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Wed, Sept. 18

Alpaca Farm Day

Kathleen Baldwin of Singletree Alpaca Farm in Chino Valley hugs two of her alpacas on Sept. 29 during her farm’s National Alpaca Day event.  Review/Will Waterman

Kathleen Baldwin of Singletree Alpaca Farm in Chino Valley hugs two of her alpacas on Sept. 29 during her farm’s National Alpaca Day event. Review/Will Waterman

Going from living in Las Vegas to Alpaca Farming in Chino Valley isn't the easiest thing to do.

For Jack and Kathleen Baldwin of Singletree Alpaca Farm, the transition came with a feeling of reprieve.

"We lived on a golf course in Vegas. Our whole family thought we were nuts. I still, to this day, haven't seen a puppy or a kitty born," Kathleen said.

Kathleen's family thought she was crazy when she told them of her plans to start an Alpaca farm.

Ten years later Jack and Kathleen have a pen full of Alpacas.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, the two played host to a gathering of local Alpaca farmers and other local guests to celebrate National Alpaca Day.

"They are environmentally friendly livestock," Kathleen said while keeping her young, three-month-old Alpacas at bay.

Kathleen said an Alpaca pregnancy takes around 335 to 340 days.

One of her young Alpacas named Bellajenna took 378 days, Kathleen said.

"And she was bouncing!" Kathleen said.

Alpacas have a very soft fleece that farmers use to weave yarns and various products.

These products pay the bills, Kathleen said.

In addition to being cuddly, these native-Peruvian animals are quite useful.

Former Ventura County, Calif. Residents, Mike and Rhonda Wittrup, have 14 Alpacas.

The Wittrups' own Papago Alpacas on North Papago Trail in Chino Valley.

The couple moved to Chino a year ago to start the farm.

"We got to the airport to go on our honeymoon and an [Alpaca] baby was born," Mike said. "He was nursing before we got on the plane."

Mike said he is a surfer-turned-farmer.

Allan Davis and his wife, Eileen, can tell you why this is a smart move.

There is many tax advantages to owning Alpacas because of their environmental friendliness, Allan said.

Davises own Davis and Davis Inc. Income Tax and Financial Services and specialize in helping farmers.

Allan spoke about these tax advantages at the event.

For more information, visit www.singletreealpacas.com, or contact Papago Alpacas by calling 583-5146. For tax-advantage information, contact Davis and Davis Inc. at 777-0600.

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