New farm makes its way from New York to the Pine Belt - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

New farm makes its way from New York to the Pine Belt

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

First imported to the United States in 1984, the exotic animals known as Alpacas are now being successfully raised and enjoyed throughout North America including in Mississippi in a city known as Stringer.

"We want to be a destination when people are traveling, if people have visitors in, we want to give them something to do here in Stringer," says owner of A Stroka Gene-Us Alpacas farm Mary Ann Stroka.

After transporting 39 alpacas from New York to Mississippi, A Stroka Gene-Us Alpacas farm celebrated its grand re-opening Saturday and Sunday. Along with breeding the animals, Mary Ann does something else with them.

"I make use of their fiber. Their fiber is comfortable to cashmere, it is three times warmer than wool and ten times softer and there's just a real market for back to nature," says Mary Ann. "We don't have to make it with petroleum, it's all natural, it's renewable, it's organic, it's perfect, and I don't have to kill the animals to get a product."

Aside from providing friendly tours, the farm also offers educational classes.

"We're all about education, we want to teach the people the benefits of these animals. We teach spinning, knitting, crocheting," says Mary Ann. "We'll teach you how to make your own yarn and from there you can make hats and scarves and socks, just about anything you can make out of yarn."

For now Mary Ann wants to give Mississippi something else to experience and hopes to start a fiber artist and producers group in the near future.

For more information about A Stroka Gene-Us Alpacas click HERE.

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