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A brief appreciation of Magical Farms

We were out at Magical Farms’ final Breeders Choice sale about 10 days ago, an annual event which we have always made a point to attend whenever possible. There is no denying that it all felt a little bittersweet this time around though, knowing that we were saying a final goodbye to a farm that has been a downright institution throughout our almost 18 years of owning and breeding alpacas.

Left to right: Tripp and Ty Forstner, a 2-year-old Sam Lutz, Jennifer Lutz, Libby and Jerry Forstner, and yours truly at the 2000 AOBA National Auction with MFI Peruvian Savanna.

Left to right: Tripp and Ty Forstner, a 2-year-old Sam Lutz, Jennifer Lutz, Libby and Jerry Forstner, and yours truly at the 2000 AOBA National Auction with MFI Peruvian Savanna.

Magical Farms and the Forstner family who have owned and run it for the past 21 years, have been an important presence in both the US alpaca industry and by extension of that, in our family’s life and the development of our own farm’s breeding program. They have at various times been our mentors, our competition, our partners, and our friends. Often times all of the above. Regardless of what was going on though, we have always had a profound respect for our colleagues and what they brought to the table in this business. Whether it was volunteering countless hours to serve on the boards and committees of industry associations, sponsoring shows and events, or just setting the bar for how breeders should treat their customers: we always felt that the Forstners led by example. For years the Breeders Choice, their annual production auction, was the most important private alpaca event on the fall calendar. It always gathered breeders together in a really convivial atmosphere and helped set the tone for the rest of the industry.

I still remember being at the AOBA National Conference in 1997 in Pueblo, CO and getting to hear some tall guy from Ohio, Jerry Forstner, give a talk on contracts and guarantees in the alpaca business. That was just a few months before we took delivery of our first females here at the farm and we were excitedly soaking up every little bit of information we could get our hands on. Of course at that time we had no idea that we would grow CCNF into what we have long since become.

To a great degree, the ambition to push on and build CCNF into something bigger than we had originally conceived of in 1995 when we first purchased this property especially for housing an alpaca breeding farm, would awaken and start to take shape a few years later in the spring and summer of 2000. That was the year that Magical Farms donated a beautiful white female to the AOBA national auction named Savanna (see picture at left). The cria born of  the pregnancy that sweet Savanna was carrying at the time that we purchased her (Abby), would go on a few years later to be the dam in her own right of one very special little white alpaca boy we named…Archangel. Needless to say, Savanna’s arrival in Vermont was a seismic event in our farm’s relatively brief history. Today her great-granddaughters and great-great-grandaughters and grandsons (not the least of whom are brothers Elixir and Centurion) continue to play a pivotal role as we move forward in our breeding program.

We were also very thankful several years back to the Forstners for their willingness to part with half interest in their amazing young Champion Herdsire, Precocious. Preco has likewise left his mark here at CCNF and we continue to fold his potent genetics into our foundation herd. So even though Magical Farms, Inc. will very shortly no longer exist as an entity, that farm’s legacy and that of the Forstners is going forward both here at Cas-Cad-Nac as well as at countless other alpaca farms and ranches throughout the land. For our part, we are eternally grateful for all that the Forstners have meant to us over the years. You guys can absolutely go out with your heads held high. May the road forward be a happy, healthy, and prosperous one wherever it may lead you all!

Follow me on Twitter @CCNFalpacas

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