92 alpacas in Zanesville make up the largest Suri Alpaca farm in Southeast Ohio

By Jessica Johnston, Reporter

Off of I-70 and a few miles through corn fields is a gated community that looks a little different than elegant houses and expensive cars.

A 180-acre alpaca farm is tucked away in Zanesville’s backyard. The Alpacas of Spring Acres is the largest Suri Alpaca farm in Southeastern Ohio.

In 2008, owners Al and Becky Camma turned their large plot of land into a home for alpacas. Ten years later, the land has grown into a homely farm with 92 alpacas, four llamas and a few cats sprinkled in.

“These alpacas are our babies,” Lindsay Warne, the Chief Marketing Officer at the Alpacas of Spring Acres, said. “My boss (Becky) knows every one of them by name, they all have names. She can look at them and tell you who they are, if they have a tummy ache, if they’re feeling down that day, she knows. … Everyone that works here is very passionate about these animals.”

A couple weeks ago, the last baby alpaca was born for the season. Alpacas, which are apart of the camelid family, are pregnant for 11 months. The Alpacas of Spring Acres farm, in an effort to make pregnancy as comfortable as possible, breed their alpacas in hopes of the crias, baby alpacas, being born toward the beginning of summer.

Certain alpaca breeds were brought to the United States beginning in the 1980s. Starting in the 1990s, Suri Alpacas were brought to the U.S.

“Now, there are no more importations of alpacas from South America,” Warne, who has been with the farm for two years, said. “So, farmers in America, in North America, are working to increase the numbers and the fiber quality that way we can have a really solid industry here in North America.”

Typically, Suri Alpacas have a lifespan of 20 years. Spring Acres farm’s oldest alpaca turned 17 in March. The farm has a specific barn for older female alpacas with heated flooring and more camera surveillance to monitor them more closely in their older age.

While the farm is located right here in Zanesville, Warne said there are people from a little farther than Ohio that come to visit the alpacas. People from as far as Germany have been to the farm.

“It is so much fun when we have people from far off lands to visit us right here in Zanesville,” Warne said. “We are kind of hidden out here, we’re 180 acres, but a lot of people don’t know we’re here. So, it’s fun when people find us, especially from places that are (in) completely other hemispheres of the world.”

The two owners, along with their four employees, host events, give guided tours and welcome guests that stay on the property’s bed and breakfast.

One of the largest events the farm hosts is in accordance with the National Alpaca Farm Days in which farms across the country open their gates to visitors and community members. The days are filled with browsing around the alpacas, activities and more.

This year, the Alpacas of Spring Acres farm will host its 10th annual Alpaca Farm Days on Sept. 29 and 30. Guests can attend the days to meet some alpacas, do a scavenger hunt, watch demonstrations, partake in raffles and shop in the farm store.

The event is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The Alpacas of Spring Acres is located at 3370 Big-B Rd. in Zanesville.