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— The CABA Team

Farm Home


MelHay Farm Alpacas

Lee & Judy Howard
PO Box 384Washougal, WA 98671
360 335 0145

About Us

MelHay Farm is located 6 miles northeast of Washougal, Washington, widely known as the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge. We are on the side of the Washougal River Canyon about 250 ft. above the river.
The name "MelHay" comes from our granddaughters, Melia and Hayley. The plumeria flower logo symbolizes our fond memories of Hawaii where our children grew up.
I(Judy)have had an interest in the fiber "arts" for many years, but, what with raising two kids and working, I just never seemed to have the time to practice the skills. I took my first weaving class at Western State College(Gunnison, CO) and knitted some Christmas sweaters for the family, just before moving to Hawaii for 10 years. Sweaters weren't much used there. After we returned from Hawaii I bought a table loom, and took some more classes, but, still, work and family were my first priority. In 1999 we moved from San Jose to Washougal and I learned that the Northwest is a treasure trove of knowledge on all things fiber. I also discovered alpacas.
My husband (Lee) was raised on a cattle ranch, and at first wanted nothing to do with alpacas because they resembled sheep. What cowboy worthy of the name would have any truck with sheep? However, after a lot of study and discussion he finally relented. We purchased our first four females and have not looked back.
Aside from the friends we've made, and the absolute delight of watching our cria earnestly tearing about the pasture, it is the many avenues of focus the alpaca industry offers that motivates us to stay in the game.
I look out at the tapestry of colors in our herd and see, well, tapestries. Lee looks at the same herd and gnaws his lip thinking about the next breeding possibilities because maybe this one isn't as fine or that one lacks coverage or density. We both marvel at the multitude of uses that exist for our fiber, regardless of grade.
Fleeces from our alpacas have done well in the shows and in the rugs, yarns, rovings and finished goods we sell.