MOULTRIE -- Ann Lane was standing in a small cattle pen Wednesday, working with some pretty big animals, as her husband Jim manned an information booth beside the holding area.

"This is our third year at the Expo," he said. "We like it because of the large draw of people."

The Lanes, with Lee Farm of Lafayette, Ala., are at the Expo to promote their red Brangus cattle.

Jim Lane said they have been breeding the animals for eight years. Red Brangus are used primarily as beef cattle, he said.

"We like them because of the Brahman influence," he said, "which gives them heat tolerance." The red Brangus variety does well in a hot, humid climate, he said.

Red Brangus calves also grow quickly, he said, reaching maturity between 12 and 15 months. The average bull weighs about 2,100 pounds, while the average female weighs about 1,200 pounds, Lane said.

"We're running about 100 head (of red Brangus)," he said. "We'd love to have 200, but the banker won't let me."

The Lanes usually do about four agricultural shows a year, he said. They can make sales at the shows, but most of the business at agricultural shows is in making contacts, he said.

"We get good returns on these shows," he said.

Aside from raising red Brangus, Lane said they also sell "a little bit" of livestock equipment.

The Lanes weren't the only people at the Expo with unusual animals on display. Several alpaca ranchers were on hand.

Alpacas, native to the Andes Mountains in South America, are related to the llama, but are about a third of the llama's size, said T.J. Barnes, a ranch hand who raises alpacas in North Carolina.

Alpacas generally weigh in at about 130 pounds, he said.

While llamas are often used as pack animals, alpacas are raised for fiber, Barnes said.

-- By Terry Richards

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