Alpaca Your Bags & Visit Northern Blessings Alpacas in Rapid City!

“They come from the Andes mountains, Peru, Bolivia, Chile.”

Often confused with llamas, alpacas are social animals that live in family groups. And gentle enough to come pretty close to you. Alpaca 1

“Alpacas are curious animals so when you come in the pasture, they’ll take notice of you, they’ll often approach you but usually like arms length away, they keep to themselves.”

Dave Speckman owns Northern Blessings Alpacas in Rapid City.

A unique farm where him and his family take care of twenty-three alpacas.

“We’ve had them since 2011. We started it as a business really, in 2018, so we’re pretty new to the industry.”

But of course, the question is —

Out of all the animals, why alpacas?

“My wife and I adopted two kids from Kazakhstan and they had a fairly difficult start in life and we thought that having them take care of animals would be a good idea for them. Once a year we shear them, in the spring…They like the winter, they like the snow. There’s times that I want to get them in the barn, and I can’t because they like to be outside,” says Speckman.

Alpaca fleece is really thick, and as it gets colder, it keeps them and humans, really warm. Northern Blessings actually makes quality goods with the fleece from their animals.

“Their quality of their fleece, it’s warmer than sheep’s wool and softer than sheep’s wool, it’s hypoallergenic. It’s so soft, it’s not itchy or scratchy and it also has wicking abilities

“We’ve got bags that are woven with our alpaca, we have yarn made, roving made, rug cording, We have hats, gloves, Socks, sweaters, shawls, jewelry.”

Not only does Dave Speckman have a passion for these furry creatures, but he likes to capture the moment with them in their natural habitat.

Speckman says, “Photography is something I’ve done for a living for more than 30 years. To be able to combine that with photographing our herd, and marketing our animals, and I’ve had other farms ask for my services as well.”

Alpaca 2Dave and his family really love what they do,

Taking care of the alpacas on their farm, and also making them the star of the show — Placing at shows around the country.

“My daughter’s actually becoming known at shows for someone that can help another farm, they trust her and know she’ll do well.  And she also does a lot of the tours in the summer. She’s 4 foot 11 and she’ll wrangle up a big alpaca for them to get their hands into and see how soft they really are.”

And they want to share the uniqueness of these creatures with all of Northern Michigan.

“It’s really great for all of us, they really are a blessing to our family.”

Visit their website HERE.


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