Not far from the quaint tourist shops lining historic Main Street, Annapolis… less than an hour from the hallowed memorials of our nation’s capital… there lies hidden, among the peaceful, rolling hills of Galesville, Maryland, the quiet little world of Ameripaca Alpaca Breeding Company. From the country road that crosses its entrance, passersby might barely notice the simple gravel driveway winding back into the woods. But venture down that path, and the woods open into lush, green pastures, where alpaca babies frolic in the sunshine, and herds of alpaca chance to notice the fluffy clouds dancing overhead across clear, blue skies. (Alpacas Magazine farm profile, 2000)
Ameripaca is a family-run alpaca breeding farm in rural Galesville, Maryland. Situated on 116 acres of historic farmland, Ameripaca is home to over 200 of the world’s finest suri and huacaya alpacas. After 22 years in the industry, Ameripaca is widely regarded for the quality of our alpacas and the integrity of our service. We pride ourselves on our superior customer support which we extend to our customers both before and after their purchase.
The Ameripaca Alpaca Philosophy
We have an underlying theme in our alpaca philosophy—invest in quality. Your product will only be as good as the ingredients. If you want to produce quality alpacas, you’ll have to start with something better than ordinary. That’s why we spent so much time and effort in researching the industry and selectively building our herd. As a result, we’re able to breed our best alpacas regardless of country of origin. At Ameripaca, we very carefully match sire to dam based on conformation, fiber type, and color. While we do offer pure bloodlines from Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, it is quality, health, and temperament—rather than the country of origin—that are the primary goals in our breeding program.
Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen the alpaca industry change from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. There’s a lot more selection, and buyers are becoming more educated before purchasing their first alpacas. Our advice to all buyers is: “Buy quality.”
How it all began…
It all started nearly 25 years ago, when on a rare weekend together, Gail and and Steve Campbell decided to take their daughters, Sarah and Amanda, to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival to watch the sheep dog trials. Here, they saw their first alpacas. For Gail, it was love at first sight; for Steve, it was fright at first sight after hearing the prices at that time. It would take about three months to convince Steve that this could be an excellent endeavor for the whole family. At first, Ameripaca began as just a small, part-time business, with underlying goals of teaching the girls responsibility and respect for living creatures. However, after a lot of research, the Campbells realized that alpaca breeding met all of their criteria for a family business—their only business.
So, after 15 years of practicing veterinary medicine and running her own small animal practice, Gail was suddenly cracking the books again. Dogs and cats were one thing, but alpacas meant something quite different. To catch up on her camelid medicine, Gail attended seminars at Texas A&M, the University of California at Davis, Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Auburn University.
Meanwhile, Steve stepped down from his position as president and CEO of an award-winning recycling company to put his background in animal science and business management to a new challenge—the creation of the Ameripaca Center. He took the 116 acre farm in Galesville, once home to tobacco and alfalfa crops, and converted it into a complete, state-of-the-art alpaca facility. The 6,000 square foot Ameripaca Center is a fully-equipped complex for alpaca events, spinning and weaving classes, indoor shows and viewings, as well as Ameripaca’s business office. The new veterinary clinic provides on-site neo-natal care, diagnostics, x-ray, and ultrasound.
To occupy the newly divided fields, Ameripaca purchased the best stock available from all over North and South America. Steve and Gail traveled from coast to coast, selectively purchasing alpacas from domestic breeders, as well as from Peruvian, Bolivian, and Chilean importers. In Bolivia, they purchased over 90 animals, giving the Ameripaca herd a foundation of the highest quality breeding stock in the world.
Our Support of the Industry
The Campbell family have been active members of the alpaca community since 1993. The late Steve Campbell served as a member of the AOBA Marketing Committee, Editor of the Eastern States Tour Guide, and was a co-founder of the Maryland Alpaca Breeders Association (MABA). Gail Campbell served on the 1999 Long Range Planning Committee and was not only President but one of the first Lifetime Members of the Suri Network—an organization dedicated to preservation of suri phenotype and fiber characteristics. She was co-editor of the first two editions of Suri Network’s Purely Suri Magazine in 2002 and 2003, and has authored many articles for the publication. Gail served on the The National Alpaca Association Judge Training Committee for five years and is a Judge Training Conformation Instructor. Most recently, she served as President for MABA. Gail is often invited to be a speaker at shows and conferences throughout the mid-Atlantic. Additionally, in 1997, Ameripaca donated the first alpacas to be auctioned at an AOBA Conference and has been an avid contributor to charitable alpaca auctions across the country.
Ameripaca’s mission statement is to provide high quality alpacas with superior client support at fair prices. That’s not just a promise, it’s the way we do business. So whether you’re just starting out or an experienced breeder, give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did.