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– Comstock, Sat. July 9, 10-Noon

An alpaca and llama pasture walk will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday July 9, at the Dippreyville Farm, 49 190th Avenue, Comstock. The farm is owned by Don and Sheila Dipprey.

The pasture walk will be followed by a lunch at the house. If Ladybird (the resident ostrich) is laying, a big pan of egg bake will be on the table.

The Dipprey's have been raising llamas for the past 25 years, reaching a maximum of 45 head. Recently they started going more into alpacas, having purchased their present herd of 23 suri alpacas from Barbe and Jim Kackly in Mineral Point, WI.

The couple own 43 acres. The contour of the land is well-suited for grazing of these camelids from South America. All the hay and feed is purchased. Don is the retired Turtle Lake High School Ag Instructor and works part-time as a UW-Extension Ag Agent for Polk Co in Balsam Lake.

The Dippreys keep 27 of acres under the Federal Forest Crop Law program. The remaining 13 acres is marginal pasture ground, but alpacas and llamas are very efficient grazers. A bit of hay is supplemented all summer.

Presently the alpacas are pastured separately from the llamas mostly because of the extra fencing needs of the alpacas. Original plastic electric fencing has been converted to permanent high tensile with no electricity. Smaller paddocks by the barn are enclosed with cattle panels. The Dippreys need to watch for toxic weeds such as night shade, but the biggest concern is burdocks which can totally destroy a fleece's quality in a very short time.

For further information, contact Don Dipprey at 715-419-1903, or Otto Wiegand, UW-Extension in Spooner at 715-635-3506.

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