Walnut Ridge Llama Farm is located in a small community called Chuckey just outside of Greeneville, TN in the northeast tip of East Tennessee, near the North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia borders. The owners, Jerry and Carolyn Ayers, live in a log cabin on approximately 19 acres with the Smoky Mountains in full view. Jerry has been an elementary, middle, and high school principal for the last 20 years and currently is the Director/Principal of the Greene Technology Center. Carolyn taught elementary school for 15 years and currently is a high school art teacher.
The Ayers have raised a variety of animals on their small farm for many years including goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, horses, etc. They purchased their first llamas in 1998 which changed their lives forever. Carolyn, who is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, was a city girl and rarely came to the barn unless baby animals were being born. The running joke around Walnut Ridge is “before llamas Jerry couldn’t get Carolyn to come to the barn, but now he can’t get her to come back to the house.” Carolyn has definitely turned into a farm girl and would spend 24/7 with the llamas if she could. Jerry and Carolyn have spent most of their married life of 35 years raising children, working on college degrees, and being educators. According to Jerry, their shared passion for llamas has allowed them to find each other again, especially now that their two children are grown and Jerry is approaching retirement.