In a national survey conducted by The Career Guide, Small-Scale Niche Farmer was included in the top 10 best jobs/careers for women over 40. Raising alpacas certainly qualifies as niche farming, and nearly all alpaca farms in North America are small-scale. The reasons for recommending Small-Scale Niche Farmer include:
- Salary: Most earn $26,800 to $76,230
- Top 10% Make: $97,000+
- Why Now: Small farms are growing at a rate of 10,000 a year
- What You’ll Need: Nothing—training is done on the job
- Entrepreneur Opportunities: 80% are self-employed
Although farming traditionally requires land and equipment, if you agist (board) your alpacas on someone else’s farm, as I do, it is still entirely possible to be a successful small-scale niche alpaca farmer without owning any land at all! Agisting expenses are deductible just like regular farm expenses.
Whether you own your own farm or agist your alpacas at someone else’s farm, raising alpacas is ideally suited for women. In fact, the vast majority of alpaca farms in North America are operated by women. Alpacas are small and easy to handle. Routine maintenance like daily poop scooping and feeding is easier than traditional livestock. Many women have found alpaca farming to be an ideal business that allows them the opportunity to stay at home to raise their children while still bringing income into the family.