Vice President's Report
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Hope everyone is doing well and ready for spring. Convention time is just around the corner. We still need nominations for the various awards. The awards are as follows...
Trapper of the Year - Two of these awards are presented each year, one to an eastern trapper and one to a western trapper. This award is typically presented to an individual whose efforts have benefited a lot of trappers. Examples of this include someone who had worked on a project that benefited all trappers in a state, such as getting a snaring season opened, getting a trapper education program stated, etc. Or possibly someone who has worked to benefit trappers over a multi state area such as working on BMP’s for trapping, a national/regional school education program etc.
Benefactor Award – This award is generally presented for financial and/or promotional support of the NTA. Over the past several years this award has been presented to individuals; State Trapping Associations; businesses involved with trappers and trapping magazines.
Pioneer Award – is not awarded to someone because they are elderly; historically is has been given to those who have spent many years working for the betterment and benefit of trappers and trappers rights. Take a moment to reflect on those trappers who have worked day in and day out for years, working unselfishly for the good of all. These types of individuals have dedicated much of their lives to traps, trappers and trapping. They deserve our recognition, so please send in their names.
Leadership Award – Can go to an individual, individuals working together or an Association or Organization. This can be awarded for work in the education field, establishing trapper education program, establishing trapping organization, revitalization of an existing trapping organization or similar accomplishment. Once again, think about the activities of the past year, has anything taken place which may require recognition by the awarding of the NTA leadership award.
Director of the Year – This award is for the affiliate NTA director that promotes the NTA within their respective trapping association and builds or strengthens the bond between their affiliate and the NTA. The director fulfills the criteria of this award by communicating to the affiliate what the NTA is doing and makes sure that the NTA is aware of their affiliates’ concerns and opinions. The director also sets up an NTA booth at the affiliates’ convention, fur sale and other similar functions where they promote the NTA, sell NTA memberships and merchandise. They take the time to help neighboring NTA directors at other conventions, attend the National conventions, sit in meetings and volunteer to work the NTA booth at the National convention, these are just a few of the things that your NTA Director accomplishes on your behalf.
Affiliate of the Year – This award is probably deserved by most all affiliates, as just the act of affiliation with the NTA benefits all trappers. Take a moment and list the things that your association or organization has accomplished this past year to promote or benefit the NTA such as; cash donations, prizes for sweepstakes, merchandise for auctions, provided the NTA booth space at conventions, outdoor shows, state/county fairs. These are just a few examples.
Congressional Merit Award – This award is just like it sounds it is given to a Senator, Congressman, or other political person who has worked for the benefit of traps, trapping and trappers while serving as a legislator. It can be given for behind the scenes efforts or right out in front leadership on conservation or other related issues which benefit our industry.
Conservationist of the Year Award – This award is given out to an individual who works on behalf of sound wildlife management programs. This can be done at many different levels: through organizations, state or federal agencies or associations. Promoting traps, trappers and trapping.
Nominations will close May 15, 2018. If you are aware of anyone deserving these awards send your nominations to the NTA office to my Attention.
The NTA, once again, had a booth at the NWTF convention in Nashville, TN in February. I feel these Outreach Booths are very beneficial to trappers across the country as a way of networking with other like-minded sportsman and is an excellent tool for educating them about the need for trapping as a furbearer and predator management tool for the benefit of overall wildlife habitat health. Myself and Debbie Ross-Smith manned the booth and were able to recruit 25 new NTA memberships while we were at the convention.
Tennessee had a successful trapper training camp at Buffalo Ridge Wildlife Refuge with over 400 people in attendance. The majority of these people had never been exposed to trapping. We were able to sign up 9 new NTA members and 24 state members. I sincerely believe that personal outreach is the secret to gaining new members, especially in times of a down fur market.
I hope everyone has a good spring and I hope to see you at one of the conventions.
I am always available via phone or email.