In April 2009, Jeanette joined a group of 150 alpaca breeders at Gaston College, North Carolina, for a very interesting and informative symposium entitled, “Today, Tomorrow & Beyond”. This symposium brought together a wealth of knowledge about fiber and textile development both from within the alpaca industry and from the textile industry in general. The weekend was divided  into three sections. The ‘Today’ section featured various groups that are already making and marketing products out of alpaca on a large scale.The ‘Tomorrow’ speakers were concerned with aiding in a better understanding of alpaca fiber properties and their possible uses in mainstream industrial manufacturing. The final section, ‘Beyond’ explored areas of research and investigtion of new applications of alpaca fiber. Attendees were also able to tour the Textile Technology Center at Gaston College and view a mini mill with a new advanced spinning machine as well as visit their fiber and fabric testing laboratory. This was a fascinating weekend with exciting possibilities for the future of the alpaca fiber industry. For more information check out The Alpaca Fiber Symposium website:  and plan to attend the next symposium in Denver Colorado in October.