Sugar River Llamas is a family operation. Our first llama, Jack, came to the farm in 1992, as a guard llama for a herd of sheep. We fell in love with Jack. He just fit right in with the flock and our life style. The next year, we bought Krinkles, a bred female. Now our llama herd numbers 48 - and more crias are due this year.
What do we do with our llamas? We have fun with our llamas!
We hike with our llamas. It is great exercise and a wonderful way to start the day is to go for a walk in the woods in the back of the property. We have trails cut through the pine and mixed hardwood forest just for llama walking. Great trailing for halter or obstacle, too.
We shear our llamas to harvest their fiber. There is nothing as wonderful as handspun llama fiber to knit, weave, or felt. Wisconsin summers are very hot and humid, so shearing our llamas is also a way to help them cool off during the summer, and to keep them healthy. And, that led to both of us becoming ILR-SD Llama Fleece Judges. Fran is also an instructor for llama fleece judging with the ILR-SD.
We show our llamas. Ali and Tasha both show the llamas. More than half our herd have been in the show ring. Nearly half the herd are halter champions. Sugar River llamas has placed first in a silky/traditional class at Celebrity in Oklahoma City, OK, for the last seven years. This year, SRLL Mandarb earned the Championship in the older silky/traditional male class, while Elwood Blues also placed as Champion in the older suri male class at the Celebration World Futurity, and, Reserve Champion for Starr Alliance' Get of Sire. Not to mention how many Grands and Reserves they brought home from the Celebration ALSA and ILR-SD shows. The critters are doing well!
Both Ali and Fran judge 4-H shows, county fairs, and open shows - not only fleece, but, also halter, showmanship, and performance.
We take our llamas to parades, schools, day cares, and nursing homes. It's just plain fun to show off our friendly, soft, curious llamas.
We are active ORGLE (Wisconsin Organization of Llama Enthusiasts) members. Ali became ORGLE's first youth board member, for two terms. We are also members of LOM (Llamas of Minnesota). Fran successfully planned the first annual LOM Youth Conference in January of 2002, and continued the program in 2003. The LOM Youth conference grew from 15 youth to 42. Then, Fran turned over the youth to others and began an annual Fleece Show. LOM has sponsored a Fleece Show at the LOM Winter conference. For 5 years, before LOM shared the conference with ORGLE.
In her spare time - which isn't much, since she entered the Ph.D graduate program in genetics at UW-Madison - Ali does custom show grooming, shearing, and show ring handling. If there are llamas, Ali is probably at the event.
Fran knits, spins, weaves, felts, and generally plays with fiber. Fran is no longer chair of the ILR-SD Fleece Committee, but continues as treasurer for LFA, for one more year.
We help new llama folks get started. New to llamas? Do you have a question about llamas? Contact us: If we don't know the answer, we probably know someone who does.
Llamas have become a way of life for the Soukup family. It means a lot to all of us for the family to work with the llamas. We'd like to help others to know how wonderful llamas can be - for you and your family.