Pennsylvania Llama & Alpaca Association

About PLAA

The Pennsylvania Llama and Alpaca Association is a cooperative group of llama and alpaca breeders and enthusiasts from Pennsylvania and neighboring states. The membership is diverse in size of herds, vocations and backgrounds. A primary purpose of the organization is to promote awareness of camelids. It also serves to educate the membership and provides opportunities for various camelid activities, socializing and supporting new llama owners. Embracing the trends within the industry promoting all things fiber, PLAA hosted a Fiber Artisans Festival & Snyder Quality Llamas Open Barn in Summer 2014 and launched a successful Fall Fiber Arts Festival, now an annual tradition. PLAA continues to embrace innovations in the camelid community and since its debut in 1997 has held an Annual Meeting. 

HISTORY OF THE PLAA

1995: The PLAA is established to promote llamas and alpacas and serve the needs of the owners. The founding Board of Directors are: Terry Duespohl, Dan Goodyear, Mindy Gardner, Carol Hicks, Chuck Leach, Karen O’Neill, Joyce Schenck, Richard Snyder and Gail Stewart.

The first PLAA Newsletter is published by Mindy Gardner, Editor and T. Audean Duespohl and Carol Hick, Assistant Editors.

Mission Statement:

“The purpose of this Newsletter is to keep everyone informed on lama news in Pennsylvania and to sere as a means of communication among members. Many of you have great ideas and activities that can be shared with others. Others may have specific interests in which they desire more information or involvement. It is our wish that this Newsletter serve all membership needs, but you must share your ideas, activities, and enthusiasm for it to work for the benefit of all. The possibilities are endless if we just put our minds to it.”

Articles of Incorporation for PLAA as a nonprofit corporation are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

1996: By-laws for PLAA are adopted with the stated purpose:

“to educate the members and the public as to the breeding, raising and caring of llamas and alpacas and to promote and advance the interests of the llama and alpaca industry as a whole.”

The first election of officers is held: Chuck Leach, President; Gail Stewart, Vice-President; Carol Hicks, Treasurer; Terry Duespohl, Secretary.

PLAA creates committees to promote lama interests: Government Affairs, Marketing Committee, Membership Committee and Activities Committee.

With Carol Hicks as editor, the newsletter is renamed The Lama Letter.

PLAA Library started.

PLAA sponsors its first event – The Autumn Leaf Llama and Alpaca Festival.

Newsletter’s primary purpose expanded “to provide information to the membership and encourage involvement in PLAA.”

1997: PLAA holds its first annual spring membership meeting at the Radisson Hotel, Harrisburg PA. Speakers are Jack & Donna Moore. “Education…encompasses several areas…a top priority.”

T. Audean and Terry Duespohl become newsletter editors and an official PLAA logo is adopted.

1998: Terry Duespohl is elected President of PLAA.
PLAA membership grows to over 140 members.

1999: Gene Reher is elected President of PLAA.

PLAA’s Team–Llamas for Liberty–perform at Hershey Park.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 31st Annual Ag Progress Days for the purpose of educating the public about llamas.

2000: Efforts of PLAA Government Affairs Committee under the leadership of Dan Goodyear result in new Pennsylvania camelid travel regulations that no longer require health testing for travel within the state.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 32nd Annual Ag Progress Days for the purpose of educating the public about llamas.

PLAA’s Team–Llamas for Liberty–perform at Hershey Park for the second year.

Terry and Audean Duespohl are given lifetime membership to PLAA for all their dedicated work, especially being editors of the newsletter and annual directory.

2001: Dan Goodyear is elected President of PLAA.

PLAA’s Drill Team–Llamas for Liberty–perform at Hershey Park for the third year.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 33rd Annual Ag Progress Days for the third consecutive year.

PLAA donates $1000 to International Camelid Institute for medical research from funds raised by silent auction at annual meeting. PLAA continues to be supportive of the International Camelid Institute through the continued generosity of its membership and sponsored events, aware of the good derived from support of this organization, as well as the Morris Animal Foundation and related llama and alpaca facilities.2002: Annual meeting enjoys record attendance of 67 members and silent auction raises record amount of which $1000 is given to Morris Animal Foundation for camelid medical research. PLAA continues to donate money to the Morris Animal Foundation.For the fourth consecutive year, PLAA’s Team–Llamas for Liberty–perform at Hershey Park, and added an obstacle training course.

Four veterinarians are awarded stipends to participate in the Vet’s Only Seminar at the next GALA conference.

2003: PLAA sponsors booth at annual meeting of the PA Veterinary Medicine Association in Hershey PA.

2004: PLAA website goes on-line at plaaonline.org. Bob Wolfe is the webmaster.

Bob Swartwout is elected President of PLAA.

Theresa Holmes becomes editor of The Lama Letter.

The first PLAA Llama & Alpaca Fun Festival held at Nockamixson State Park is a huge success with nearly 2000 people attending.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 36st Annual Ag Progress Days.2005: Linda Dellmyer is elected President of PLAA.The Partners With Vets awards program is initiated. Ron Feindt DVM, Geddes Run Veterinarian PC and Jeff Bisset DVM, Brandywine Veterinary Services receive Award: $200 toward course on camelid medicine offered by Ohio State University or selection of current camelid veterinary medical texts.2006: PLAA celebrates its Tenth Anniversary.PLAAy In the Woods Social Hike at Salt Springs State Park, Montrose PA.PLAA sponsors a booth at the 38th Annual Ag Progress Days.Awards presented to “founding fathers” Chuck and Sonja Leach, Terry and Audean Duespohl, Dan and Dale Goodyear, Dick Snyder, Karen O’Neill and Joyce Schneck.2007: Audean Duespohl is elected President of PLAA.The Partners With Vets awards program recipients given to Patrick Rodawold DVM, Quakertown Vet Clinic and Bob Mihalovich DVM, Steel Veterinary Services. Both received camelid veterinary medical texts.Patricia McKinney introduces llamas to Dallastown High School and creates “Team Shad and Cystic Fibrosis.” Annual event joined by Buck Hollow Llamas and Garden Gate Llamas. Educational experience and fundraising. By 2012, the Dallastown High School Volunteer Club had donated $120,121.00 to the Cystic Fibrosis Association in honor of Team Shad.

2008: PLAA Lama Festival held at Penn State Agricultural Complex.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 40th Annual Ag Progress Days.

Tabbethia Haubold, Long Island Livestock, conquers the big blue ribbons with Count at the Eastern States Exposition.

PLAA awarded Dr. Marcelo Aba $500 to further his camelid research in South America.

PLAA awarded the University of Georgia the proceeds from Annual Meeting Silent Auction for project dealing with camelid deworming.

2009: Lori Mason is elected president of PLAA.

Tabbethia Haubold takes Grand Champion at ALSA Grand National Show.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 41st Annual Ag Progress Days.

2010: John Mosovsky is elected President of PLAA.

PLAA donates $3000 to the University of Massachusetts for UMASS Camelid Studies Program under the direction of Stephen R. Purdy DVM

PLAA celebrates its 15th Anniversary

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 42nd Annual Ag Progress Days.

Bev Vienckowski becomes PLAA Newsletter editor. Digital copy of newsletter premieres.

Stangherlin puts PLAA on Facebook.

2011: Marsha Timmerman is elected President of PLAA. Anita Collins is elected Vice-President.

“Super Six” travel to WV Grand State Fair Llama Show.

Participated in Pennsylvania Agriculture in the Classroom at AG Progress Days; part of AITC County Fair Exhibitors.

2012: PLAA sponsors a booth at the 44th Annual Ag Progress Days.

Karen and Bob Taylor & Marsha and Richard Timmerman present at the Ag in the Classroom workshop at Penn State.

Bev Vienckowski and Chuck and Sonja Leach exemplify the Year of the Working Llama.

PLAA contributed $500 to Southeast Llama Rescue (SELR).

Eastern Branch of the Pacific Northwest Llama Fiber Co-Op (PNLFC) First Annual Fiber Sort at Pat McKinney’s Garden Gate Llama Farm.

2013: PLAA-Funded Ohio State University Research completed.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 45th Annual Ag Progress Days.

Eastern Branch of the Pacific Northwest Llama Fiber Co-Op (PNLFC) Second Annual Fiber Sort at Pat McKinney’s Garden Gate Llama Farm.

2014: After a decade at the helm as webmaster, creating PLAA’s online presence, Bob Wolfe retires. RJ Stangherlin becomes webmaster, redesigns the website, and develops and maintains social media assets on TwitterYouTubeVimeoPinterestFlickrScribdDiigo, and Instagram.

The first PLAA Fiber Artisans Festival & Snyder Quality Llamas Open Barn organized by Abbie Brown is hosted by Dick Snyder in Milford PA in July.

The first PLAA Fall Fiber Arts Festival organized by Kathy Otto Kenworthy is held in New Holland PA in November.

Eastern Branch of the Pacific Northwest Llama Fiber Co-Op (PNLFC) Third Annual Fiber Sort at Pat McKinney’s Garden Gate Llama Farm.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 46st Annual Ag Progress Days.

2015: Sherry Lynch is elected President of PLAA.

Eastern Branch of the Pacific Northwest Llama Fiber Co-Op (PNLFC) Fourth Annual Fiber Sort at Pat McKinney’s Garden Gate Llama Farm.

PLAA sponsors a booth at the 47th Annual Ag Progress Days.

Teri Conroy’s Wunsapana Lockspun Artisan Yarns win Fiber Best in Show at the Schoharie County Fair.

Niki Anderson Kulenski’s therapy llamas make ABC News as they “kiss” patients’ blues away.

Wunsapana Farm hosts ZAK + FOX photo shoot in August. Exclusive catalog premiered in November.

Carol Reigh and Buck Hollow Llamas have a great opening day at the State Fair of West Virginia in August.

The second PLAA Fall Fiber Arts Festival organized by Kathy Otto Kenworthy is held in New Holland PA in November.

Long Island Livestock CO Llama Loofahs hit the fitness world in Tracy Anderson’s Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2015 Life Experience Favorites.

Noon Design Shop carries Bev Vienckowski’s Llama Loofah Line in all locations, taking her products coast to coast. Available in Bay Head NJ, Providence RI, and San Diego, CA.

Bev Vienckowski, PLAA newsletter editor since 2010, retires from the position. Bev pioneered the first digital newsletter and was the industry standard for excellence, innovation, and creativity.

All of us everywhere enduring a benchmark winter, looking forward to spring.

2016: Emily Orischak becomes PLAA newsletter editor. February issue marks her debut.

RJ Stangherlin gives PLAA website a dynamic facelift.

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