At the Locust Trace AgriScience Center in Fayette County, there are two young women doing something that no other students in the state are, farming alpacas.
Shantel Sturgill and Kylie Power are only sophomores, but they generated quite the buzz at Locust Trace thanks to their two fuzzy friends, Billy Mae and Henry. The two Huacaya alpacas were donated to the students by Alvina Maynard, the owner of River Hill Ranch in Richmond.
“We wanted to do something different and thought this would be a cool project,” said Sturgill. “A lot of students show goats, sheep and chickens, but we wanted to try to do something that would stand out and be unique.”
The effort seems to have paid off as the the two students gathered quite the crowd on the day of the shearing, including a gallery of their peers and an article in the local newspaper.
The two students also toured with their animals to local elementary schools to explain farming and animal care techniques.
“I think it’s so cool that they went out and did all this work to get the alpacas here,” said Maddie Wiley, a fellow student at the agriscience center. “I think it’s great experience for them.”
Along with caring for and shearing the alpacas, Power and Sturgill also took the harvested fleece to sell at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington.
“It’s a lot of work,” said Power. “But it’s fun and it’s worth the experience.”
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