Business brief: Island Alpaca owner featured in New York Times

Barbara Ronchetti, owner of Island Alpaca Farm — Photo by Heidi Wild for NY Times

Barbara Ronchetti’s transformation from city woman to Martha’s Vineyard alpaca farmer was the focus of the “Vocations” column (“Finding greener pastures for a career“) in The New York Times on November 24.

Ms. Ronchetti, a former ad salesperson for The MV Times, told interviewer Perry Garfinkel, former MV Times calendar editor, about her introduction to alpacas at the 2002 Ag Fair.

“I read up on them and found out that owning them could be a potentially viable, even profitable business,” she said. “You can breed and sell alpacas at prices that start at $500.”

Asked what has been most rewarding about her new career, Ms. Ronchetti said, “Coming up on 10 years of turning my life in this entirely new direction, this work remains compelling, and I feel passionate about the wonders of these peaceful critters. My heart belongs to this Island and these animals. They are home to me.”

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