Kneehill County is proud to highlight the Agripreneurs and Businesses that make our community great.
As you drive west of Three Hills along Highway 583, you’ve likely seen signs directing you to Dennis and Josee Kirk’s Alpaca Farm. The short drive through the prairie landscape does not prepare you for the serene setting that meets you as you drop into the lush valley.
After they moved to the farm, Josee saw a herd of alpacas for sale and instantly fell in love with the gentle, beautiful creatures. Dennis took a little longer to convince, however, the animals eventually made their way to their new home in 2019. With help from the previous owners, Dennis and Josee were able to settle the alpacas in and learn the tricks of the trade. Josee quickly located a local manufacturer that was able to turn their alpaca fibre into accessories such as socks, hats, scarves, and skeins. She then hit the road to sell their new line of products, as well as their market garden produce and eggs, direct to consumers, at farmer's markets around the region.
In March of 2020, Kirk’s sales model changed drastically as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of Alberta’s market circuit. Knowing that they had to pivot to save their young business, the Kirk’s decided to develop an e-commerce website, build a retail store on the property and open the farm to visitors. Overnight, their agribusiness transitioned from retail to tourism!
“Follow your dreams, advertise constantly and involve your community” is the advice that Josee has for other Agripreneur’s looking to diversify their agriculture operations.
In August of 2020, Josee and Dennis held their grand opening and the business has been growing ever since. The store offers an array of alpaca fibre products and features several other local businesses as well. The shelves are lined with bath and body products, candies, housewares, teddies, and colourful skeins. Seasonally, market produce is available as well as chickens and farm fresh eggs whiles supplies last.
Visits to the farm can be booked in advance online to ensure plenty of space for social distancing and entrance is by donation. During your visit, you can meet the alpacas and learn about their health, care, and routines. Kids are welcome to stretch their legs on the play equipment and the new patio is now open. There is plenty of room on the farm to run and guests are asked to follow all Provincial Covid-19 Public Health Measures.
Planning a visit to Dennis and Josee Kirk’s Alpaca Farm this summer? If so, “book your time, bring a picnic lunch, relax, play and enjoy the view!”
Instagram: @ kirks_alpaca_farm