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Alpaca farming: One year later


About a year ago, a family from southern Ontario moved to Bruce Mines to become alpaca farmers.

Terri Veerman, joined by her husband Pat, and daughters Jayda and Gabby have been learning the ins and outs of the alpaca business in that time.

“It’s been a vertical learning curve," said Terri.

"It’s not been curvy, it’s been straight up. There’s been a lot to learn. We’ve had some ups, we’ve had some downs, but we’ve learned a lot.”

The big move came with benefits to everyone in the family of four, who enjoy farm life.Gabby Veerman along with her mother, Terri, pet one of their many alphacas on Meadowview Farms. (Cory Nordstrom/CTV News Northern Ontario)"I love the animals, and how much more space we have,” 11-year-old Gabby said.


Jayda added that the major change was not one her parents decided on their own.

“It was a big adjustment, and we did it as a family decision," she said.

Pat told CTV News the alpaca farming community across the province and country has helped with that adjustment.

He said a local Mennonite who has an alpaca farm of 65 has made huge contributions to their success.

“We can’t just pick up the phone and call him, but we’ll head over and you know ‘Have you experienced this?’” Pat said.

“He’s helped save some of the animals in some of the ways that he’s helped with his animals.”

The Veermans have 84 alpacas at Meadowview Farms.

That's in addition to some llamas, chickens, as well as their cats and dogs.

Pat said they are all treated as pets.

“They’re part of the family. I always say we have just under a hundred kids at this farm here,” he said.

The family hosts tours of their farm, and sells products made from the soft alpaca fibers, both on-site and at the Mill Market.

Terri said they are also looking at other options in the agro-tourism model.

“We are looking to have more alpaca experiences. We’d like to do lunch with the alpacas, eventually have birthday parties. We’ve got lots of plans,” she added.About a year ago, Terri Veerman, joined by her husband Pat, and daughters Jayda and Gabby moved from southern Ontario to Bruce Mines to become alpaca farmers. (Corry Nordstrom/CTV News Northern Ontario) Top Stories

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