1-17-20 NARFE alpaca meeting photo .jpg

Courtesy photo NARFE Chapter 1191 meet Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Cancun’s Restaurant in Waxahachie. Pictured in the photo eft to right are: Ralph Nelson, NARFE Program Coordinator from Waxahachie and guest speaker, Melissa Lehew.

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 1191 held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Cancun's Restaurant in Waxahachie.

The guest speaker was Melissa Lahew, accompanied and assisted by her husband, Derek Lehew.

The speaker and her husband operate an alpaca farm near Maypearl. She described the physical characteristics of the alpaca, averaging about 150 pounds, which is a smaller relative in the camelid family of the llama.

Alpacas originated in South America and were used for fleece and food. Alpacas also have a finer fleece than the llama. There is no lanolin in the alpaca fleece as with the llama. Shearing of the ¾ inch annual growth of fleece is done in the spring and summer.

Alpacas are shown at stock shows for fleece. The fleece is used to make high quality fabric used in sweaters, scarfs, blankets, gloves, hats and other clothing items.

Additionally, items such as dryer balls, stress balls, bird nesting balls and tree ornaments are made from the fleece.

These items are available online at https://www.etsy.com/https://www.etsy.com/

There is also a Facebook page for the Lehew's alpaca farm at: Alpacas of Faith.

NARFE Chapter 1191 covers Ellis, Navarro and adjacent parts of the surrounding counties.

Membership in NARFE is open to all active and retired federal employees and their spouses, former federal employees, and former spouses who are entitled to a federal survivor annuity.

For more information, please call 903-874-3092.

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