reserve Brown Male Color Champion.
Impressive as these honors are, they are even more astounding
when you consider that the Hezouckys went to shows when they owned
eight alpacas in total and were competing against farms that had
several hundred of alpacas to choose from.
And these awards weren't just a fluke. Only three weeks later,
the three animals repeated the same placing at the PAOBA show
in Butler, PA. The Hezoucky's animals also did well at several
other shows this spring. Castano took second place out of 17 entries
at the All American Alpaca Futurity in Oklahoma City, and Remington
won Res. Light Color Champion at the Western Triple Crown and
first place in his class at the AOBA National Conference in Portland,
The Hezouckys agree that competing in such shows and events has
been a beneficial learning experience for their farm. As a small
part time breeder, you don't always have the resources to advertise
in every publication. Participating at the shows and events, learning
what other breeders have to offer while promoting our own farm
has been very beneficial for us, says Jody. It's exciting to know
that you are a part of a growing industry that has so much potential
and there are so many working together to help it grow.
When visitors come to our farm looking for a particular type of
an alpaca that because we do not have many to choose from may
not have, we can refer them to another breeder in the area that
may. It is very comforting to know that these farms also recommend
others to us.
As a visitor to Lana Bella Alpaca Farm you will not find rolling
hills of pasture full of hundreds of alpacas, nor will you find
a big state of the art barn and all of its amenities. But you
will find a normal hard working family of four that have chosen
to raise and sell alpacas. You would see only quality alpacas
for sale including females bred to one of the top future herd
sires in the country, CPeruvian LB Remington, who in his one year
show campaign has eight blue ribbons and five Championships at
shows such as AOBA, MAPACA, PAOBA and Triple Crown. Lana Bella
Alpaca Farm has a sound breeding program, with quality and uniqueness
in every cria that is born.
Deven and Victoria
Derek and Victoria
Deven and Vivo