While the PLTA was begun as a means to demonstrate and acknowledge the abilities of individual pack llama, and while this remains an important function of the association, its mission is much broader. To increase recognition and support of working llamas, the PLTA is expanding its programs. The Mileage Program is in place and functioning well. Two proposed programs, the PLTA Challenge and GeoLlama are undergoing review and final revisions. Programs for youth and driving are envisioned for future development.
Each of these programs has several purposes. They demonstrate the abilities of the llama, show that a llama is working, provide educational and training opportunities and are just plain fun. Pack Trials are standardized exams that award qualifying llamas a certificate and title. The PLTA Challenge is a group event designed for fun and education in which the llama earns points for its skill on the trail. The Mileage Program in designed to encourage and recognize fitness. It allows member llamas to accumulate points for the hiking or driving miles they cover. GeoLlama is a fun event that encourages people to be out and about exploring with their llama.
Sanctioned group events such as the Pack Trials and the PLTA Challenge are covered by the PLTA's insurance policy, provided sanctioning procedures have been followed. GeoLlama and Mileage Program are uninsured individual pursuits. In order to be covered by PLTA insurance, a person must be either and Associate Member or a Full Member. For this reason, non-members are not allowed to participate in PLTA events.