Niki Kuklenski, Bellingham, Washington
Niki Anderson Kuklenski has been involved with llamas for over 35 years. During that time, she has been both a 4-H & FFA member (first in Washington State). She and her husband Jeff pack and drive for pleasure around the Western United States. Additionally, they volunteer their time to educate and work with rescue situations. Niki is involved with Pet Partners therapy program and utilizes seven llamas one miniature horse and two dogs for her therapy visits.
Niki and Jeff have their own small herd of llamas (wooly and classic) that they compete with in shows around the United States. Their now deceased male "Isle Eagle" is still the most ALSA award winning llama in the United States. JNK Llamas consistently wins in performance, halter and fleece at northwest shows.
Niki wrote the training materials for driving with llamas for both show associations and was instrumental in the design of the current Eagle Cart and Flaming Star Llama Harness. She has conducted clinics all over the world on driving, llama care, showing/grooming and basic llama care. Additionally, she has been a guest presenter at event for her expertise on llama history and bloodlines.
Niki is a halter, youth, fleece and performance judge for ALSA and the ILR-SD also. Niki is an Advanced Teaching Judge with the ILR-SD. In 2005 she was asked to sit on the advisory committee for the ILR for classic llamas. Niki has written for Llama Banner, Backcountry Llama, American Livestock, GALA and a few other publications.
Much of Niki's time is spent educating people on llamas and basic care. After a rescue situation in 2007, Niki in 2007 began a group that organizes "Informational Days" to educate people on alpaca and llama care. This group is now a 501c3 and Niki is the president. In 2011, she hosted and organized the very first NW ILR-SD Fleece and Halter, Performance and Youth Judging Clinic.
Niki was a full time alternative high school teacher, teaching Agricultural Science among many other things. Currently, she is a substitute teacher at a local junior high and high school.