Our llama ranch is located in the beautiful Rock River Valley along the trail once travelled by Blackhawk and his tribe. My husband Bruce and I along with our three young children have been sharing our lives with llamas for almost 15 years. I saw and fell in love with my first llama back in 1984 when I saw him at a local county fair. One look into his big dark brown eyes and I was hopelessly hooked..I have always had a thing for big dark brown eyes. I couldn't get that llama off of my mind....or out of my heart.
I went home from the fair and tried desperately to figure out a way to keep a llama in my second story apartment building, which was located on the corner of the busiest intersection of the town I was living in. And, to top it off, my apartment was one of those with the "No Pets" restriction. (Like that would really have made a difference!) I tried every creative angle, but it just wasn't going to happen. I was forced to put my newfound love on the "back burner" for a several years, but I spent much of that time reading anything I could find about llamas and learning everything there was to learn.
Shortly after we were married, my husband and I bought a small farm with 20 acres and an old, run-down farmhouse. Before we bought the property I made my husband promise that we could someday have llamas..which he did. Silly man. We purchased our first llamas and brought them home with us...I can still remember the excitement I felt as we put them into their new pastures....I couldn't believe it....my llamas were finally here.
Lois had a wonderful sense of humor and was always making us laugh, and Caspian taught us just how much fun we could have in the presence of a llama and always gave us what we asked for. Although both Lois and Caspian are no longer with us, they will always be in our hearts and in our memories. We remember them fondly and are forever grateful that we were able to be a part of their special lives.
Currently, our llama family consists of 70 llamas and one suri alpaca, along with 6 "adopted" llamas that are boarding with us. With miles of trails all around us, we enjoy hiking with our llamas through the woodland trails both here on our farm and in State parks throughout the Midwest. We also enjoy showing our llamas and are especially enjoying watching our children as they walk out into the show ring with their favorite llama in tow. I have also learned to spin and have just acquired a loom so in addition to selling our llama fiber, I am also enjoying playing with and using the beautiful fiber that our llamas produce. In addition to selling a few select trained llamas each year, we offer training and consultation services, stud services, and boarding facilities for both short term and long term boarding arrangements. We also own and operate Useful Lama Items..a retail business where we sell supplies to llama and alpaca owners around the world. We are members of the ILA, the Illinois Lama Association, ALSA, the Iowa Llama Association, the Wisconsin Llama Association, and the Indiana Llama Association as well as many other state associations throughout the country. We support the Morris Animal Foundation and just recently Chris has become involved in supporting programs to help people in the country of Peru....a country, a culture, and a people that Chris has come to love dearly. If you would like more information on the country of Peru, or the programs Chris is involved in to help people in that country, please email Chris at email@example.com.
Chris and Bruce Armstrong