Alpaca breeding, brokering, and boarding - for profit and pleasure: Alpacas produce fabulous fiber which is warmer, softer, and stronger than wool and "best-for-you" as it is organically grown in the USA, comes in many natural colors and is hypoallergenic. Magical creatures with distinct personalities, alpacas are full of curiosity and endearing traits - livestock with pet qualities. They offer tremendous financial potential for those who are interested in a country lifestyle and an investment that can be admired, insured, and which grows...naturally.
Mining for Alpacas in the High Desert -
Yerington, NV
"Hi There!"
Home of Alpaca Mining Company
Yerington, NV
A couple of years ago , Paul and I moved Alpaca Mining Company from Grass Valley, CA to a new location in Gardnerville, NV. We then found it necessary to move our operation to our new, solely-owned ranch, in Yerington, NV....about an hour and a half further into the rugged, beautiful high desert of Northern Nevada. The opportunities for growth, offering hospitality to our many visitors, and improving our herd are very exciting to both of us. We now offer a revised "Agistment, Sales and Herd Management Program for Passive Owners," featuring agistment and services at more reasonable rates. We are enjoying our ranch in Yerington and continue with the activities we have so enjoyed over the past 16 years.....brokering, breeding, and loving these incredible animals. If you wish to visit us, please contact us for more information and a map.
photo by J. Smith
Our Story: The Gold Rush Begins...
In 1985, I saw some television footage of the first alpacas imported to the U.S. I was so intrigued with the wonderful nature of these "cuddly" creatures and the financial rewards of breeding them, that I walked into the office of my then boss and said "let’s quit our jobs and raise alpacas." The reply was "so what’s an alpaca?" Over ten years later, my dream reached fruition.
Typical of those attracted to alpaca ranching, we were looking for a change of lifestyle...a simpler way of life. We knew we would love to own a few acres, but what would we do if we moved somewhere with some acreage, other than raise some of our own vegetables and fruits? It was then that the perfect picture of a gorgeous, fuzzy animal returned to my head and the answer was..."we’ll raise alpacas!"
We decided on Grass Valley due to its proximity to major population areas, seasonal tourist population, and it offered the type of terrain we particularly value...rolling hills with oaks and pine along the ridgelines. We also began visiting as many alpacas ranches as possible. As most "wanabe alpaca owners" relate, we were very impressed with the professionalism, friendliness and underlying sense of financial adventure of the alpaca owners we contacted. Between ranch visits and property searching, our weekends were quite enlightening and exciting
We moved into our modest 2-bedroom, 2 bath home on a 5-acre parcel in late July, 1998. To our previous count of 3 dogs and 4 cats, we first purchased 2 llamas (guard and companion animals), and two pregnant alpacas. Since then, we have changed the makeup of our foundation herd to include a diversity in bloodlines and we now have over 25 alpacas of our own. We have expanded our operation to include agisting (boarding), brokering, and breeding alpacas. It was our hope to be able to live off the income from the alpacas in about 4 or 5 years, and I am pleased to say that I closed the door on my sales representation company on February 29, 2000 and Paul and I now work full time with the alpacas and it is our only income. We are extremely excited with our progress and have never regretted our decision to change our lifestyle and work focus.
Did I mention we choose " Alpaca Mining Company" as our breeder name? Others look for gold in the ground in this area and have for many, many years. We hope to start a new trend by "mining" for alpacas...hence, the "discovery" of our first "Nugget!" (The name for the first cria born at the ranch). Eureka! We truly believe we have discovered our golden future in this small piece of land and these wondrous animals. The Gold Rush Begins! And so it began....the story Yerington!
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Update January 13, 2015 - It's cold, no doubt, but so far the winter has been bearable.   There have been some exceptionally beautiful sunrises and sunsets and if you're on facebook you can view some photos on Sands Bellizzi page. Please let us know if you are not in our database and would like to be added so you received newsletters. We are convinced alpacas remain a solid tangible and healthy asset for your portfolio. Sands' health continues to hold and this break from treatment and the ability to interact more with the alpaca community as well as the craft/artisan community is a welcome relief.   Come and enjoy the alpacas with are invited - just give us a call and we will put the coffeepot on.
Alpaca Mining Company
17 N. Willhoyt Lane, Yerington, NV 89447
Page Updated: 27 July 2015
We've Been Featured In: CNN USA and CNN Headline News Aug. 3-5. Countryside Magazine, American Small Farms Magazine, Hobby Farms Magazine, Fortune Small Business online Magazine (, Alpacas Magazine, American Livestock Magazine, House of Business Magazine, The New York Times.,,, (Wall Street Journal), FineLiving Channel, Radical Sabbatical Show, carried by DirecTV on Channel 232, Times Warner Cable and various other cable channels throughout the nation - look for our Show for schedule. KCRA Channel 3 Evening News, UPN, Channel 31 News, and in the Tracy Press and Lodi Chronicle. December, 2007, issue of Fortune Small Business Magazine (online, too) by writer Phaedra Hise.
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