Alpaca farming is gaining popularity in the U.S. Alpacas produce a unique type of wool similar to cashmere, with 22 naturally occurring basic colors. The wool is shorn off in the same way wool is removed from sheep. If you are planning to raise alpacas for profit, it's unlikely you will be able to obtain a grant unless you are a nonprofit organization. Most government grants are designated for research and nonprofit entities.
Grants.gov lists a wide variety of federal grant opportunities. To search for possible grants, go the the Grants.gov website and use the search tool. You can use basic search, search by category, search by agency or advanced search, and the keyword "alpaca". New grants are posted continually, so it is important to search regularly. Because alpaca farming is generally a for-profit business, it is unlikely that the federal government would offer alpaca-raising grants.
The USDA's Rural Development program offers assistance with obtaining grants for "Rural Business Enterprise," although it should be noted that the grants are only available to nonprofit enterprises. Go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website at USDA.gov to research these federal grant options.
Go to the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association website at http://www.alpacainfo.com/ to search for state grants. States offer occasional grants for raising livestock. In addition, the Alpaca Research Foundation offers grants for studies related to alpaca diseases and husbandry, but not for starting an alpaca farm.
The USDA Farm Service Agency offers loans to beginning farmers and ranchers, and some breeders offer financing when they sell their animals. These may be the only options for obtaining financial assistance for starting an alpaca business.
- Baby Alpaca image by Snow Queen from Fotolia.com