Autumn Sun Alpacas at Autumn Sun Acres Livestock

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Social Media Ruins Everything ;)

All, with the rise of Facebook and somewhat Instagram comes the decline of my blog. I am calling its 'time of death.' Boo. Waaa. Sorry!

If you want to check out more about what's happening at our farm and shows, catch Mary and Michael on Facebook and take a look around our Facebook farm page, called not-surprisingly Autumn Sun Alpacas. :) See you there!

'Tailored' Lead Training for Our Show Juvies....In a Hurry!

Wow, time has really flown by! What did we do in the time frame since we last posted??

We attended the Great Western Alpaca Show in May, sheared over 70 alpacas at end of May, fretted over our pregnant dams and welcomed many fantastic crias, made a round trip to Oregon to retrieve our dams out for 'dates', got hay, dyed alpacas rovings and made drop spindles for the upcoming show and orders, attended the ABR Fall Festival and accepted two more crystal boot awards, met a TON of peop

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"Make sure your dog is really a dog..."

That's the title (paraphrased) of a blurb about a blog that caught my eye in a recent marketing newsletter I receiving. Well, who could resist a tagline like that?? I clicked and found myself at an online 'popular news' site that talked about a man in South America who bought two ferrets that had been given steroids and groomed to be passed off as toy poodles. Yes, sadly this is real; you can search the web for "giant ferret toy poodle" and the story pops up.

Besides the novelty o

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Building a Relationship vs. Making a Sell...

We just received the best compliments from a customer and a fellow farm breeder!

At a seminar held by fellow alpaca breeder, our recent customer told them and the other participants of their great experience with us during their visit to OUR farm and subsequent purchase. Our farm friends were kind enough to send us an email letting us know of these compliments, as well as adding their own kind words!

"...[our customer] was very impress

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The Secret to a Good 'Sell'....

The key to experiencing a good 'Sell' -- one where both you and your customer walk away satisfied and happy -- is the simplest concept but often the hardest thing to do. In fact, we even find it hard to do in our discussions with our families/friends and in everyday life experiences. What is it?? LISTEN.

I don't mean to just listen to what I am saying, I mean to LISTEN in general. When we listen, we gather new data, we evaluate this data against what we already know, and we figure

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Spinning Group

It's good to have support...

Friends, Family, Colleagues, etc.

This is the part of the 'alpaca community' that is so appealing. You can find farms that will always give you a helping hand, a piece of advice, and collaboration.

But don't stop there! Are you just learning about fiber? Been a crafter or artisan for a while but still learning? Familiar with wool but not alpaca fiber or vice versus? Then, join a support group!

Check in your city's cra

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Dogs on Duty

Yep, a lot of our working dogs' time is spent lounging around (if not eating!), but that's okay since they are still 'on duty'. They sleep lightly and wake at the unusual sound or alarm call, day or night, ready to fly to the fence in all their barking fierceness. And, when you have seen your guardian dog respond with emphasis to a neighbor's dog at the fenceline, then you know what I mean about their impressive ferocity and full throttle 'go away' snarls and barks.

It was long road

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The Livingstons having fun at 2013 National Western Stock Show!

As a family, we were able to go to the NWSS in Denver, Colorado this last weekend. It was great fun to see the various different breeds of 'other livestock' during the course of our wanderings through the buildings.

CATTLE

We managed to view some of the cattle showing in the arena, observing how fast the judging went in comparison to alpaca showing. After the exhibitors entered the ring en masse, the judge walked down the front and the back of t

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Is Agriculture Viable? [NWSS, Baxter Black, Colorado Country Life]

My thoughts are revolving around some things I saw this last weekend, relating to the National Western Stock Show and Baxter Black, the cowboy poet.

We attended the National Western Stock Show as alpaca exhibitors for the first time this year. Having just come away from the experience last weekend, the images are fresh in my mind. We have been in the alpaca industry for several years now, have been to many shows, and as Coloradans are not unfamiliar with the 'Western c

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Do You Know Your Alpaca?

Among the few business e-newsletters that we subscribe to is SmartBrief, with its quick digest information and links to longer articles in the author blog sites.

I often find something interesting, useful, and insightful. But rarely does a headline hit like shock of water on the face. It was in fact, a biting statement - cool and detached and maybe a bit aggressive.

The subject line read: "Why You Shouldn't Keep Working With A Nightmare Client"

Ouch! We kno

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Maintaining a Mobile Presence...

We are now a mobile world. Well, at least I am. I know that the world has been using smart phones for years, tote around iPads and other tablets, and live-and-die by their ability to communicate quickly by text messaging and emails.

I just got my first smart phone in January 2012 (collective gasp!). Yes, I finally succumbed to the phone envy watching Michael use all his functions on his Droid phone. I went from defiant to weak-willed as if it was covered in chocolate.

A

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Business Successs in a Crowded Market?

There are tips and advice that tell you what you already know, but do you remember to employ them? Do you really think how you can incorporate them into your business model?

For instance, I saw a link to this site's article in a business newsletter that I receive [That's another trick right there! SUBSCRIBE to all those FREE business newsletters! They consolidate links to the multitude of blogs and websites out that there are available] and followed it to the site to read

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Alpaca Extravaganza in the Colorado Springs' Newspaper!

The Gazette Telegraph visited with us and fellow farms at the 6th Annual Alpaca Extravaganza hosted by the Southeastern Colorado Alpaca Breeders in Black Forest, CO the weekend before Thanksgiving. Among a handful of other farms this event promotes alpacas and their fiber in handmade and commercial products. Filled with warmth, holiday music, and a relaxed atmosphere, the event was fun for both the farm vendors and the visitors... We talked to so many nice people, amazed and taught the surpri

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Crochet Bags to Reduce Waste...

Grocery Bag Crochet Patterns from FaveCraft.com email newsletter (2/21/2011):

1. Reduction Tote Bag
2. Reusable Crocheted Grocery Bag

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No Doubt...

I find myself thinking occasionally thinking would I do this over again, and the answer is yes. It's not any get rich quick scheme, if anything it is a lot of work to raise alpacas. Running a farm takes dedication! There is inherent worth in raising these animals. Whether you are 'in it' for the fiber or for the show, that's a legitimate reason to raise alpacas (or any other livestock). Whether you think the prices are going to go up again, stay the same, or even drop further, there is an in

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Resolution is to Streamline

My 2011 New Year's Resolution is to Streamline My Online Efforts -- for more time, better & more regular 'output' and overall improved customer satisfaction.... Here is my first OP blog post...

Well, that was a bit verbose but it bears repeating.... Simply put, "Time is Money." My time is worth something. More importantly, when I fail to do what I want to and more importantly, what I need to -- then my farm's marketing plans can suffer.

So, I am attempting to streamline

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Why Didn't I Think Of That?




Do you ever think of or hear about something that makes you think, "Wow, that is so simple!" or "Why didn't I think of that before?" Well, I've got one for you....

I know that you see all kinds of email messages that are sent using an email service, like Vertical Response among others. Now, not necessarily advocating one service provider over the other, have you ever just perused through their f

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