Llamas and alpacas (both members of the camelidae family) make excellent pets and working animals and also produce wool for textiles.
What can you do?
In the llama-alpaca project, you can learn about:
- Social behavior and communication
- Fiber types
- Guard llamas
- Careers and marketing
Get started with 4-H'ers in your area
- Contact your local 4-H office for more info.
Get started on your own
- Llama - alpaca information sheet - Important to read.
- Purdue 4-H lama activity books (for sale)
- Caring for Llamas and Alpacas: A Health and Management Guide (book)
- Llama - Alpaca Showmanship Rules & Guidelines
- Llama - Alpaca Performance Classes Rules & Guidelines
- Llamas and Alpacas: Keeping a Small Scale Camelid Herd, Sue Weaver (for sale)
- Alpaca Keeping - Raising Alpacas - Step by Step Guide Book, Harry Fields (for sale)
- Alpaca Owners Association, Inc (AOA)
- AOA Show Handbook
- Llama and Alpaca Resource Handbook (for sale)
Deepen your project learning with these opportunities:
Join the Minnesota State Fair 4-H show committee
This is a leadership opportunity for 4-H members in grades 9 and up. Represent your fellow 4-H'ers on the livestock show committee, serving with adult volunteers.
What you'll do
- Attend two face-to-face meetings during the year as a youth representative
- Participate in two to four calls during the year
- Staff a 4-H livestock information booth the first two days of the Minnesota State Fair
How to apply
Selected applicants will be notified in September and will be invited to a state fair meeting in October. This is a one-year experience, and you can apply for a second year.
Joe Rand, Extension educator and advisor, email@example.com
Local livestock committees
You may be able to join your county 4-H livestock committee. Contact your local 4-H office for more information.
Resources for supporting youth in the llama-alpaca project
- Llama - Alpaca Showmanship Rules and Guidelines
- Llama - Alpaca Performance Classes Rules and Guidelines
- Alpaca and Llama Show Association (ALSA) Judges Manual
- 2019 ALSA Handbook 22nd Edition
- Alpaca website (Vicugna Pacos)
- Leader's Manual for Llama Activities (Washington State)
- Llamas and Alpacas: Keeping a Small-Scale Camelid Herd - tips for buying and care (for sale)
- Alpaca Keeping - guide to farming, care , diet, health and breeding (for sale)
To volunteer with 4-H in your area, contact your local 4-H office.
What does it mean to show at the fair?
For 4-H'ers, local and state showcase events (like the Minnesota State Fair) are not just fun events. They provide youth opportunities to exhibit the knowledge and skills they've gained throughout the year– and to continue their learning.
Contact your local 4-H office to learn about local livestock showcase opportunities.
Important to know
- Llama - alpaca information sheet — posted Dec. 21, 2022
- AnSci updates for 2023 — posted Dec. 21, 2022
- Animal science show requirements sheet for all species
- 4-H animal ID requirements and processes
- Llama - alpaca fleece judging at state fair guidelines — updated December 2018
- Cloverbuds and animals
- Leasing a 4-H animal
- Livestock interviews
- See all 4-H policies
Record keeping and evaluation
- 4-H llama - alpaca record
- 4-H youth record keeping — reflect on your project and share it.
- Animal science project interviews evaluation - junior level
- Animal science project interviews evaluation - senior level
- Llama - Alpaca fleece judging evaluation
- Llama - Alpaca showmanship score sheet
- Llama - Alpaca performance score sheet
- Llama - Alpaca fleece judging score sheet
Contact your local 4-H office for sign-up deadlines and more information about how to get started showing.
Llama and alpaca exhibits can include:
- Llama - alpaca in costume class
- Llama - alpaca in obstacle course class
- Llama - alpaca in public relations class
- Llama - alpaca in showmanship class
- Llama - alpaca fiber
- Llama - alpaca poster
See requirements for breeds, birth dates and animal ID. These are required for all llama-alpaca shows (state and local).
Exhibit your knowledge
What is animal ID-ing?
Animal ID is a system for identifying and tracking all animals in the 4-H animal science project areas. It is important to follow the ID requirements to ensure health, safety and fairness.
See all requirement details by species and class. You must follow all of these requirements, whether you own or lease your animal.
Important ID deadlines
- Feb 15, 2023, for market beef (beef steers, market heifers and dairy steers).
- May 15, 2023, for beef, dairy, dairy goat, dog, horse, llama-alpaca, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep and swine.
Find more information on the animal science ID page.
We want you to be able to learn about animals, even if you don't own one. You can lease an animal. You'll gain valuable hands-on experience managing and showing animals, and you'll learn from caring adults.
For full details, see the leasing a 4-H animal page.
The 4-H member or family must complete the 4-H animal identification process, just like owned animals. This will include verifying the leasing agreement. Read all about animal ID.
Livestock Quality Assurance training helps youth provide excellent care for their food animals and ensures a high level of food safety to consumers. We designed it to enhance the educational experience of 4-H animal science projects.
Do you hope to exhibit with 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair? All 4-H livestock exhibitors must complete livestock quality assurance training to exhibit at the state fair.
Two training options
Youth who complete either one of these training options will receive a certificate of completion.
- A three-hour in-person workshop (LQAE) including ethics. Valid for three years.
- Youth for the quality care of animals (YQCA) - A one-hour online training. Valid for one year.
For full details, see the Livestock Quality Assurance (LQA) training page.
Reviewed in 2022