About Desert Mountain Alpaca Ranch
We are Tom and Janice Buttitta, owners of Desert Mountain Alpaca Ranch. We began our alpaca adventure on ten acres in Hereford, Arizona back in 2004. After five years we relocated from the desert to the grass pastures of Mansfield, GA. We currently have 20 acres, which will allow us to expand our business both in our own herd numbers as well as being able to agist customer’s alpacas.
Tom is a Manufacturing Engineer for a window blind manufacturer for over 30 years. Originally from New Jersey, he has relocated with the company a couple of times. This latest move is due to a promotion in which it entailed Tom leaving the Mexican plants in Agua Prieta to head towards the corporate office that relocated to Sandy Springs, GA.
In my previous life I was a Supply Chain Manager for an evaporative cooler manufacturer. Back in 2008 I was laid off due to the recession. I worked in Naco, Mexico and can speak Spanish fluently. Originally, I am from Long Island, New York.
Although we both are successful in our fields we felt something was missing. In Arizona we had a small amount of land, but we felt it could be used for some sort of livestock business. I toyed with the idea of opening a dog kennel, but Tom did not think it was a good match for us.
Then one day I saw an ad on the television talking about alpacas. I jumped on the website and read about them. They sounded perfect for us. They do not need a lot of space, so my ten acres was more than adequate. Not to mention that they are low maintenance. We could definitely keep our careers and work on growing our alpaca business at the same time. Shortly after I got Tom to read about them too and the alpacas sparked an interest. A couple of weeks later we were on our way to a fair to see the animals and meet the owners. We were hooked and jumped on the fast track.
To learn about alpacas quickly we took five seminars and participated in three shows. In December of 2004 we bought our first two pregnant females. Currently we have 14 females and 10 males with crias on the way.
Along the way we also became Maremma livestock guardian dog breeders. We started this venture back in 2006 when we noticed our house dogs barking at coyotes behind our old ranch in Arizona and wanted to make sure our animals were protected. We own two breeding pairs. Their pups have gone on to work for various types of livestock including sheep, alpacas, goats, and chickens. We believe in being ethical breeders so each pair is bred only once per year.
The mission of Desert Mountain Alpaca Ranch is to breed and market healthy, high quality alpacas that will ensure the growth and improvement of the North American alpaca industry. In pursuit of our mission, it is our intention to supply superior fiber for use in the manufacture of products while marketing these products to the environmentally conscious consumer.
Over the years we have seen our hard work and determination pay off. We have successfully began to market, sell our alpacas, and our alpaca products. Our show string is impressive with almost all of our show string being blue ribbon winners and some even moving on to win championships. We pay close attention to our breeding practices to ensure that only the best quality crias are produced. We have the histograms and show winnings as evidence to our success.
As we continue to grow we strive to learn more about the alpacas and the overall industry. Quality and customer satisfaction is what our business is all about. With this said we plan to educate consumers and new breeders with the importance of this livestock.
Just like any business the alpaca business requires time and commitment. However, unlike most other businesses the rewards of caring for these beautiful animals is priceless. My husband and I cannot seem to keep our fingers out of their soft, lustrous fiber and they take a piece of our heart with every alpaca kiss they give.