Great Lakes Ranch ~ Read Our Opinion

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We have been raising camelids at Great Lakes Ranch as our sole occupation since 1981. After almost 30 years, we still have a passion for raising these wonderful animals and both still very much enjoy being on the end of a lead in the show ring. Long before there was even any talk about the concept of what a “Natural Suri” was, we had a sign on our stalls that said “field picked”, as we had noticed that there were starting to be a number of animals in the show ring that sure didn’t look like they had come from our pastures, let alone anyone else’s. A “natural, healthy alpaca” at our ranch, lives outside, rolls in our famous and prevalent sand, mud, leaves, hay and deep snow banks, 24/7 all year round. We strongly believe that the industry is best served and advanced by showing animals in their natural, paddock or pasture condition, as this is truly the best way to honestly evaluate stock in terms of how they fit into a breeder’s criteria for selecting genetics and advancing the species. In spite of the grooming rules written into our show books that specifically forbid washing, stripping, twisting, and the use of enhancers, you still see animals at shows where this is very much suspect. We are happy to see that the judges are starting to take a hard line on this illegal practice and applaud those who are standing up for the “natural looking suri”. After all, shouldn’t our industry’s real goal be, to continually strive to breed beautiful healthy animals, improving our genetics and fiber characteristics along the way, and not just to win that ribbon at any cost?

Brad and Jandy Sprouse ~ Great Lakes Ranch