News & Updates
Welcome to Spring 2014!
Although this is our spring issue, as I sit here composing my editor's note for this quarter, it is the beginning of January, there's a lovely snow falling, and every state in the country has experienced record cold this past week. Every spring I insist, I have just lived through the coldest winter ever; this year I have proof! Here's hoping that all members of the American Livestock community makes it safely to spring with few livestock losses in these extreme conditions.
My husband and I can't wait for spring to arrive, as grandbaby number six is expected at the beginning of April. I am spending my winter knitting and crocheting little bitty things for our Nina with the soft, yummy alpaca yarns produced from our annual clip. Of course there will be spring cria on the farm, as well, and we are always excited when there's a new baby on the farm. We are going to do our best to squeeze in a few alpaca shows this spring along with the tasks of working, maintaining herd health, shearing, and birthing. Just like everyone else these days, we have more projects than we have time for.
This issue has several articles for our horse lovers including our beautiful cover story by Robin Visceglia of Stillwater Farm Gypsy Vanners. Robin presents her breeding philosophy and why it is important to the breed. Although I breed alpacas, I couldn't agree more, confirmation first...always. We have an article from Martha Gale (miniatures) and an article from Denise Krause (Gypsies) regarding what to expect when your mare is expecting and an article from Isobel Lippiatt from the American Drum Horse Association explaining the history and background of the American Drum.
Marty McGee Bennett, a long time contributor provides us with tips to show our animals to their best advantage. Peggy Gaffney provided us with an interview with Nick Hahn regarding fiber production in the USA that will be of interest to our alpaca breeders and fiber artists. Roo Kline breaks down the fiber mill process for us in her article and you will enjoy reading Peggy Doney's article, "I Dye Daily". For those of you that knit please enjoy a free fingerless glove pattern which includes two different versions from Alpaca Montana.
Matt Burton, President of the KuneKune Pig Society gives us an informative article about the history of bringing the little pigs back from the brink of extinction. If I had a bigger farm, I think I'd have to get a couple of those little cuties. Marty McGee Bennett presents information to our camelid breeders regarding how crucial a well fitting halter is for the well being of our animals and Niki Kuklinski asks if we are supporting cria mills in this issue.
Crystal D. Ritenour, LVT (Scottish Highlands); Josh Bottelberghe (Zebu); Gene Kantack (Lowlines); and Jimmy Jones (Longhorn) have given us a wealth of information regarding their individual cattle breeds for this issue. Also please find an article by Ron Miskin from the Buffalo Wool Company within our pages-The Elusive Hunt for Prairie Gold. Although I've never tried their yarns, I plan to make a purchase in the near future. Stephanie Stratton from Lunabud Knits has given our fiber artists instructions on how to card for beautiful handspun tweed yarns. Diana Blair from Going to the Sun Fiber Mill has presented us with a new crochet pattern, and Roo Kline instructs us on how to make our own fiber nesting balls for the birds.
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