April 2020

4/3  Thanks to donated alpaca wool the first sample mat in Texas has been made.  It's a pilot fundraising project using waste llama/alpaca wool promoted by Matter of Trust.
Please save your llama/alpaca fiber that you would normally throw away. Project in the works for needle felting fundraising. Shear on a tarp or clean enough surface if possible, Collect in bags for later when the collection can be arranged. Thanks so much. More details as this project develops.

4/8  Adoption process if you are fostering llamas for SWLR.

Note that SWLR does not adopt out single llamas or llamas for breeding.

Process is:
1) folks who want llamas fill out application which is on website.
2) you (or whoever coordinates the adoption) call or email them or somehow verify that the info on their application is correct (farm check?). Upload the application to the groups.io site.
3) have them sign two copies of the adoption agreement that says non-breeding. You (or whoever coordinates the adoption) sign as a representative for SWLR. Give the folks some health records if you have them or at least the latest info on the vaccinations. Give the folks a copy & you keep one. Upload the adoption agreement to the groups.io site.
4) you (or whoever coordinates the adoption) arrange transport or let them come pick up the llamas. If they don't have a trailer, you could transport but ask for gas to be paid or some reimbursement in gas.
5) collect a check for $200 each llama written to SWLR and send to the treasurer.
6) notify the registry volunteer (Ellen Jackson) that the llamas have been adopted and send the adoption contact to her.

4/10  baxter is looking for someone to help by contacting the ranches that are scheduled for shearing soon in Texas to ask them to save the wool for the felting fundraising project? Nina sent me a calendar of ranches on the shearing schedule.
Nina added that the shearing in Texas at mostly alpaca ranches started last week and this. Many ranches this week are in baxter’s area that had shearing Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. They seem to be within 22 miles. Is there an alpaca group that can help coordinate gathering fiber from local ranches?    baxter has her hands full with SWLR and this new felting project is adding onto her workload. Anyone who could assist with getting fiber to Baxter will make this project successful which means funding to SWLR and  mats to help  contain oil spills.  Since this felting project is very laborious,  if you have any time to offer please let baxter know. There are many ways you can offer assistance to baxter and SWLR from your own home.
Susan offered to contact farms and said she had a list of shearers which she  suggested putting on Facebook or put it in the files.

4/10 Nina summarized the process for collecting wool for this project.
There are 3 needle felting stations in the US, along with the main hub in San Francisco. One in San Diego, one is baxter’s in Texas, and the other is mine in Petaluma, CA.  We are trying to collect fiber locally rather than send it cross country. Please help baxter, she really needs fiber. She doesn’t have time to put together lists of what ranches are in Texas or in the area. If I can find it online, so can anyone. There are alpaca associations in Texas. If someone looks up the member list in your area and contacts them, that would help. There are llama associations and lots of ranches in your area. If you will drive from your ranch to baxter, notify any ranch along the way that on this date you are driving their way and ask if they can get a collection of area ranches together. Or drop off along the way, so that each ranch only has a certain distance to drive.  Right now baxter only has one bag of fiber to work with and that might be gone.  Work as an alpaca/llama community and help baxter and SWLR.
Fiber can be any length. If you can separate primary/blanket cuts in bags, from secondary and leg/neck cuts in another bag. Please shear on a clean surface, no hard debris like toenail clippings, poop, insects, sticks, rocks, burrs, garbage.  If you blow out the animal first it is better for your blades and gets rid of a lot of debris. You do not have to wash it. If it is really matted it cannot be used, it won’t go thru the machine. Hard debris will break needles. We appreciate the sorting of fiber because if you don’t do it, we have to do it and don’t have help.
Besides the great benefit for recycled use of fiber, it also keeps the fiber out of the landfill or polluting the air if people burn it.  And you are donating to a non-profit…an all- around feel good project.
Thanks for contributing fiber to the project.

baxter added fiber can be any length at this stage. Cleaner is better. Today she sheared some and put the wool on a blanket and then into a clear plastic bag. The first pass or scrim can use 3 inches or longer as it forms the outside which is 24" wide. Then it is folded like a burrito with lofty shorter wool placed inside the folded scrim to be 12" wide. Right now we are making 12" by 24" mats. Longer may happen later.

baxter recapped the story of this project and posted pictures of the first mat which was made from the wool from Roxy, one of the really old llamas in her care: 
Matter of Trust (MOT) is partnering with 3 of us so far for this project. MOT has a "clean wave" project that promotes using waste fiber for oil spill cleanup and storm drain cleanup. MOT wants to expand the clean wave project to use waste llama/alpaca wool in addition to the human hair and dog hair that MOT has been using.  MOT sent out  3 needle felting machines, 2 of which went to Nina Pederson and baxter, for this trial startup. Two machines are  in CA & one in TX.  The machines belong to MOT but Nina & baxter are allowed to use them to get the project started. The 5 yr long range plan is to have the felting machines near the source of the fiber in order to lower the carbon footprint of transport. This is a pilot startup project that Nina and baxter are working on with MOT. The plan is to raise funds for llama rescue as well as use waste fiber for environmental improvements.

The machines just arrived so we are still in the experimenting stages of making the mats, but will need more wool to experiment with and eventually make mats on a continuing basis.  More details will follow as more is known.

Nina added more details:
The mats are designed to specifics and for special purposes. When baxter states this is to raise funds, the mats are not being made to sell to the public.  Since last year I have been in talks with Matter of Trust, met with the CEO in their main office in San Francisco, had numerous emails/phone conferences with them, and now hours of labor with the new felting machine and sorting fiber. None of this is paid.  The hope is thru government contracts that Matter of Trust arranges, funding can come into SWLR as well increased awareness of the organization.  If you have real nice fiber and want it felted, there are mills that can do that for you. If you have fiber that you will not be using and/or want to donate it to a great cause and organization, contact baxter.  Last year, I called every llama association up and down the east coast and in the South about setting up more felting stations. No one was interested except for baxter.  What people said was, “I don’t have time”, and “will I be paid”.   So please help Baxter in any way you can with llama rescue, training llamas, donating fiber, picking up fiber, sorting fiber, helping with the felting, ranch chores. I’m sure she would appreciate anything. And of course, donations are always appreciated to SWLR.
You can go onto Matter of Trust’s website and view their clean wave program on hair mats.  www.matteroftrust.org
And more details:                                                                                                                                                We use llama and alpaca fiber that would be wasted by diverting it into making needle felted mats to soak up major oil spills and help keep storm drains and waterways clean.  This project was created by Matter of Trust, founder Lisa Gautier in 1998, a non-profit program. Their Matter of Trust Eco-Industrial Hub is in the heart of San Francisco. Their goal is to promote local waste fiber collection and situate felting stations wherever there are harbors, rivers, bays, or simple storm drains.  They have decades of research on the benefits of hair mats over use of synthetics.  The mats are made of human hair, dog clippings from groomers, and llama/alpaca fiber.
There are 3 felting stations in the US that are the first to be part of Matter of Trust’s pilot program making hair mats. They are baxter of SWLR in Kerrville, TX, Valerie O’Neil, (alpacas) of San Diego, CA, and Nina Pedersen of Rainbow Ridge Llama Ranch, in Petaluma, CA.
For more information on Matter of Trust and the cleanwave/hair mat program, go to matteroftrust.org  Contact baxter about helping her with the hair mat project at SouthwestLlamaRescue@yahoo.com
4/10 baxter just received a box of wool from Lynda Liptak that we can experiment with. Whoo hoo. She has some alpaca wool from a nearby alpaca ranch to experiment as well.
Folks can just save their wool to be picked up when the pickup points are organized. Eventually, the wool would need to be at the address below in Texas.

4/14  baxter wondered if needle felted shapes ( llama /alpaca or any shape) could be made then add a hole & a ribbon, and they could be used as an essential oil diffuser. The diffuser could be used for some of the essential oils for colds such as eucalyptus, thyme, frankincense. Anyone crafty out there? Has anyone done something like this?  Just feeling helpless here and wanting a way to help folks.
Nina said she has made felted balls with llama fiber and added a couple drops of essential oils, then thrown it in the dryer with her clothes. She has also have made needle felted hearts as gifts. She doesn’t know how it would hold the essence to use as an inhaler for a cold.

4/24 baxter sent 3 llamas off today to be guards for a new ranch with sheep.  Pictures of Mocha, Latte and Mika coming.

4/26 baxter posted notes from someone who had to give up their alpacas and the adopter.  Both were grateful for the help in putting the two together for this rehoming.  This was a happy ending.

4/30 baxter reported that 6 llamas were transported 04/29 from Kerrville to Tularosa. 4 females with a home lined up. 2 young males born at baxter's last year from rescue females. One male has an umbilical hernia and will need extra care. Males were getting amorous in Kerrville. <g>
In NM & TX, Pat fosters males until adoption. Baxter fosters females & retired geldings or females. Lynda fosters females mostly. Some other foster farms in TX are thru SELR or CRC.

4/30  There was news that antibodies from llamas could help in the fight against covid-19.

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