Female farmers were among the founders of the Australian alpaca industry. In 2020, many of Australia’s alpaca breeders are women, attracted to the industry by the manageability of the animals. In comparison to other livestock, alpaca are easily farmed with minimal external input. ·
There are several significant Australian herds being independently managed and developed by young women. These inspiring female leaders bring fresh skills, energy, and expertise to the industry at a time when it is moving further towards economic sustainability. ·
A number of Australian female alpaca breeders are the force behind the Australian alpaca youth development programs, which are now producing a formidable next generation of farmers
Prue Walduck, Vice President of the Australian Alpaca Association sees International Women’s Day as a day to celebrate. “In addition to being some of the most successful breeders of alpaca in Australia, women play an integral part in the strategic direction and management of the industry. In contrast to some of the more male dominated agricultural industries, 67% of the AAA Board are women, 50% of the Regional Presidents are women with54% of the Industry’s accredited judges being women”. Prue continues “this is no surprise given women are attracted to the ease of farming alpaca, their gentle nature, low maintenance and minimal impact on marginal land.” Prue also believes women have a passion for the “genetic” challenge of continually enhancing breeding programs to improve the quality of fibre. Mums (& dads) are also attracted to the life skills their children can learn on joining the Australian Alpaca Youth Education Program.
AAA Director Rochelle Veitch notes the importance of women in the industry throughout the world “Women in Peru represent a minority in both numbers and legal rights, yet it is women, with their sensitive fingers, who are responsible for sorting, grading and classing 4500 tonnes of Peruvian alpaca fibre annually. In Australia woman are equally suited to working with alpacas who respond well to a woman’s soft touch. Farming these intelligent and gentle creatures is all about using your brain not brawn, which is something women are very good at!”