Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA)

Our Mission

Serve all Alpaca Owners Association members to facilitate their success within the alpaca industry.

Our Vision

A recognized and sustainable North American alpaca industry for alpaca owners, alpaca breeders, and those who design, produce, and sell alpaca related products and services.

Our Purpose

  • To promote awareness of alpaca and alpaca products;
  • To maintain an official DNA validated genealogical registry system;
  • To administer an alpaca show system;
  • To provide education to the Association’s members and to the public about the operation of sustainable alpaca businesses;
  • To market alpaca and the use of alpaca products;
  • To promote scientific research to benefit the alpaca industry; and
  • To do any and all things necessary or incidental to achieving the purposes specified above.

Our Core Values


  • Honesty and candor in our dealings
  • Observe the spirit as well as the letter of our Bylaws
  • Uphold our reputation for high ethical principles
  • Do not compromise truth, ethics, or integrity to avoid controversy

Transparency & Leadership

  • No political or personal agendas
  • Avoid conflicts, or the appearance of conflicts, between our personal interests and those of the organization
  • Avoid activities that may reflect adversely on our organization
  • Openly and freely communicate with membership

Pride in Accomplishments

  • Innovate for success
  • Focus on accuracy of data
  • Utilize the best science and data available
  • Value high performance by staff and contractors

Service & Responsiveness

  • Advocate for best interests of membership

About AOA

Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) is the world’s largest alpaca association with around 2,200 members and over 285,000 alpacas in its registry database.

AOA is a not-for-profit corporation, which is managed by a team of seven employees who report to a nine-member board of directors. Those nine individuals, who oversee the organization, are elected by the AOA membership to serve staggered three-year terms.

AOA oversees an internationally recognized pedigree registry, Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) program, alpaca show system, judge training program, and industry magazine (Alpacas Magazine). AOA also provides education to current and prospective alpaca owners throughout the world along with a national marketing program for alpacas and alpaca fiber products.

AOA hosts three national events a year: the AOA National Alpaca Show, AOA National Education And Fiber Conference which includes the National Fleece Show, and National Alpaca Farm Days. In addition, AOA supports 31 affiliates.

AOA’s National Show System certifies over 49 alpaca shows per year and boasts 25 certified alpaca judges. Along with being sought after to judge internationally, they are in high demand to teach all over the globe.

As of 2023 with more than 37 years of history, AOA continues to provide support to the North American alpaca industry through programs that assist members in growing their alpaca, alpaca fiber, and alpaca product businesses.

History of AOA

Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) was created in 2014 when Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association, Inc. (AOBA) merged into Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI). Prior to the merger, AOBA and ARI represented different parts of the North American alpaca industry. ARI focused on the pedigree registry, scientific research, and alpaca education. AOBA focused on the national show system along with the national alpaca show, judge training system, national marketing, and alpaca education.

While the first gatherings of alpaca owners in a formal manner began in 1986, Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association (AOBA) was formed in 1987 and incorporated in 1991. In 1988, alpaca registry rules and regulations were adopted, which included a requirement of blood typing all alpacas for registration. In 1990, the alpaca registry was separated from AOBA and began as an independent committee of the International Lama Registry. The Alpaca Registry Screening Committee was composed of alpaca owners who were elected by owners of registered alpacas. In 1995, the Alpaca Registry Screening Committee formally became Alpaca Registry, Inc., (ARI) upon that organization's incorporation.

From 1995–2014, ARI and AOBA worked cooperatively to provide services to the North American alpaca industry. Together the two organizations aggressively worked to expand the industry, improve alpaca genetics, create a national show system, provide national marketing, and educate people throughout North America about alpacas.

In January 2014, AOBA was merged into ARI, and ARI was renamed Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA). This merger created a single organization that represents all facets of the North American alpaca industry.