Alpacas Give Concord Farm A South American Feel

Erin McCarthy's farm near Concord has a decidedly South American feel.

She raises alpacas, the long-necked quadrupeds similar to llamas but only a third of the size. They're native to the mountains of Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

McCarthy is a former bank executive who left to devote herself full-time to raising alpacas. Her farm is now the largest alpaca ranch in the southeast, and has two full-time employees. She has 230 animals on two different properties.

She's been working with N-C State's College of Textiles to develop a business model for processing her animals' fleece. She donates the fleece from her herd to the college for various projects.