In 2004, Mike and Julie Delaney realized their unique historic farmstead was perfect to showcase champion livestock. The rolling hills, limestone bluffs and grassy meadows were a natural fit for eye-catching alpacas, and so by year's end, Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm was born.
In seven years, Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm has evolved. Clients from all over the United States have done business with this Eastern Iowa farm, nestled not far from the picturesque Mississippi River Valley. It is home to 60 huacaya alpacas. In several years of selling, this small farm has sold over 100 alpacas, all as foundation animals for other breeders. Breedings performed for clients number well over that as well.
The recipe for their success is simple. Start with an outstanding foundation herd, and add excellent customer service. Mix in superior breeding services, and the result is a nationally competitive alpaca farm. Mike and Julie's advice to new farms is this, "Buy the best females you can afford, and breed to the best males you can afford. Champion stock comes from a great dam and a great sire."
Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm specializes in colored Peruvian and Accoyo genetics. Mike and Julie credit much of their success to sound decisions made early on, and good guidance by mentor farms. "We were lucky enough to get involved with some highly successful farms, and we studied what seemed to be working for them, "Julie added. The Delaneys acquired ownership in CPeruvian Accoyo Express 0222 in their first year of business, and that decision has proved to be a sound one. "Express put our farm on the map," Mike says. And indeed Express has.
Express was followed by Accoyo Marathon, an 8 time champion full Accoyo fawn male. Raised males Javelin and Knight Rider took the show ring by storm and each received 15 banners from coast to coast! Now 10 time champion Jacob Black, including a Reseve Champion at Nationals, is waiting to be the next outcross for an outstanding colored program, and multi champion Shades of Silver will introduce high level greys into the genetic pool. Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm breeds for outstanding conformation as well as beautiful fleeces.
Irish Meadows specializes in quality dams as well as sires, and in 2012 National Champion Jamaica Rose, and 8 time champion Sister Golden Hair will introduce their first offspring. They join many other multi champion dams residing at this Iowa farm.
In 2011, Mike and Julie renovated a barn that dates from 1860. It has 3 levels, and houses the farm store, meeting area, and overnight accomodations. Visitors love its unique charm, and are offered a complimentary overnight stay.
The Delaneys attend many alpaca shows per year, and in 2011 acheived the pinnacle of alpaca awards, receiving the 2011 Futurity Small Breeder of the Year!
What's on the horizon for this farm? Mike and Julie quickly point out that they are always looking for the next "perfect" alpaca to enhance their foundation herd. The Delaneys see the softer economy as an excellent opportunity for farms to upgrade their stock quality. Besides continually improving their own stock, Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm plans to expand alpaca pastures, renovate some buildings, and fine tune the fiber end of their business. Currently Irish Meadows produces finished products made from their own animals, offered for sale in the farm store.
Mike and Julie are very hands-on with their alpacas and perform all the day to day work for the business. When asked what their biggest farm challenge is, they quickly respond "waiting 11 plus months for the next cria, and selling ones we should be keeping!"
Mike is a sales rep for Pioneer Seed. Julie is a certified public accountant, currently on leave to manage their alpaca business. The Delaneys have 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. Schedule a visit to Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm, because providing outstanding customer service is second only to producing champion offspring.