Basic Course

This Basic 1 day course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about natural fiber production.  Both current producers and non producers will benefit from the knowledge gained in this informative course.

The goal for this course is to have natural fiber producers gain the knowledge to return to their farm and organize their fiber for production. Management, harvesting and sorting are the building blocks for the workshop with hands-on time to gain experience.  Included also is information on yarn production to familiarize the students with processing at artisan mills. Students will leave this one-day event with the tools they need to get their fiber out of storage and separated so that they can maximize yield and minimize cost at their mill.

This Basic Course is a Prerequisite to taking the Advanced Course and subsequent Apprenticeship Training which will lead to the designation Master Sorter/Grader.  Those who have completed the Basic Course successfully will have 18 months to take the Advanced Course if they desire to continue in the program.  After the time, you will be required to repeat the Basic Course before taking further portions of the program.

The next scheduled Basic Course will be held in Orleans, Nebraska on Friday May 11,  2018.  The fee for this program is $150.00.


Harlan County Fairgrounds

506 S Nebraska Avenue

Orleans, NE

Host Tashia Butterfield, Butterfield Alpaca Ranch (cell: 308-920-0869) (only call for area information.  For class information please call SUNY/Cobleskill or Wini Labrecque (724) 272-4285

Closest Airports:

The nearest airports are Kearney and Grand Island. Each have different airlines.


A block of rooms is reserved at the Super 8 in Alma under “alpaca training”. All you need to do is mention alpaca. RV spots are available throughout the area, including the Super 8.  There are a few other hotels in the area and lots of places to eat.

To register please contact The Office of Professional & Continuing Education – SUNY/PACE Cobleskill,   518-255-5528.  Ask for Linda Serdy.

This Basic Course in NE will be immediately followed by the Advanced 3 day Course.  Registration for the Basic and/or Advanced course is on a first come first serve basis and must be paid in full to guarantee a spot.  A SUNY Certificate course in shearing by PHS Shearing will be held at the same location and time period.  This is a great opportunity for another individual from the same farm to benefit from a great educational event at the same time.  Registration for the Shearing Course is separate from the SGC Courses.  Registration information for the Shearing Course will be posted here shortly for your convenience.

Additional Basic Course locations are being investigated for the remainder of 2018.  If you are interested in hosting one in your area, please contact Wini Labrecque at or by phone at 724-272-4285