Experience Shearing Day at Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm
Frosty Ridge Alpacas Will Soon Be Open to the Public for Free Farm Tours
DULUTH, Minn. – Can you imagine shearing more than 50 alpaca all in a matter of six hours?
It happened Tuesday morning at Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm located along Maple Grove Road in Duluth.
“Believe it or not we sell more socks in the winter than the summer,” said Loni Blumerich, owner of Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm.
The process only happens once a year.
“The day is annually chosen by my shearer,” said Blumerich. “We want to be sure that we don’t get the coats off animals that may be too thin or babies.”
The chosen date, just as precise as the clippers doing the work.
“When the temperatures aren’t dipping below 30 degrees overnight is the perfect time to sheer,” said Blumerich.
Blumerich and her husband, Horst, started their adventures as alpaca parents back in 2006.
They spent four years prior learning a language of love for the docile species of livestock.
“If the highs get too high, these guys suffer under the full fleece, they absolutely suffer to the point of heatstroke and death,” said Blumerich.
The practice of shearing beautiful animals traditionally generates a clan of community support.
“All necessary safety measures have been put into place amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Blumerich.
Volunteer Amy Feth resides in nearby Twig, Minnesota.
“Oh my gosh it’s wonderful,” said Feth. “I’m a sweeper today, so when the entire fleece comes off, you have to get in there really quick because you want to keep it clean on the mat it’s sheared on.”
After four years of friendship with the owners of the farm, she couldn’t wait to volunteer this year.
“Hopefully some of the little ones will come to help me when they get older,” said Feth.
The shear master, Brent, comes from Austin, Minnesota.
He starts with clipping animals down in Texas and moves his way north as the weather warms up, and spring advances.
“It’s just very inclusive,” said Feth.
Dozens of handy helpers at the farm were enthusiastic to be a part of the fast-paced environment.
“To see other alpaca owners come together and they all serve one another, and then the community has come out, we have some great helpers,” said Feth.
Frost Ridge Alpaca Farm is home to 32 alpaca and one guard llama.
The owners turn the fleece into items sold in the nearby gift shop with profits going back into the herd.
“This is a local couple who supports our community in many different ways. In raising their animals they do that, but the farm is also just a wonderful wholesome place to bring people to visit,” said Feth.
Frosty Ridge Alpaca Farm will be open to the public starting Friday, May 22 through Sunday.
The business is considered essential in Minnesota, meaning they’re legally allowed to open.
The owners ask the public to exercise social distancing and wear a face mask amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Hours of operation:
Friday – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday – 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.