Lot’s of organizations out there have acronyms associated with them, a name that we in the industry often times have some familiarity with. Do we really know what those organizations do, its goals, etc? The Llama Futurity Association or LFA works tirelessly through out the year in support of Llamas, Llama shows and Llama people. Some of the things we do you might be aware of, others, you may not. I would like to share with you a few components of the Llama Futurity Association that you may not be aware of.
The LFA was created about six years ago as an organization whose mission it is to promote Llamas. The mission statement of the LFA states that the LFA is “To act as a catalyst, independently or in cooperation with other llama organizations, to create leadership in developing and promoting llama futurity events.”
So… the first question one might ask is what is a Futurity? The concept of a futurity has been present in the equine industry for a number of years. Basically, when one talks about a futurity, you are talking about the breeding of a particular animal. In many equine futurity events, the competing horse was nominated when its dam was in foal or during its year of foaling. It is an incentive breeding program to promote a specific species with an eye towards the “future” of that particular industry. In the LFA, the exhibitor has the option of nominating the sire of the animal being exhibited. In return for the nomination fee, 20% of the prize monies won by the nominated offspring are paid to the individual nominating the sire. What makes the LFA different for other Futurity events is that we offer the option of nominating the sire. If you choose to enter an LFA event and choose not to nominate the sire, the LFA retains 20% of the winning animal’s purse.
Our main event is held in September, and for the past two years, has taken place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition to the Futurities held over the course of the weekend, we offer an ALSA show as well as an auction of some of the country’s finest Llama breeding and show stock. There are three Futurity events held over the course of the weekend. We offer two Jackpot Obstacle Futurity classes, two Amateur Futurity classes, and eight Open Futurity classes. Payouts vary from class to class, taking into account the entry fees, number of animals entered in each class, the amount of sponsorship dollars raised, etc.
For example, in 2007, the purse for winning the Amateur Futurity was $800.00. The Jackpot Obstacle Futurity paid $600.00, and a number of the Open Futurity classes paid $5000.00 to the winner. It has always been the policy of the LFA to pay out an amount equal to our entry fee for those animals placing last in their class. It is the goal of the LFA to increase our premiums, so one day; we will be able to offer $10,000.00 to the winner of each of our classes in the Open Futurity. Of course, this is no easy task, and can only be accomplished with the support of our generous sponsors, and strong participation from our exhibitors.
In accordance with our mission, the LFA has, since its inception, supported regional futurity events. When we say support, we don’t just mean $100.00 here and there. We provide a serious influx of prize money to events throughout the country. On average, we give approximately $6000.00 annually to regional futurity events. These funds must be used to increase the pool of available prize monies paid to you, the exhibitors. How does it work? The first step is for the event to apply to the LFA for support. Once certain criteria regarding class make up, judging format, etc. are met; the LFA Board of Directors meets and decides if funding will be offered to that event. We work hard to support a number of regions around the country and, therefore, sponsor events from Oregon to NY, Wisconsin to Virginia. In exchange for LFA sponsorship, the event must offer LFA literature for distribution at the event, the LFA is given recognition during the course of the event, and the results of the event be made available as soon as possible so that they may be published on the LFA web site and in our Newsletter.
The next time you are at a futurity event, ask to see where your prize money is coming from. Chances are a good portion of the prize money you receive will have been provided by us, the Llama Futurity Association.
Another not too well known benefit provided by the LFA is the youth award established in 2006 and distributed annually at the ALSA Grand National. This award provides $350.00 to each of the winners of the showmanship classes at the Grand National. Each of the three division winners is awarded these funds in recognition of their hard work and their efforts to promote Llamas.
This award was created in memory and honor of Linda Pierce. Linda, for those of you who did not know her, was a true friend to the Llama community and with her husband Michael, owned and operated Co-Rect Llama Ranch in Maple Plain, MN. Linda loved her Llamas and was an avid show person. Whether at a world class event like the LFA or at a small county fair, her love and enthusiasm for these magical creatures never waived.
The LFA feels that by honoring the youth in our industry, we are at the same time, honoring the memory of Linda, who worked tirelessly to promote Llamas.
There are a number of Llama organizations out there with one common element. The Llamas. It is the goal of the LFA to increase awareness of our organization and by encouraging participation in the LFA and in LFA sponsored events; breeders both large and small can enjoy the camaraderie and financial rewards that the Llama Futurity Association has to offer. Where else can you breed or purchase an animal, and with a first place ribbon in one class at one show, potentially cover the expense associated with that purchase or breeding?
If you would like more information about the LFA, visit our web site at www.thelfa.org. You will find entry forms, consignment applications, membership applications, and links to various events and farms throughout the country.