Four Ladies & Me Farm and Walnut Ridge Llamas are very excited to host a premium llama community event called Llama Pickin’ 2023. This llama auction will combine new and old school media to bring back the nostalgia created by the llama farm auctions of the past. We are currently working on a website to house the event and llama sale lot information. We plan to publish a color catalog to mail out to the llama community in anticipation of the event.
Many of you have never had the opportunity to be involved in such an event as Llama Pickin’. However, if you attended a Celebrity Sales or a llama farm sale event in the past, you waited enthusiastically to receive the sales catalog. It was fun to glean over the llamas in the sale and see the beautiful ads that highlighted several llama farms across the United States. Through the years, we purchased llamas from many of the farms who advertised in the catalogs. It gave us confidence in the farms who “branded” their names in the llama community via the ads.
Carolyn & I have raised llamas for 24+ years and used these events as part of our vacation plans & llama education. We always found a way to get two catalogs for each sale, one for Carolyn & one for me. We used one catalog to take notes on using a method we called the “three-star rating”; one star being interested, two stars for the ones we really liked, and three stars for the ones we planned to take home (if our budget allowed). We studied it in detail and had the catalog dog-eared and totally marked up before we arrived at the sale. We kept both copies and still have them today. I refer to them to research the pedigrees of llamas I am considering purchasing. I also look back at many of the pictures of herdsires that were promoted in the beautiful ads.
Now, in those days, some llamas were bringing $15K to $50K+. We knew that some of the lots would be out of our price range, but by “doing our homework,” we would take home some quality llamas that would fit into our breeding program. We would go to the International Lama Registry (ILR) and study the bloodlines of the llamas in the sale including their parents and grandparents. The excitement leading up to and during the auction was anchored by those catalogs in our hands. When we arrived at the auctions, we would check out every llama in the sale. There were usually over 120 llamas at the Celebrity Sales. At one of the sales, we were “doing our homework”, going from stall to stall, checking our notes, and adding additional notes, when Bon Burgess came up to us. We did not know Mr. Burgess at the time. He laughingly said, “I believe you guys have been in every stall in this building.” I smiled and told him that we were just doing our homework. We couldn’t afford to make mistakes.
Whether you plan to attend this event, stay home and follow the sale online, or just wonder what one of these catalogs look like, we suggest that you be involved in this very unique and rare llama community event. You can do like we did, make it a game by “doing your homework” which helped us purchase the right llamas for our farm and learn a lot about pedigrees of the past. However, the most important aspect of this process was meeting llama people and learning about the breeding programs of llama farms across the United States. This whole experience was our way of sharing our love for llamas with others.