James G. King Alpaca Industry Recognition Award and 2020 National Supreme Champions Announced

The James G. King Industry Recognition Award is awarded by the Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) Board of Directors to a person or persons who have given of themselves exceptionally and consistently toward the betterment of the alpaca industry.

This year’s recipient of the James G. King Alpaca Industry Award are Sharon and Marc Milligan, owners and operators of Red Granite Ranch in Livermore, Colorado.

“Sharon and Marc Milligan have supported the alpaca community with their ‘time, talent and treasure’ for the many years they have owned alpacas,” said Shauna Brummet, PhD, president of AOA. “They support their local affiliate (Alpaca Breeders of the Rockies) and the Great Western Alpaca Show by serving in leadership and working jobs. They volunteer much time and alpacas for Judges Training events each time they are held. They have hosted an alpaca fiber collection and sorting event for many years as well.

“Sharon and Marc don’t only talk the talk, but walk the walk, demonstrating the importance of farms and ranches not only raising alpacas for breeding but also ensuring their fiber moves into production of garments and textiles.”

The Milligans have had the honor of being awarded the 2010 Futurity Small Breeder of the Year, 2012 Futurity Reserve Medium Breeder of the year, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 Futurity Reserve Large Breeder of the Year.

“Marc and I love our Alpaca business,” said Sharon. “We try to do whatever we can do to make the industry more viable for us and for everyone who owns alpacas. It was extremely heartwarming to be acknowledged by the AOA Board for our efforts. We were surprised and very thankful.”

The James G. King Alpaca Industry Award, created in 2012, was named in honor of Jim King, a longtime member and Board Member of both the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association and Alpaca Registry, Inc. who passed away unexpectedly on April 5, 2012.

2020 National Supreme Champions

The Association also proudly announces the winners of the 2020 AOA Supreme Championship. This prestigious honor is awarded to both suri and huacaya males and females in dark and light groups, creating eight National Supreme Champions.

To earn a spot in the supreme champion competitions, alpacas compete in one of the following:

  1.  Compete in regular halter classes and win the color championship at the National Show;
  2. Win a regular Best Bred and Owned class at the National Show; or
  3. Win a Color Championship at any AOA certified show in the previous year. These finalists will be entered into an Invited Color Champion Class at the National Show for a chance to be selected to move on to the AOA Supreme Champion Class.

This year’s winners are:

Supreme Champion Dark Huacaya Male
Liberty Alpacas Manifest-Destiny from Liberty Alpacas and Crescent Moon Ranch

Supreme Champion Light Huacaya Male
Irish Meadows’ Reload from Irish Meadoes Alpaca Farm

Supreme Champion Dark Huacaya Female
Snow Diamond Chile Amor 1 from Thordarson Farms LLC

Supreme Champion Light Huacaya Female
Liberty Alpacas Pearl Harbor from Liberty Alpacas

Supreme Champion Dark Suri Female
Dallas’ Monique of Harmony from Hasselbring’s Harmony Ranch

Supreme Champion Light Suri Female
Goldyn Rae’s Yara from Suri & Company of Fern Creek Farm

Supreme Champion Dark Suri Male
12M Golden Inferno from Rogue Suri Alpacas

Supreme Champion Light Suri Male
Big Timber Tahiti’s Fyre Dancer from Big Timber Alpacas, LLC

The alpacas competed at the 2020 National Alpaca Show sponsored by Fun in the Country Alpacas in Fort Wayne Indiana, March 13 – 15. The 2021 show will take place in Denver, Colorado, March 19-21.

About James G. King

Jim was born August 5, 1935, in San Francisco. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University and the Harvard Business School. At Yale, he was an All-American lacrosse player, and he later played for many seasons at the Boston Lacrosse Club.

Jim and his family lived in Wellesley, Massachusetts before moving to New London in 1992. He spent most of his career in the Boston area as a financial analyst and portfolio manager, working many years at David L. Babson Company. Later Jim worked at New London Trust and Charter Trust.

In 1992 he and his wife, Sue, established Skyeview Alpacas. Working the farm allowed him to explore one of his passions, a love of animals. He spent a great deal of his time helping to grow the fledgling Alpaca industry.  He was involved in regional and national alpaca organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of both the Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association and the Alpaca Registry, Inc.

In retirement Jim was able to embrace new activities as well as become more active in many areas. His love of singing led to his joining The North Country Chordsmen, a Barbershop Chorus. His love of sports began when he played soccer and lacrosse in prep school and college and coached his sons through many years of soccer and was rekindled with tennis, paddle tennis and sailing. Jim was an active member of Rotary, the Boys Club, and the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club. He was also a longtime camper at AMC's Three Mile Island Camp on Lake Winnipesaukee.

At the time of his passing, Jim was serving the alpaca industry as Treasurer of Alpaca Registry, Inc.  He was a strong advocate for the alpaca industry and its members, with a goal of having every organization he was involved with maintain the highest level of professionalism and service while continuing to invest in the future of the industry.

About Alpaca Owners Association

Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) is the world’s largest alpaca association with around 5,000 members and over 265,000 alpacas in its registry database.

AOA is a not-for-profit corporation, which is managed by a team of eight 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 National Alpaca Halter Show, Natural Fiber Extravaganza which includes the National Fleece Show, and National Alpaca Farm Days. In addition, AOA supports 34 affiliates.

AOA’s National Show System certifies over 40 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.

With more than 33 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.