We are Darrell & Merlene Anderson, and we have spent a majority of our lives in the purebred livestock industry. We had a very successful purebred Suffolk sheep flock in the early 1980’s. Darrell judged sheep shows from coast to coast and also served as one of the top auctioneers for sheep sales. He also served five years as President of the National Suffolk Sheep Association, during which time it was the largest sheep registry in the U.S.
We currently reside on a small acreage near West Lafayette, Indiana. Darrell retired in 2011, after 25 years as CEO of the National Swine Registry.
We were first captivated by llamas when Darrell was asked to auctioneer the first “production sale” of llamas held in the U.S. in 1986. The sale was hosted by Dr. Ben Huff of Salem, Oregon and was very successful. While Darrell was selling 30 lots of llamas that averaged $22,000 each, Merlene was falling in love with these fascinating animals.
We watched from the sidelines for many years while we were enjoying raising two wonderful sons. Then in the fall of 2000, we made our first investment in our foundation herd by purchasing three half sisters, whose sire later was named Grand National Champion. From this beginning, we have carefully added select females to our herd.
Darrell has been blessed to serve as the auctioneer for most of the leading llama sales in the past 10 years, and has also judged many llama shows from coast to coast. Merlene enjoyed preparing the llamas for the show ring and was privileged to exhibit champions in many shows throughout the Midwest.
Solid Rock Llamas was founded on a strong belief in pedigrees, conformation, style and balance. Quality matters to us. Our foundation females had all earned championship honors in regional and national shows, including many futurities.
In August of 2003, Darrell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Although we are grateful that the Lord allowed him to continue with his job and llama activities for many years, the limitations created by this terrible disease started having a major impact in 2020. We were forced to make the extremely difficult decision to sell the entire llama herd in the spring of 2021, as neither one of us could give adequate care for the llamas.
In 2013, Merlene wanted to start a llama show for our friends in the llama industry. Since both of our sons played basketball through their college days, we decided to build the show around a basketball theme. Since college basketball games reach the championship tournaments in late March, we opted to call the show March Llama Madness. We held the first two year’s shows in northern Indiana, and were overwhelmed by the response. We quickly outgrew the facility, and started searching for a larger home for the show.
We were very excited to find the C-Bar-C Expo Center in Cloverdale, Indiana, and it has been the home for MLM ever since. The show has grown every year, and attracted 400 llamas from 26 states in 2021, making it the largest llama show in the country. We also feature a Sale of Champions for high quality young show prospects, and it has posted the highest average price in the country each year. You can find additional information regarding MLM on this website.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our 20 years in the llama community, and have met some of the most amazing folks. They share our passion for these fascinating animals, and have blessed our lives in incredible ways. If you’re new to llamas, we want to encourage you to get involved – you will be blessed.