Alpaca farmers statewide will open their farms to visitors this weekend as part of the third annual National Alpaca Farm Days.
Farmers want visitors to connect their animals, which have amicable reputations, to products used in everyday life, said Janice Robinson of Alpacas of Oklahoma.
Robinson’s farm, JR Alpacas in Jones, will be open Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors will be able to touch alpacas, feel the fleece and learn about products made from alpacas, such as rugs, scarves and saddle blankets.
More than 150,000 registered alpacas live in North America, according to the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. Thirteen ranchers run alpaca farms in Oklahoma.
But the animals still are relatively new to American consumers, Robinson said.
"Many people have never seen the animal or the products that can be made from their fleece,” she said.
Alpaca fleece consumers are faithful, Robinson said. Many customers choose the animal they want to buy fleece from before the shearing season each April.
Robinson said she and other ranchers are hoping National Alpaca Farm Days will create more connections like that between the public and alpacas.