My name is Rita Denise Yost. My husband, Spencer, and I own and operate Rita Dee Farms Alpaca farms. This website is to show you what we go through from beginning to end.
As I think back on why I chose to become an alpaca farmer, I can link it to only two things. In my remote past, I owned (and still do) a 100% imported genuine 2-ply Peruvian alpaca sweater. I thought this hand-me-down must be the finest garment in the world, since all my other clothes were hand-made by my mother or grandmother. I wore that sweater everywhere. It even followed me to ASU where I got dropped in the middle of Pisgah National Forest with a backpack and a compass and had to find my way out. By the time I made it out, it was torn, wet, covered with detritus and probably tear stained. It was darned and although I will never be the same, my sweater certainly is just like new.
And then more recently, I went on a mission trip to Blissful Dreams therapeutic riding camp in Charleston, SC. I have always loved horses–owned one for a year and decided I don’t have a horse owner’s lifestyle. If I am really honest, I was a little scared of that horse.
So, when I read an article in Heifer International about alpacas being gentle and eco-friendly (don’t damage their habitat due to padded feet, dropping fertilize the topsoil, and they don’t pull vegetation up by the roots) I was intrigued.
I started visiting farms in North Carolina and Virginia. I have to say, alpaca farmers are the friendliest people I have ever met. But then I met Woody and Mike from Two Crow’s Farm. They were so into every aspect of the alpaca life style, I couldn’t wait to get back to my biology roots and inspect alpaca poop for parasites and such with my microscope.
So these guys seemed like the best mentors for me. I wanted to learn the business from end to end (No pun intended) Not to mention they have beautiful animals with lots of color and personality.