The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Christopher Rafferty ‘26, alpaca farmer

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The alpacas on Callowhill Farm are expertly tended to by Christopher Rafferty ‘26. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Rafferty ‘26)

Christopher Rafferty ‘26 has become a fixture among the alpacas of Callowhill Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

“My main thing is I do a lot of the hands-on work with the animals in barn care,” Rafferty, a volunteer at the farm, said. “So, I did a lot of catching the alpacas when we were doing medicine, I did a lot of the cleanup.”

Farm owner Rhea Paci considers Rafferty to be one of her biggest assets and most impactful helpers.

“Over the past seven years, I have come to know [Rafferty] is a dependable worker, is experienced with many of the farm jobs and routines and is a fast learner when something new is introduced,” Paci wrote in an email. “No matter what the job is, he’s right there rolling up his sleeves. Many times the job is dirty, messy and smelly. He never complains and is always willing to do to the best of his ability.”

Although Rafferty can be found catching runaway alpacas and cleaning up muck and manure most days, he also collects alpaca fiber that is turned into handicrafts to be sold at a local fair and a shop that Paci runs on the farm.

“We make a lot of crafts with the alpaca fiber because we will shear them once a year,” Rafferty said. “Then we’ll turn the fiber into hair ties, coasters, a bunch of stuff and then we sell it off [to] make some profit.”

Additionally, Rafferty preps and trains the Callowhill Farm alpacas for the Grange Fair, training them for a showmanship display and teaching them how to navigate through an obstacle course.

“The showmanship would just be walking them around, making them look pretty and answering some questions from the judges,” Rafferty said. “And then we have the obstacle course, where … they go up the ramp, down some stairs, they have to walk through cones and a pattern, starting stops, jump over obstacles, open [an] umbrella above their head, do some limbo. It’s a lot of fun.”

Rafferty also works with children and younger farm workers, ensuring that both the children and the alpacas are safe.

Callowhill Farm uses excess alpaca fiber to create handicrafts. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Rafferty ‘26)

“Sometimes it can be a little annoying to make sure the kids aren’t messing around with the alpacas,” Rafferty said. “You’ll tell them something and they just won’t process it and do their own thing. And they’ve got to be careful on alpacas because … the alpacas are bigger than them and can just run them over sometimes.”

“[Rafferty’s] great attitude which he so generously shares is the catalyst for being a great role model for the younger members he is in contact with,” Paci wrote. “We all learn from each other and he is the great teacher.”

In the future, Rafferty plans to continue to volunteer at Callowhill Farm and work with the alpacas.

“I just go up every couple of weekends, only because I can’t really volunteer while I’m here at school,” Rafferty said. “But when I go back home I normally head over there.”

“I treasure the time [Rafferty] spends at the farm,” Paci wrote. “As Chris follows his path through life many doors will open. Already he has many tools in his toolbox preparing him for a rewarding future.”

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About the Contributor
Kristen Vincent, Assistant Culture Editor

Kristen Vincent ‘26 is an English Major and a Government and Law Minor. Aside from writing and editing for the newspaper, she is an EXCEL scholar, Writing Associate, LEO, and Secretary of the English Club. When she is not critiquing the latest biopic about a musician with a legendary past, she can be found working on her latest poem or rustling through the bargain bin at your local record store.

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