Five baby alpaca, or cria, hopped around Ed and Juvonda Jones’ farm, Hoosier Heartland Alpacas, on Saturday afternoon oblivious to the lengths that visitors had come to visit them on National Alpaca Farm Days.

“We originally started because I wanted to learn how to spin alpaca fiber,” Juvonda said. “I could have done that with two, but we got a few more.”

That was back in the summer of 2010 when the Joneses also were looking for another source of income after they retired. Juvonda also wanted to make coats and other items from the alpaca fiber.

In September 2011, the Joneses had their first open house to introduce their herd of 15 alpacas to the public.

Today, they have 20 Suri and one Huacaya breed of alpaca at their farm and gift shop at 2500 N. County Road 1000W near Seymour.

Juvonda said she always has viewed alpacas as unusual animals.

In her opinion, they are easier to handle than cows or horses. They don’t kick as hard due to the soft padding, instead of hooves, that cover their feet.

She also said alpacas are easier on pastures because they don’t pull the grass up like some animals.

“They do spit sometimes,” said Juvonda as a warning. “However, usually, it’s at each other over food.”

On Saturday and Sunday, the Joneses opened the farm to the public and prepared spinning demonstrations as a part of the National Alpaca Farm Days celebration.

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Tribune and online at

Author photo
Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7057.