Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Lama Letter: Supporting OUR Advertisers

At Day of Discovery, Silver Spring MD
I am a firm believer in supporting the people in our industry who put us on the map and continue our sense of community. To that end, I am a committed supporter of the Discovery Educator Network. But in my other life (don't we all have more than a few), as a llama lover, I believe that our organizations need to continue to support our advertisers. To that end, I have perused The Lama Letter (May 2011), the official publication of the Pennsylvania Llama and Alpaca Association to reacquaint myself with our supporters.

Recently, I purchased two 8' x 32" hay feeders. Farmco was a proud supporter of GALA 2010, so I am their supporter. And they make an amazing product--best in the business. The pleasantest purchase I have made in a long time, the people of Farmco trusted me with payment after my first pickup, and then delivered my second feeder two weeks later. I love this product because it keeps hay off the ground, eliminates parasite problems, and is a durable product, requiring two uber-supermen to move the Model 832L.

Tess enjoying hay on demand
Some products are life changing and these feeders qualify as just that. I can load 3.5 bales in each feeder, and for 7 llamas, restocking is well over a week (we reseeded our pastures so llamas are on hay for the summer). As you can see from the image, the feeders are not positioned for optimal access (by choice), so with 2 feeders I can easily accommodate my 7 llamas, but re-positioned in the open, 14 llamas to one feeder would be a more than reasonable ration. I love this product because even in dense downpours, the feeder fits snugly enough under the roof to keep hay dry but still permit ease of stocking. Farmco is working on putting a roof on these popular feeders with an approximate 2 foot clearance.

Another advertiser with an excellent product review by Carol Reigh in the May issue is Ranch Manager. After reading the review and speaking with Carol, I downloaded the free 30-day trial and can tell you that for ease of digital record keeping, this product is perfect for any farm, large or small, business or hobbyist. With 8 different livestock management programs, there's one for everything, including camelids. A joy to use and customer support puts you in contact with the owners and they are delightful, user friendly, and open to suggestions for customizing ease of use.

Call 814-275-2400 or email llamas@llamalove.com
Leisure Acres Llamas is a full-page Lama Letter advertiser and a Pennsylvania business nestled in New Bethlehem, not very far from our farm, making us almost neighbors as we reckon distance in rural areas. Although I have not visited this farm yet, they are on my short list of places to experience since I am looking for a large stud for one of my very large llamas. A perennial full-page ad is also my breeder, Carol Reigh's Buck Hollow Llamas. You can check her updated website to see her newest offerings. I'm actually interested in Mamie, and Carol is not exaggerating when she says she scissor clipped her at her Open Barn. I filmed the process and you can view it on PLAA's Facebook page.

Snyder Quality Llamas is hosting an Open Barn Day on Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Milford, PA, so if the Camelid Community 2011 in Kansas is not on your calendar and you are looking for a wonderful event, either as a person of interest in the llama community or a full-fledged llama lover looking to expand your blood lines (or just enjoy the day), please consider our full-page ad supporter. If you have never been to Milford, you are missing a delightful destination stop in PA. If you follow 7th Street North up to the Hill to Llama Llane, you'll be at Synder's Open Barn. You can call them at 570-296-6249 or email at llamas@sql.ms. Join us for farm tours and demonstrations. Hopefully, I'll be there, filming (if my husband's surgery and post-op therapy goes well).

Hidden Valley Farm, nestled in Cochranville, PA (another must visit) has operated as a full-service llama breeding operation for 15 years; however, they are dramatically reducing their herd size and you can be the winners. Quoting from their full-page ad, "...you can be the winners. We will be offering suggested pricing with no reasonable offer refused." They have excellent champion bloodlines with former Grand and Reserve Champion animals. You can contact Bob and Fran Swartwout at 610-932-8943 or email them at hvf@hughes.net.

PLAA on Facebook: A Great Resource
Continue to check our PLAA Facebook page for additional posts about our advertisers. Please "Like" us if you visit and consider adding us to your profile and farm pages as well.

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1 comment:

  1. RJ, I have never met you or personally known you but I have heard about your long and distinguished career and your health problems and wish you the best upon your recovery. Please remember to update and I wish you a happy retirement.