Almont alpaca farm doubles down on agritourism, educational programs with new store and more

What’s happening: VC Farm & Fiber in Lapeer County’s Almont has made some significant investments in their agritourism business, and they’re inviting the public out to help celebrate with a grand re-opening party this Saturday, Oct. 15, from noon to 4 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature pumpkin painting activities, a straw bale playscape, story time, alpaca feeding opportunities, and more. A full breakdown of the day’s activities can be found on the VC Farm & Fiber Facebook page.

VC Farm & Fiber is located at 4444 Kidder Rd. in Almont.What it is: VC Farm & Fiber is an alpaca farm owned and operated by the wife and husband team of Jessie and Jack Clock. The Clocks harvest the alpaca wool and sell a range of alpaca wool products, including socks, boot liners, hats, mittens and gloves, and more. They make some of their products and tap the expertise of other Michigan farms and makers to help create the rest. The farm also offers experiential field trips and activities for children.

What they built: The Clocks have added a lot to their farm recently, including nearly doubling their herd of alpaca to 25. The grand re-opening party will be celebrating a new pasture, housing facility, and upgraded herd health area. VC Farm & Fiber also built a retail storefront on the property, allowing the Clocks to sell their alpaca products, Jessie’s alpaca paintings, and sell products from their friends and neighbors, including goat milk lotion, honey, and more.

A little bit of history: Jessie Clock’s grandpa is the original owner of the farm, and it’s Jessie and her brother Josh Vanlerberghe who took over the family business. Josh still runs row crop farming operations on 200 acres, and Jessie and Jack Clock used the rest of the land to start their alpaca farm in 2018. The farm served as a dairy farm for decades, though that portion of the business closed when their grandpa first retired, Jessie says. They knew they wanted to keep the farm going, but maybe without the dairy farm aspect — and what that entails. “We wanted to see the farm used like it was intended. We always joked about doing something ridiculous, animal-wise, because neither one of us wanted to butcher anything because we're softies.”

Agritourism, she says, was the answer. And there’s a reason for that.

Why it’s important: “I feel kids today don't really understand where food comes from, and where fiber comes from. And it's really important. Kids are kind of our focus and always have been,” Jessie says. “We've really wanted to focus more on the kids and the educational components. With these new renovations, we can do that.”

VC Farm & Fiber is located at 4444 Kidder Rd. in Almont.

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