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Interview with Shannon Cassidy Rouleau of Ballintotas Alpacas

Shannon Cassidy Rouleau grew up on a beef farm where they also kept goats, chickens, horses and other animals. When she and her husband Chris bought their property at Lot 19 Concession 11 (near McLean Drive) they wanted their children to grow up with the same feelings of being connected to animals that she had as a child. They bought their first pair of Alpacas in 2003 and now have twenty one animals which they keep at several farms because they both work full time. Shannon converted her garage into a shop where people can purchase local alpaca wool products and imported items are also available. She uses artisans from all across Ontario to knit, crochet, weave and spin a variety of wool products. Shannon would like to increase awareness of the Alpaca industry and wants to offer alpaca products from a wider variety of sources such as farming co-operatives, global partnerships and Peruvian imports.

For more information on the Rouleau Farm, visit their website: https://ballintotasalpacas.com/

Click here to view an abstract from the Renfrew County land records.

We thought it was really interesting and we were really curious about the animals. The real interest was that they didn't need a lot of space and they didn't need a lot of care, they were friendly with children, not dangerous to have around.

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Open up - we want to see what's inside!

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We made a conscious choice that we wanted to keep all our alpacas that are born on the farm. This would be their forever home. So that's a personal decision, but we do breed for our own selves because we want to have fleece that is at all stages in the alpaca life cycle.

The Rouleau's find the alpacas gentle and easy to care for.

We also send some of our fleece to co-ops. So from the co-ops we'll get back socks, scarves and hats.

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A sample of finished products available at the Farm Store.

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We have one girl who turns the lights on and off. So often my husband will finish up in the barn and come upstairs to the house and as soon as he is here we can look back out and we know which one it is, Paloma

Paloma

We are really interested right now in a global partnership focus with that idea of north meets south, of us being able to work with some artisans in South America, to be able to combine energies whether it's using South American alpaca.

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The Rouleau family of Ballintotas Alpacas

Looking Back

Maggie McNab by her spinning wheel circa 1900

1994-0021 Peter Hessel collection

 

List of weavers found in the 1842 Census of McNab Township:

NAME

LOT

CONCESSION

 

John Forrest

27

2

 

Alex Goodwin

1

14

 

John McDermid

25

6

 

James Storie

4

15