The California Alpaca Breeders Association. Since 1989. Affiliate Member of AOA

— The Calpaca Team

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Upcoming Events


Calpaca’s “All Aspect Education” Camelid Symposium

Historically the Camelid Symposium has been one of the best values in education and now it is back. ... Details >


Basic Fiber Sorting/Grading Class

This Basic 1 day course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about natural fiber produ... Details >


Advanced Fiber Sorting/Grading Class

This Advanced Course requires completion of the Basic Course and a passing score on the final exam b... Details >

Speaker Bios and Topics

Speakers for the 2019 Camelid Symposium

  • Stacie Chavez--Topics: How to create a National Fiber Collection and Distribution ChainThe Business of Fiber, Fiber Industry—Past Present Future, Panel Discussion: Setting Goals for a Future Alpaca Fiber Industry  
  • Jess Daniels--Topics: Fibershed "Grow Your Jeans" project, Panel Discussion: Setting Goals for a Future Alpaca Fiber Industry  
  • Dr. Julie Dechant, DVM--Topics: Camelid Emergency Care, What’s Up Doc? 
  • Lynn Edens--Topics:  Breeding Success: Integrating Business and Breeding Planning,  Faster Genetic Gain: Exploiting the Information Value of Color and Fiber Trait Linkage, Panel Discussion: Setting Goals for a Future Alpaca Fiber Industry  
  • Steve Harvey--Topic: "Are You Covered" Do you have the right insurance?
  • Jody Hatch--Topics: Definining Your Alpaca Business In A Dynamic Market, Implementing A Sales Plan--Tips and Tools
  • Dr. Daniel Mora, DVM--Topics: Basic Camelid Health Care, Post Birth Care For Cria And Dam Including Handling Challenging Situations
  • Jay Reeder--Topic: Agritourism Is It Right For Me?
  • Bud Synhorst--Topics: AOA Strategic Goals, Moderator Panel Discussion: Setting Goals for a Future Alpaca Fiber Industry 
  • Dr. Anita Varga, DVM--Topics: Camelid Care Through Life Stages, Parasite Treatment For Camelids

Scroll down to see pictures and biographies.  
Information is being added as it becomes available.



Stacie Chavez

Stacie Chavez, along with her Husband Skip, began breeding and showing Huacaya Alpacas in 2009. They relocated from Albuquerque, NM to Sky Ridge Alpacas, located in Tygh Valley, Oregon in late 2015.

In 2015 along with Lynn Edens they purchased Imperial Yarn, a value added brand focused on making apparel and home textiles with American Grown fiber all manufactured in the U.S.A.

In February 2016, Stacie and Skip created a livestock model for Alpaca ranching in Tygh Valley, OR. This has been the same calling they had for the National Fiber Initiative. Stacie and Skip are running one of the first Open Range herds in the U.S. that they know of. The open range animals have access to 1,800 acres and are managed like alpacas in Peru. The animals have access to free choice minerals and spring water, the forage they find on their own. The animals have been open ranging for almost 3 years now and they are thriving.

The Chavez’s are focused on all aspects of the Alpaca business; breeding, showing, meat, hides and fiber.

Jess Daniels

Jess Daniels is the Director of Communications & Affiliate Programming for Fibershed. Drawing on her background in community organizing, environmental education, and nonprofit program support, Jess works to foster regional fiber systems in Northern California and beyond. She facilitates membership engagement and resource development for the Fibershed Affiliate Network, organizes project data and deliverables such as the Wool & Fine Fiber Book and the National Mill Inventory, and coordinates Fibershed's communications, press coverage, and digital media presence. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Visual Art from Brown University, where she also completed textiles coursework at Rhode Island School of Design. Jess has nearly a decade of experience working in sustainable agriculture as well as a lifelong love of textiles, and is an avid maker and explorer of all things fiber.
Dr. Julie Dechant

Dr. Julie Dechant, DVM, MS, DACVS graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1996. After completing a private practice internship in her home province of Alberta, she moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to complete a combined Masters and clinical residency in Large Animal Surgery at Colorado State University from 1997 to 2000. After her residency, Dr. Dechant joined the Large Animal Surgery faculty at the University of Saskatchewan for a 1-year position as a Clinical Associate. From 2001 to 2004, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University where she was an emergency clinician. In 2004, Dr. Dechant was offered an emergency surgery position at University of California-Davis, initially in a Lecturer position and now in a Clinical Faculty position. Dr. Dechant has benefited from expertise of numerous mentors throughout her training and employment who have provided insight and allowed her to gain experience in camelid medicine. She is a board-certified specialist in Large Animal Surgery, and she is currently completing fellowship training in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Dr. Dechant is the faculty advisor to the UC-Davis Camelid Medicine Club and supervises the care and use of the Camelid Teaching Herd.


Lynn Edens

Lynn Edens is the current owner of the Snowmass and Accoyo America breeding programs, where she is particularly focused on quantitative research and market development. She is also co-owner with Stacie Chavez of the American yarn and textile products company Imperial Yarn. Her personal breeding interest is focused on the production of seed stock suitable for the development of the commercial alpaca industry.



Steve Harvey

PFC Insurance Center is a privately owned and operated agency based in Marysville, California serving individuals and businesses. Steve delivers insurance and risk management solutions throughout Central and Northern California. His presentation will help you know the insurance coverage you need to be fully protected while hosting or providing special events. PFC provides Calpaca with the insurance coverage needed for special events.



Jody Hatch

Jody Hatch heads the Little Creek Farm/Snowmass industry support effort, coordinating and providing consultation, business planning and market resources for US alpaca breeders. An educator by training, Jody’s work is also informed by her previous experience as both a farm business consultant and an independent alpaca breeder of 15 years.



Kathy Klay

Kathy Klay is a certified AOA judge. Kathy began her alpaca adventure in 2000 with what was thought as an innocent little comment from her husband regarding an article he was reading on what his college's past president was doing during retirement. From there, the internet was all it took for the fun to begin. Growing up on a farm and being actively involved in 4-H raising cattle & showing horses, it was easy to see the potential of this fiber animal and to embrace raising alpacas.

She has spent hours volunteering at fleece and halter shows and enjoyed scribing during numerous annual AOBA National Conference Fleece shows. She started the first alpaca 4-H club in Franklin County and has donated her time to coach various 4-H clubs around the state as well as judge 4-H alpaca events. She has held clinics and presented seminars on varied alpaca topics. She's currently the membership chairperson of OABA and an active member of AOA, CABO, and the Suri Network.

Kathy left her financial planning and investment management job in 2007 to concentrate full-time on completing the AOBA Judge Apprenticeship program and is now certified to judge suri/huacaya halter, performance & fleece. She enjoys delivering her orals reasons in a way that each participant gets meaningful information as to why their alpacas placed as they did reflecting her desire to enhance the exhibitor's show experience.

Kathy, her husband Earl and their herd of suri and huacaya alpacas, reside at Jefferson Laurel Farm.



Dr. Daniel Mora, DVM

Dr. Daniel Mora, DVM grew up on a small farm in Southern California. There, his family raised many types of livestock. Dr. Mora left southern California to attend UC Davis where he received his B.S. degree in Animal Science. After graduating, he worked for The University of California maintaining a 100 acre wildlife refuge and study area. Working for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, Daniel maintained a captive black tail deer herd, both captive and free flying wildlife flocks, open upland grassland and riparian type habitats, 15 acres of orchard grass/clover and fescue pastures as well as the installation and construction of necessary facilities. Daniel’s agricultural experience includes maintaining the greenhouses and assisting with experiments.

Dr. Mora received his D.V.M. degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. In 2001 he started his own mobile veterinary practice. Tri County Mobile Veterinary Services is a mixed animal practice. Approximately 40 percent of his patients are camelids. 

Dr. Mora enjoys the pleasure of working with UC Davis Veterinary Student Llama and Alpaca Medicine Club to offer actual hands on experience with llamas and alpacas. In addition Dr. Mora has presented a number of education lectures to various Alpaca Breeder associations on subjects that have ranged from pasture management/weeds, neonatology,
to general animal care, and handling. At LANA, Dr. Mora has presented on various subjects ranging from how to inject properly, vaccination strategies, parasites, heat stress to general animal husbandry.

Dr. Mora resides in Woodland with his wife Sonia. They have a 5 acre parcel of land where they have a menagerie of animals, a large flock of laying hens and farm vegetables. Dr. Mora and Sonia established, co-own and manage the Woodland Certified Farmers Market. From May thru October they not only grow vegetables but they co-manage the Farmer’s Market as well.



Jay Reeder

Jay Reeder and his wife Melissa own Apple Mountain Alpacas near Clarkesville, Georgia, and are parents of three active boys. Jay has founded half a dozen internet based technology companies over the last couple decades and owes their success to digital marketing. He currently directs several of those companies (in addition to his work on the farm) remotely while trying to be enjoy this great alpaca lifestyle we're all blessed to live. Melissa is privileged to work full time on the farm, devoting herself (along with the kids) to the raising of these amazing alpacas.



Bud Synhorst

Bud has served as the Executive Director of AOA since December of 2016. As executive director, Bud is responsible for the operational management of the Association. Bud is a highly energetic and motivated individual with a great track record of creating excitement in member-based organizations through strong networking and relationship management activities. Reflecting back on his first year as the Executive Director Bud had this to say…”I am so honored to be the executive director of AOA and to serve our wonderful membership. Over the past year, I have had the honor to get to know our members all over this wonderful country.”



Dr. Anita Varga, DVM

Dr. Anita Varga, DVM graduated from the University of Germany in 2005. After graduation she went to The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH for an internship followed by a residency in Food Animal Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Varga completed her third year of her residency at UC Davis Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service. Thereafter she joined the Farm Animal Medicine Service at the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK. In 2010 she became an associate veterinarian in a 100% feedlot practice in Alberta, Canada before she returned back to California to join the Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service at UC Davis as staff veterinarian. At UC Davis she taught veterinary students in the hospital as well as in class room setting. End of 2014 Dr. Varga opened her own mobile veterinary livestock practice.