The following individuals, listed in alphabetical order, shared their llama and packing expertise with Festival participants:
Ingrid Asmus, PhD, co-author of Caring for Llamas and Alpacas, grew up in Colorado and was an avid outdoorswoman by the time she finished college. She also began to teach first aid and CPR. Following training as a lab technologist, Asmus served in the Peace Corps in the Congo by working at a mission hospital. Returning to the U.S., she continued lab work and taught many mountaineering first aid courses. Bobra Goldsmith took one of these classes to prepare for llama outfitting and guiding and Asmus got to meet her first llamas.
Asmus soon became the ranch manager for Bobra, helping to vaccinate, train and eventually outfit and guide llamas in the Indian Peaks and Wyoming. During this time, it became clear that a health and management guide for llama care was badly needed. With Clare Hoffman, DVM, Asmus illustrated and co-wrote the book that became Caring for Llamas and Alpacas.
After working for Bobra for 12 years, Asmus returned to the University of Colorado at Denver to earn a PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences, focusing her research on chronic mountain sickness in Leadville, Colorado. Her interest in llamas, the outdoors, ecology and human adaptation to high altitude is ongoing. (collapse bio)
Wally Baker and his wife, Maryan, have owned llamas since 1992 and have been members of the Alpaca and Llama Show Association (ALSA) since 1993. Baker has exhibited llamas in halter, performance and driving throughout the United States, including ALSA Regional Shows and eleven ALSA Grand National Shows (where their llamas have earned prestigious ALSA Grand Champion and Elite awards and Grand National Show Champion honors). He has also been a certified ALSA Judge for several years and has judged at both ALSA Regional and Grand National Shows. (expand bio)
Baker, formerly a pack llama outfitter in Southern California, was among the first established Pack Llama Trial Association Certifiers (PLTA) and has certified numerous PLTA pack trials over the years. He has also conducted numerous llama educational seminars and training classes. Additionally, Baker has served on the board of directors of several llama associations.
The Baker's llamas have appeared on Animal Planet and have been highlighted in many local television and news media spots, including one about the use of llamas as biochemical sensors in the War on Terror. In 2007, their llamas were among sixteen that appeared in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade representing the Llama Association of Southern California. This groundbreaking event marked the first year llamas were featured in the parade's world-renowned history.
Baker is an adamant believer that llamas enrich our lives through many positive ways. (collapse bio)
Jane Brunton, creator of our Festival logo, is a painter and graphic designer who loves being in the outdoors. Here, she finds an abundance of inspiration for her paintings, which includes abstract landscapes, realism and fly fishing art.
Since 2005, Brunton has spent her summers llama trekking with a group of ladies who call themselves the "Llama Mamas." It all started with her friends' quest of completing the almost 500-mile long Colorado Trail, which stretches from Denver to Durango.
With aching knees and weary backs, they came to the realization that having the support of llamas was the way to go. After completing the Colorado Trail in 2009, the group now enjoys hikes every summer along the Continental Divide Trail and various other trails throughout the San Juan mountains of Colorado. The Llama Mama treks are typically anywhere from 6- 10 days at a time and cover approximately 60-80 miles. With her art supplies in tow, Brunton finds herself immersed in painting while being surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
An award-winning artist, Brunton received her Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia. She also holds an associate degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Colorado. Visit her online at The Art Station. (collapse bio)
Gary Carlton, of Comanche Creek Llamas, has been breeding and training high-performance pack animals for the last seventeen years. As proof of that fact, his llamas have been in the winner's circle of the Fairplay Llama Pack Race for the last ten years. In addition to competing in the race, Carlton has also coordinated this three-heat pack llama event for the last six years. He recently added another endurance race to his portfolio; Carlton is now co-coordinator of the Hope Pass aid station for the Leadville Trail 100 Run with another of our Festival Experts, Vicky Foster. (expand bio)
At around 12,400 feet, Hope Pass is the highest and most remote aid station on the Trail. The Hopeless Crew, as they call themselves, use thirty llamas to haul 2000-plus pounds of gear up four miles, an elevation gain of 2,400 feet, where they build and maintain the aid station for the runners.
Carlton also raises and maintains a large herd of cattle and grows hay, sorghum and German millet. Several of his Angus Steer yearlings go to Adams County 4-H youth every year, and they can be seen at most of the county fairs in Colorado. (collapse bio)
Stan Ebel and his wife Dianne founded their breeding herd, Great Divide Llamas, in 1977; their packing business, Buckhorn Llama Company, in 1980; and their llama fiber clothing company, Altiplano Insulation, in 1999. The Colorado Pivot Pack System and the Great Divide Llama Restraint Chute were developed on Ebel's watch, and their animals were a Colorado State University cooperating research herd. The primary focus over the years, however, has been on producing and training llamas that are high-production pack stock. (expand bio)
Ebel's brood herd is comprised of 40 females, and his pack string of sixty to seventy-five fully-trained pack llamas are leased to government agencies, commercial outfitters, backcountry businesses and private recreational users on a regular basis. They have provided services as diverse as the Trek for Light, an annual five-day trip for blind hikers, to pack animal training for Special Forces covert military operations. The Buckhorn Llama Company offers outfitting/guiding and wilderness packing services in northern Colorado out of their Masonville headquarters, in southwest Colorado out of Durango, and in Southern Utah out of Bluff.
Altiplano Insulation, the llama fiber clothing business, has focused on producing high quality clothing of 100% llama fiber that provides functional fashion that is unparalleled by other available products. (collapse bio)
Al Ellis is a Director and Screener for the North American Ccara Association. He and his wife, Sondra, are dedicated to preserving the working llama. They realized early on that introducing new people to llama packing is as important to the success of this goal as is breeding “Ccara” llamas. To that end, the Ellis' own and operate Highline Trail Llamas in western Wyoming and offer full-service llama treks, pot luck treks and rental animals (a use and care class is a rental requirement). (expand bio)
In 1995, as his "great old boys" began to reach retirement age, Ellis looked into purchasing some young pack llamas to add to the string. Unfortunately, athletic animals were few and far between and the search came up empty. So Ellis found some “grand old dams” that wouldn't produce woolies, rented a stud from Stan Ebel and bred his own line of pack llamas.
After spending two hundred days a year for ten years on the trail with Jasper and Snowy, the Ellis' decided it was time to expand their breeding program beyond the needs of their own pack string. Highline Trail Llamas now maintains a genetically diverse herd of 170 to 200 eager, strong, willing, tall, double-coated packers and breeding stock. (collapse bio)
Vicky Foster's first packing experience occurred in the mid 80's when friends from the east coast convinced her to join them on a hike over the continental divide. Knowing that the hike was beyond their backpacking capabilities, the group rented two llamas from nearby Wildwood Llamas. The llamas were great and Foster was thrilled with how little she had to carry. After that trip, Foster started ranch-sitting for Wildwood Llamas and eventually began to do some outfitting for them into Rocky Mountain Park.
After assisting in the birth of a cria one hot August day (that was Stretch, who is with her today and will turn twenty-four on his next birthday), she was hooked. Since then, Foster has completed many hikes around Colorado with her packers. She also worked for a number of years with Bobra Goldsmith at Rocky Mountain Llamas—both at the ranch and at training clinics. Currently, Foster's primary volunteer efforts are with the Hopeless Crew, the group that supplies the Leadville Trail 100 Run's aid station at Hope Pass—she is now co-coordinator with another of our Festival Experts, Gary Carlton. She and her llamas (a mixed pack string comprised of two males and eight females) also work with trail crews and give llama rides at events held at the local community center. In her non-llama time, Foster monitors clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. (collapse bio)
Murray Fowler, DVM earned a degree in Animal Husbandry at Utah State University before completing his professional DVM degree from Iowa State University in 1955. In 1958, after spending three years in a horse practice in Southern California, Fowler joined the faculty of the Veterinary School at the University of California, Davis. He spent ten years teaching large animal surgery and medicine before being asked to develop a program in Zoological Medicine. It was the first program of its kind anywhere in the world, and made him the ideal person to help with the medical problems of llamas and alpacas. (expand bio)
Fowler has joined several llama pack treks as a naturalist, both in the United States and in Peru, and has traveled to New Zealand, Peru, Bolivia and Chile to evaluate animals before exportation. Fowler is now Professor Emeritus of Zoological Medicine.
Fowler is the editor, author or co-author of twenty-four books, six of which deal with camelids-including Medicine and Surgery of Camelids (currently in its 3rd edition), The Alpaca Book (with Eric Hoffman, another Festival expert) and First Aid for Llamas and Alpacas ( with his wife Audrey). Fowler has also published over 250 professional papers, 95 of which deal with llamas, alpacas and camels. (collapse bio)
Viv Fulton and her husband Bob have raised llamas on Rhodie Hill Farm in upstate New York since 1985. Fulton is the current President of the Pack Llama Trial Association(PLTA) and is a Certifier and Instructor for PLTA Certifier Workshops. She has certified pack trials in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Kansas and, most recently, New Zealand. She also manages the membership and database aspects of the organization. (expand bio)
Fulton teaches llama packing workshops at Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association (GALA) conferences and writes a column about llama packing called The Picket Line for the organization's newsletter. Fulton has also helped with the creation of GALA and NYLAA and served on their Boards.
Firm believers in hands-on workshops, Fulton and Bob teach Beginner Packing for Llamas and Handlers workshops at their farm from May through September. They also offer personalized instruction on selecting the right animal, familiarizing new owners with their animals and aspects of shearing and fiber. Their workshops have been taught at their farm and on the road to various groups from grade school through vet-tech and pre-vet levels. (collapse bio)
Nancy Hester was an avid horsewoman and backpacker, but she was hooked after she and her husband Robin purchased their first two packers in 1993. Their northern California ranch, Latitude Llamas, boasts a herd of over twenty-five, and the goal of their breeding program is to produce pack llamas with athletic conformation, intelligence and a willingness to work.
Hester, who has been a Certifier for the Pack Llama Trial Association since 2001, joined their Board of Directors in early 2007. In 2008 she became a Director and Screener for the newly formed North American Ccara Association, the registry for working llamas. Both organizations are dedicated to preserving and promoting the type of llama the Hesters so love.
The Hesters hosts pack trials and teach clinics (most recently in New Zealand), locate and train llamas for others and are often called upon to rescue llamas in need. (collapse bio)
Laura Higgins, MD became an avid backpacker and guide in the Great Smoky Mountains when she moved to Tennessee in 1985. Her search for low-impact pack stock in the mid-90s led her to llamas; Higgins purchased two llamas in the spring of 1997 and had a herd of twenty llamas by the year 2000.
In 2005, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park began training their llamas for use in the search and rescue program and, a year later, English Mountain Llama Treks was listed in TRAVEL + LEISURE magazine as one of the fifty top adventures in America.
In August of 2009, Higgins and her husband David relocated to Colorado. Higgins works full-time as a general surgeon for the Indian Health Service, and she and her husband anticipate resuming a commercial llama trekking service, called San Juan Mountains Llama Treks, in the summer of 2011.
Higgins has served two terms on the Board of Southern States Llama Association and is currently a consultant to the SSLA Pack Committee. Higgins is also currently serving on the Board of Pack Llama Trial Association and a certified screener for the North American Ccara Llama Registry. (collapse bio)
LaRue Johnson, DVM, PhD has been working with camelids for over thirty years as a clinical teacher, lecturer and owner. His very popular neonatal clinic, initiated by RMLA perseverance, has been presented over 130 times in most states and multiple foreign countries. Johnson, along with his CSU vet students, monitored and gathered critical information on the competing llamas during seven of the Llamathon pack races, and he and his llamas even ran in a few. (expand bio)
Johnson's early work in large animal medicine and as a professor included work with the United Nations in Mexico City. For several years, he worked with CSU and USAid as a lecturer and then as the Head of Department of Clinical Studies at University of Nairobi. During his career as a clinical academician, Johnson specialized in food animals, retiring from his posts as Food Animal Section Chief and full professor in 2002 after 26 years at Colorado State University (CSU). He is now a Professor Emeritus at CSU.
Johnson has presented over three hundred professional or lay talks on various aspects of his specialties, including herd health, nutrition, reproduction and neonatology. He has written numerous book chapters, abstracts, refereed publications and proceedings and has been an invited speaker at virtually all the major North American veterinary conferences and many state meetings. (collapse bio)
Cheryl Juntilla first became interested in camelids when she knit a sweater from alpaca yarn, but she quickly came to appreciate the versatility of llamas and their value as pack animals. Juntilla and her husband, Wally, live in Western Colorado. They keep a small herd of llamas, alternating between the Grand Mesa and the Grand Valley on their day hikes and pack trips. They also participate in llama shows throughout the Rocky Mountain Region and are active in local, regional and national llama associations. (expand bio)
Juntilla has served as a llama show superintendent (she is certified by ALSA to judge both halter and performance classes) and was the editor of the RMLA Journal for several years. Juntilla's interest in fiber has never waned; she continues to spin, knit, weave and felt the fiber from her llamas. (collapse bio)
Jill & Robert Knuckles began their journey with llamas in 1995 when they purchased several as hiking companions and to help maintain their small acreage. They quickly discovered the llamas' versatility and, as with many llama owners, their herd began to grow. The Knuckles’ have continued to enjoy the companionship of their llamas on hiking trips over the years. They also discovered the importance and fun of showing, both in halter and performance, and a love for the animals' incredible fiber. Tall Tail Ranch is home to National Halter Champions, Performance Champions and Fiber Champions. Sound conformation, intelligence, disposition, athleticism and extraordinary fiber all play a very important role in the breeding program. This combination has provided them with the "best of all llama worlds": strong, athletic llamas that can be taken on the trail that also provide wonderful every year.
Tom Landis bought his first llamas in 1991; at the height of his breeding program, he managed a herd of 96 llamas and specialized in producing athletic llamas suited particularly to packing. In 1992, Landis launched his commercial packing operation, Oregon Llamas. For the next twenty years, he took his hiking guests into wilderness areas in the Pacific Northwest and the High Sierra of California.
Few of Landis's llama packing friends know much about his other passions, surfing and swimming; from serving as a lifeguard in southern California to swimming the channel between Maui and Lanai in Hawaii and participating on a relay team to cross The English Channel, Landis excels in the open water. At the age of 55, Landis returned to competitive masters swimming, where he has set numerous state, national and world records. In 2008, Landis reset his world record in the 65-69 age group in the 200 free. Winter sports don't hold any allure for Landis, however; when the snow is deep, he tries to slip down to the tropics for surfing safaris.
Landis currently lives with his wife Madeleine in the mountains of Central Oregon. Since retiring from the llama packing, the two have fed their love of the mountains by taking numerous hiking trips throughout the west and overseas. (collapse bio)
Larry Lewellyn of FootHills Llamas has been involved with llamas since 1982, when he purchased his first animals for hiking and packing. He grew up on a small farm in Kansas where animals were a big part of life, so llamas were a logical choice to fit his active lifestyle of hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. Lewellyn quickly became enamored with the intelligence, athleticism and beauty of these regal animals. In 1995, Lewellyn married Deanna. Two crias, a male and a female, were in attendance, their halters and leads appropriately adorned for the occasion. (expand bio)
The Lewellyns purchased two traditional, light wool females from Betty Robertson of Green Valley Ranch and began their breeding program. Their goal was to produce light wool, conformationally correct, athletic working llamas with great dispositions and heart who compete well in the show ring. Lewellyn believes they have achieved that goal, as FootHills Llamas has produced four ALSA National Grand Champions, two ALSA National Reserve Grand Champions and two ALSA National Class Champions. In addition, three of the four National Champions also possess ALSA Performance Awards and pack, evidence that the beauty of their animals is not simply skin deep. (collapse bio)
Jay Rais has been lucky enough to live with llamas since 1980. He and his wife, Jo, operated Highlooker Llamas from 1984 until 2006; they focused on producing athletic pack llamas during this time. Rais served on the ILA Board of Directors for four years in the mid-90s, where he was instrumental in obtaining funding for the impact studies the Forest Service did on llamas in the backcountry. Rais and his wife were also active members of the Western Idaho Llama Association and were featured in many Outdoor Idaho shows for PBS, along with some hunting and fishing video productions. (expand bio)
Rais was one of the founders of the PLTA. He was involved in the first conceptual meetings and helped flesh out the rules. He helped set up and run the early ones and he participated in many of the pack trials held throughout the northwest. He and his wife moved up into the mountains they love in 2004, where they presently live with six of their retired pack girls. Jo has seen her wool business, Garden Mountain Wool Works, grow over the years to include hand-felted, hand-spun and knitted hats, along with other products and spun wool. (collapse bio)
Phil Romig Jr (Skip) earned a PhD in Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines after serving in the U.S. Navy and working on inertial navigation systems. He was a professor of Geophysics at Mines for thirty-five years and spent twenty-five of those years teaching applied geophysical surveying at the Geophysics Summer Field Camp. During the last eight years at Mines, prior to his retirement, Romig was Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
Skip's son, Phil Romig III, who has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska, was fully involved in developing the syllabus and handouts for the technology sessions at the Festival. Unfortunately, he will be unable to join us for the weekend. (collapse bio)
David Ruckman has been raising llamas on his family's Ohio farm since he was very young. Over the years, he has shown his animals both in Ohio and throughout the rest of the country. Through shows, clinics and conferences, llamas have taken David to many places— from Florida to Oregon to, most recently, New Zealand. In 2007, when his family's farm was part of the first direct importation of llamas from the United States to New Zealand, David began planning an overseas adventure. For the last year, Ruckman has traveled New Zealand, staying and working on llama, alpaca, sheep and dairy farms along the way.
Laurel Snider first became involved with llamas through a 4-H project when she was ten. Once-a-week meetings on Tuesdays grew into a passion for competing in performance. She now owns a small herd of three geldings, all with grand champion wins in performance to their credit. Snider has enjoyed several part-time and full-time jobs where her responsibilities included training llamas for the show ring and beyond.
Snider is majoring in psychology at the University of Wyoming and is working to develop an animal-assisted therapy program that uses llamas to interact with at-risk youth.
Shirley Weathers and her husband Bill Walsh bought their first two llamas in 1995. Avid backpackers, they started expanding their herd (eventually to a high of 13) and in 1998 opened Rosebud Llamas Utah. In 1997, Weathers' created a much-needed resource, Field Guide to Plants Poisonous to Livestock: Western U.S.. Two of our Festival experts, Dr. Murray Fowler and Stanlynn Daugherty, served as peer reviewers. In 1999, Weathers wrote a pocket-sized pamphlet, Leave No Trace Using Llamas in the Backcountry, which was revised in 2004 under joint copyright with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. (expand bio)
Rosebud Llamas Utah offered multi-day llama pack trips in three diverse backcountry areas of Utah, as well as day-hikes, clinics, training and educational ranch-based opportunities. They volunteered annually for eight years by providing llama assistance to cancer survivors hiking Kings Peak, Utah's highest. Weathers and Bill are long-time members of the Pack Llama Trial Association (where she served on the Board for two years), the Rocky Mountain Llama Association and the Utah Llama Association (where she served as Treasurer for six years). (collapse bio)
Wally White, our Festival's event announcer and master of ceremonies, bought his first llamas in 1980 so he could take his young family packing in the San Juan Mountains. After helping found the Rocky Mountain Llama & Alpaca Association and serving as president for four years, White went on to serve on the boards of the International Llama Association and the Alpaca Llama Show Association. White also became a certified llama judge and has judged shows all over the U.S. and Canada.
White has been to Peru to learn about llamas firsthand, and his last major pack trip was sixty-five miles from the east entrance of Yellowstone Park to the Pacific Creek in the Bridger-Teton Wilderness. Two of his llama studs, Ketama and Jasper, won the Colorado Llamathon in successive years in the early 90's. Part of White's business involved leasing llamas to the Forest Service for trail crew support and to seniors and families in the Durango area, but he has also operated an alpaca and llama transport business and been a herd manager for the largest alpaca breeding farm in Colorado. White is currently serving his second term as a County Commissioner in La Plata County and taking care of his remaining eleven llamas. (collapse bio)
The Festival Doctor
Ed Donovan, MD, is a doctor of human-style animals who lives with his wife, Deb, in La Veta, Colorado. Donovan is a "veteran" (2010) of the llama-staffed aid station at the Leadville Trail 100 Run, but is otherwise a relative newcomer to the llama world. He is participating in this Festival as the on-site medical doctor at the first-aid station.
The following four individuals organized this event:
Charlie Hackbarth has spent the last twenty-nine years packing with llamas and building his line of llama pack equipment, Sopris Unlimited, into a globally-known brand. Awards presented to Hackbarth for his contributions to the field of llama packing include the International Llama Association's Pushmi-Pullyu Award in 1988, the Llama Association of North America's Humdinger Award in 2008 and the Bobra Goldsmith Memorial Award, presented by the RMLA in 2010. (expand bio)
After teaching llama management, training and packing classes for several years at the Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Hackbarth took his act on the road and began conducting training and packing clinics across the country. The stories in Charlie's book, Tales of the Trail: An Entertaining and Educational Guide to Using Llamas in the Backcountry, educate the reader about the use of llamas as pack animals while describing more than fifteen years of memorable trips into the mountains of Colorado.
Charlie and his wife Sandy, along with Bill Redwood, were the founders of what later became known as the RMLA Pack Festival, a four-day family backcountry event that kicked off each pack season. Charlie and Sandy were also the creators of the Pack Llama Performance Festival (co-sponsored by RMLA) during the International Llama Association Conference in 1988. (collapse bio)
Alexa Metrick grew up packing with llamas in the Colorado Rockies, spent her fair share of llama conferences manning the Sopris booth (she's Charlie Hackbarth's daughter) and is currently a member of GALA (and the new editor of their newsletter). Recently, after trying to plan an east coast llama pack trip and struggling to find llamas to lease (Metrick and her husband, Craig, do not yet have llamas of their own), she launched Rent-A-Llama.com. (expand bio)
After teaching English in Japan, working on the newsroom floor of The Washington Post as a research assistant, photo technician and freelance writer, receiving her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland at College Park and then managing the library and archives of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in NYC, Metrick started her own web design and pr company called Metrick Media.
Metrick has authored over a dozen pieces in national publications, including articles in The Washington Post, The Washington Post Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Shape Magazine and Transitions Abroad. She also conducted photo research for the book All Those Mornings... at the Post and designed, edited and printed Charlie Hackbarth's book, Tales of the Trail. (collapse bio)
Mark Pommier, a former professional mountain biker, first became involved with performance llamas when he ran for Buckhorn Llamas in the early Llamathon races. It was at these events that he met Bill Redwood, owner of the llama Clancy and promoter of the original Llamathon events, who recruited him to train and race llamas for a variety of high-profile endurance events. Pommier and Redwood gained a considerable amount of knowledge about the athletic potential of llamas during Clancy's racing years.
When Clancy retired from racing in 1995, Pommier, along with his wife Angie, began building a successful packing and guide service called Walk on the Wild Side Llama Company from Clancy offspring. In addition to the commercial packing service, Pommier offered services such as llama training, llama leasing and educational clinics.
After ten years, Pommier rejoined Redwood in 2005 to work as trainer, head guide, genetic tester and consultant for Redwood Llamas. Together, Pommier and Redwood are continuing to develop a line of pack llamas with personality and athletic ability that will be hard to match. (collapse bio)
Bill Redwood moved to the mountains of southwest Colorado after graduating from dental school in 1978. An avid backpacker, Redwood bought his first two pack llamas in 1982 after his twin boys were born. He began his pack llama breeding program a year later with seven females and two studs, and for the next twenty years maintained a small herd of pure North American bloodlines. In 1996, Redwood began using 12 males for commercial packing trips; his herd grew and four years later he began leasing pack llamas, as well. (expand bio)
Redwood's primary stud was Clancy, winner of four Llamathons, two California Llamathons and four Fairplay pack races. Clancy was also the only llama to complete the thirty-mile Fairplay Burro Race, finishing 5th overall. Three new studs were added to Redwood's rare pure North American lines in 2004: one from the Black Thunder bloodlines of Wes Holmquist and the two from Al Ellis and Stan Ebel's Canadian bloodlines. Redwood and head guide and limited partner Mark Pommier train the male packers in the herd. In 2006, Redwood and Charlie Hackbarth started a pack training program for the female offspring. These females, just like the males, are used as packers before they go into the breeding program. (collapse bio)