Seven Springs Speaker Spotlight: Anne Hallowell, Llama Lover

Reader Contribution by Erica Binns

Get
to know veterinarian Anne Hallowell.

What
are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR?

In my presentation, I will discuss what
types of llamas are good for packing
whether it be a day hike for lunch or
a week or two in the back country. Also I will present several types of pack
saddles with their positive and negative points. And most importantly, I will
focus on trail safety.

A trained, conditioned llama can carry up to 25% of its body weight. They
have been used in the Andes
Mountains for
approximately 6000 years so are naturally accustomed to steep or narrow trails
as well as trails with little maintenance. Llamas tend not to panic as much
when faced with novel situations. If presented with something unknown or even
scary, they usually freeze in place first and assess the danger before they
panic so most often they don’t react, unlike some horses which panic and go
onto flight mode immediately.

Tell
us about your background with your particular topic.

I have been a veterinarian for over 26 years now and I started working with
and owning llamas over 15 years ago. Two of my llamas have completed their
Basic and Advanced Level Certificates from the PLTA (Pack Llama Trial
Association). Three others have received their Basic Certificates and 2 of
those are working towards their Advanced Certification as well. I have been
involved with the Mercer
County 4-H Llama Club
during this time and I am currently the leader. In addition to showing our
llamas at the local 4-H, we also attend other shows including the Ohio State
Fair and take a camping trip in the fall. Our llamas have shown well over the years
and have multiple Grand and Reserve Championships for Halter and Performance
classes from shows in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Ohio and Nebraska.

How
will you get to the FAIR, and how far do you have to travel?

We will be driving our truck and trailer approximately 150 miles (one way)
to get to Seven Springs.

Why should fairgoers attend your
presentation?

People who are unfamiliar with llamas are always pleasantly surprised to
find out how gentle and intelligent they are as well as how easy they are to
work with, even for the novice. Of course it’s educational, but maybe more
importantly, it’s fun!

What are you most looking forward to
at the FAIR?

I’m really looking forward to getting people out hiking and camping in
nature and explaining how much easier and more fun llamas can make that
experience.

What
advice do you have for attendees?

I would just say come and see how much fun you can have hiking and camping
when you have llamas to do the heavy lifting for you! 

If
you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what
would you choose?

That is unlikely because I’d rather travel to the mountains – but I would
want my pocket knife. You’d be surprised how many uses it has!

Thanks,
Anne. We’ll see you at the FAIR!

Please visit the FAIR website for more information about the Seven
Springs, Pa. FAIR September 24-25, and upcoming FAIRs in other locations. Tickets
are on sale now.

You can also get FAIR updates on our Facebook and Twitter
pages. 

Keep an eye out for Trivia Ticket Tuesdays and Trivia Ticket Thursdays for
your chance to win two tickets to the FAIR!