A Chile Agri Tourism Success Story- Have Llamas and Make Sure Families "Go Happy When they Leave "Tue, 25 Feb 2020 11:20:24 CST
Class 19 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program have seen a large variety of agricultural operations- but perhaps none any more fun than Llamas Del Sur just outside of Temuco, right at 400 miles south of the Capitol, Santiago, Chile. Greeting the group with a big smile and lots of knowledge about Llamas and Alpacas was Alejandra Von Baer, whose parents started the Llama operation about thirty years ago.
The early days had the Von Baer's winning national shows and selling stock for upwards of $10,000 to even $20,000 a head to eager buyers in the US and Europe- but the hot market soon tunred cold- and prices for the live animals plunged. Today, Alejandra tells Oklahoma Farm Report's Ron Hays that they do still sell some of the animals domestically- but a typical price is $600 to perhaps $700 US per head.
With the collapse of the live animal market, Alejandra says the family was determined to reinvent the operation- and they have been working on establishing a world class Agri-Tourism facility- she calls it a "family fun destination." Of course the stars are the Llamas and Alpacas- they maintain a good sized herd to make sure people really enjoy that part of the experience. They have also added cows, goats, dogs and sheep. (One ewe wandered right in with the guys to the men's bathroom.)
She showed the class the other features they have added- a pool, picnic area, play area for the kids, a small cafe to offer snacks and even an area where they can cater groups (like our class where a delicious lunch was offered).
Alejandra says the point of the experience is to offer a great time for the entire family. A job well done, she says, is when "They go happy when they leave."
Listen to Ron and Alejandra talk about the challenges they had in establishing an Agri Tourism destinaton that people will want to return to time and time again.
You can see our pictures from our Chile travels in the OALP to Chile Album on Flickr- Available here(pointing to the page in the album with the Llamas pics)
The intertnational travel to Chile is the Capstone experience for the Class Nineteen Members of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program, a two year program that was established in 1982- based on a public-private partnership of Oklahoma State Univerxity and groups and indivisuals invovlved in agriclture. Over 500 graduates of the program have made a difference in rural life and production agriclture locally and nationally,
To learn more about the program- and to find our how you or someone you know can apply to be a part of Class XX- click or tap here.
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