Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm Provides Educational Experiences
Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm is Open to Visitors Year Round for Educational Experiences
DULUTH, Minn. – The alpaca species isn’t native to northern Minnesota. The livestock originates from the Andes Mountains in Peru, living at an average elevation of 14,000 feet.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that alpacas were introduced to North America.
In this week’s Animal Answers, FOX 21’s Brett Scott takes you to a growing herd living in the Northland.
“I’m happy to open up anytime as long as I’m here,” said Loni Blumerich, owner of Frosty Ridge Alpacas.
Tis’ the season for giving the gift of warmth and quality with a little lesson attached.
“We buy alpacas, we breed alpacas, and we sell them,” said Horst Blumerich, owner of Frosty Ridge Alpacas.
Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm frequently attracts animal lovers, educators, and students.
It’s located in Duluth off a now snowy Maple Grove Road.
“Alpacas are a little bit picky when they have to go through the snow,” said Horst Blumerich.
The Blumerich’s kick started their dream back in 2003.
The couple would travel across the Midwest to various alpaca shows, learning what it takes to raise a successful herd.
“Each acre will handle around five to six alpacas,” said Horst Blumerich.
For Horst’s wife Loni, her love for this type of livestock came after learning one of their cleanly qualities.
“I went to my first alpaca show when I found out that alpacas are hypoallergenic. I’m allergic to sheep; I’m allergic to cows, and horses,” said Loni Blumerich.
From there, the couple planned out and prepared ten acres of their land, transforming it into an alpaca haven.
“When I saw those animals in person, I just fell in love completely so I knew this was something I wanted to do,” said Loni Blumerich.
They now operate a year round business, requiring around the clock care.
“I take my tractor and make a pass around and then they can walk around in the winter too,” said Horst Blumerich.
The alpaca crazed couple began breeding their herd in 2007. They say it’s been an unforgettable journey since then.
“The first couple of years after we had alpacas we continued to go to shows simply to learn,” said Loni Blumerich.
From competitions to the common everyday routine, the couple now looks to share their knowledge with visitors to the farm.
“Alpacas birth on their own, they don’t need people, and that’s another reason why we chose them,” said Loni Blumerich.
Loni and Horst have their alpaca herd sheered every May. They invite the public to witness and learn about the process. The event takes place ahead of the hot summer months, serving as a way to keep their livestock cool.
“We’re going to maintain our focus on producing top quality animals; that will never change,” said Loni Blumerich.
The award winning alpacas continue to reward their caretakers with multiple honors from different competitions. The Blumerich’s enjoy competition, while also teaching others about the South American species.
“They need each other as a heard so that they can feel safe and secure,” said Loni Blumerich. “A single alpaca as a pet will become so stressed that it will die. They’re not pets, they’re not good in the house.”
Similar to the livestock, these alpaca parents are grateful for their own herd of customers keeping business booming in the farm’s gift shop and beyond.
Frosty Ridge Alpacas is open every Saturday and Sunday before the Christmas holiday.
Hours of operation include free barn tours, access to the gift shop, along with coffee, treats, and much more.
Frosty Ridge Alpacas is located at 6059 Maple Grove Road in Duluth. Click here for more information.