FarmHer Highlights Villa de Alpacas Farm on RFD-TV

Oct. 12, 2018 @ 9:30pm — FarmHer is an original series on RFD-TV that shares the lives and stories of women working the land, caring for their communities, and feeding the world. From crawfish ponds in Louisiana to hazelnut fields in Oregon and a lot of gravel roads in between, join host Marji Guyler-Alaniz on the FarmHer journey each week. Season 3 will cover diverse operations from coast-to-coast, and while each farm is different, the heart of each FarmHer is the same. New episodes air every Friday and Sunday at 9:30 pm ET.

On Friday, October 12, 2018, FarmHer featured our very own Angel Forbes-Simmons and Villa de Alpacas Farm in Aquasco, Maryland!

In this episode, FarmHer included Villa De Alpacas Farm, one of only four remaining Bicentennial farms in Maryland. FarmHer host Marji Guyler-Alaniz focused her camera on city girl turned FarmHer, Angel Forbes Simmons and her alpaca herd at Villa de Alpacas Farm. From classical music in the barn to turning their precious fur into works of fiber art, this is an episode of FarmHer you won’t want to miss.

Since this episode is from 2018, you can watch it in the 3 of 4 available segments that are posted on RFD-TV’s YouTube channel. If you subscribe to RFD-TV, you may be able to find this Oct. 2018 episode in its entirety by logging in on their web site.

FarmHer Clips / Photos

Season 3 Trailer:

CLIP 1: FarmHer Angel Forbes Simmons Plays Classical Music for Her Animals

CLIP 2: FarmHer Angel Forbes Simmons Explains Her Felting Loom

CLIP 3: FarmHer Angel Forbes Simmons Explains the Difference Between Llamas and Alpacas


CLIP 4: FarmHer Angel Forbes Simmons and Her Family Inspiration


Lancaster Farming interview questions about our FarmHer episode:

Angel Forbes-Simmons FarmHer filming

Angel Simmons being filmed in her alpaca fiber workshop by the FarmHer/RFD-TV cameraman. (Photo by Shelby Watson-Hampton)

Can you give me a brief paragraph description about you and your role on your farm?

I took over my family’s Bicentennial farm because my Mom was needing to sell it due to my Father dying of Parkinson’s Disease. Honestly, it was killing my Mother to care for him; she didn’t have the finances, support, or the physical and mental capacity to keep it going, along with everything else on her plate. It was an extremely stressful time, to say the least! I never wanted my Mom to sell the farm and neither did she, so as an only child, I needed to step in and try to make things work better on all fronts – not just with the farm but also with the physical care of my Father. I moved my Father to the farm in 1997 to care for him myself, along with trying to get the farm rolling again. It was extremely rough – financially and emotionally.

I was not born or raised on the farm, as my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmothers had before me. I was born and raised on Miami Beach – a bonafide city girl. But I had worked very hard and had a successful career which I gave up for what I strongly believed was a higher and better purpose. I had to take into account the qualitative versus the quantitative aspects of life.

Little did I realize until I got truly involved in the farm and its future, how many sacrifices the women before me had to make to honestly keep the farm running. You must give everything you have, most especially in terms of finances, along with all of your emotional and physical strength just to make it work. You must give emotional and spiritual strength which you do not even realize you have in yourself! I was very naïve about this. And thus this is the main reason I want to honor the women of my family who truly deserve it! Thank God, FarmHer is giving me an avenue and fantastic opportunity to do this!

What was it like to be approached by FarmHer and RFD-TV to featured as a women in agriculture?

It was truly an honor and the greatest privilege for FarmHer to be interested in my story. And I feel most blessed that Shelby Watson-Hampton thought enough about my situation to nominate me. Now I want to nominate other amazing women to FarmHer to help support their missions as well. You cannot place a price on the emotional support which this exposure gives a woman farmer. It is honestly PRICELESS! I do have days at the farm where I get rather “hopeless” about what I am trying to do and how to keep my mission alive, especially as now I also care full-time for my Mother with Alzheimer’s Disease. At least the farm gives me the ability to keep my Mother AT THE FARM with me while I am also trying to work, but it isn’t easy. It is a blessing to be able to care for my Mom and for us to be together during this most challenging time. I often fall back on my FarmHer experience emotionally; it honestly gives me strength at times I really need it…along with lots of prayers! I cannot thank Shelby and Marji enough for this!!!

What was the experience like when the crew was filming on the farm?

Before moving to the farm in 1996, I was involved in Medical Photography and Imaging at the University of Washington’s Medical Center in Seattle for almost 15 years. Advances in digital imaging and the computer power necessary to do this was just in its infancy. Things have changed very quickly with these advances! I was really impressed with FarmHer’s filming crew and their equipment! Wow, what is now available technologically in photography and digital imaging is amazing! The completely computerized and digital equipment is outrageous to me, as the speed and ability to do a truly fantastic job is really fantastic! I was extremely impressed with what Marji was able to accomplish without huge, heavy, and very invasive photographic equipment in a much shorter period of time (along with the best quality), compared to what I was used to working with 22 years ago at the University of Washington!

But was even more important is Marji’s professionalism mixed with incredible compassion and empathy, along with her heart-felt, and truly sincere interest which makes you feel very good about being “yourself” and involved! I was worried about being nervous in front of the camera and thus not being able to do a very good job on my part. But Marji makes you feel comfortable; she is super easy to communicate with about anything. Marji helps to reinforce your own self-fulfillment in a world which often breaks it down! Marji is amazing in all ways!

One of my favorite aspects of their visit was how they were able to capture awesome images using their cameras on drones flying high above the farm and our beloved animals! Absolutely loved this! And their ability to get great images and sound in low light situations in some of my barns – showing the wonderful and wise character of the alpacas and llamas. This meant a lot to me!

Anything else you would like to add?

A few years ago, I actually cried the first time I saw Marji’s ad for her remarkable FarmHer series on RFD-TV, NOT because I thought I would ever be honored by such a magnanimous endeavor, but because I truly realized the significance of what Marji was trying to accomplish in honoring women farmers where little (and honestly nothing) had been done before in this arena. It is REAL and QUITE NECESSARY! I thanked God for these blessings! You will never find an atheist farmer and for very good reason! God is Good!

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