When you are 55 years old, close to retirement, and living in Washington D.C., you start thinking about the next phase of your life. Definitely move south. Plan to play golf a couple times a week and travel to warm, sunny beaches. Catch up on the good books you could never keep your eyes open in the evening to read. Maybe just sit on the porch and rock away the hours. Or, set up a farm and raise alpacas!
Bill and Pam grew up in Florida, moved around the country and even lived north of the Mason Dixon Line, which they thought they would never do in a lifetime. They always knew they would head south after retirement. While living in Atlanta for six years, they camped and boated on Lake Martin in Alabama. They have dear friends and family close by, so Alexander City was an easy choice.
Pam saw an article in a magazine about alpacas and they thought they looked interesting. It took about a year of researching and their daughter, Amber, visiting farms before deciding that raising alpacas would be the perfect retirement venture. Alpacas have great investment potential and provide a country living lifestyle.
During Amber’s last year at the University of Georgia, Bill and Pam purchased two alpacas so she could work with the farm to learn toe care and tending of these gentle creatures. They purchased 132 acres with no buildings and very little fencing. Next, they started the processes of laying pastures and building barns, shops, and finally houses. The family now has over 35 alpacas, 1 llama, and a host of horses, cats, and dogs.
Amber helps run the farm and is the farm manager. Pam retired in 2008 and Bill retired a few years later and they both enjoying working on projects around the farm.
It hasn’t always been easy, but there is nothing like sitting in the pasture on a nice evening and watching the animals graze and the crias play. Southern Star Farm is working on building a top quality herd with excellent fiber. We are definitely learning as we grow. We love the lifestyle and the alpacas.