With the Minnesota MTA winter meeting over and the last of the fur off the boards, I have time to write an update. The results of the FTA Beaver quilt raffle have been announced. The winner was Jennifer Schafer from Willow, Alaska. While I am certain most of us that participated in the Fund Raiser hoped to give the quilt a home, I think most of us also agree that an Alaskan could also put that heavy beaver quilt to good use. With a 50/50 split both the FTA and the MTA gained $405 for the tickets sold in Minnesota.
As I write my report the Executive Board of the Fur Takers met in Iowa. The meeting gives opportunity to both review the past year and prepare for the items expected in 2016. As the New Year began, three recently elected Governing Board members are starting their freshman year on the FTA board. Dave Eckles from PA and Charles Davis and Scott Silke from IN are looking forward to helping guide the FTA. Also with the start of the New Year, the Election process starts again. This year I will ask for Nominations for President, Treasurer and 5 Governing Board members. Each year I take an active roll as an FTA member and nominate a couple of MN FTA Members I feel best represent my views who are proven leaders. This year will be no different, as a MN Governing Board member is important to represent our northern views and concerns on a National level.
As the Fur Takers continues to grow, the responsibility of the FTA Treasurer has become complicated enough so the Organization is preparing to make a transition to a professional paid accountant to handle monthly bookkeeping and annual paperwork. The new Treasurer will most likely present the prepared financial statements to the board and the FTA members. It is a positive move to aid in continued growth of the Fur Takers.
The Fur Takers was recently in attendance at the National Future Farmers of America Convention in Kentucky. The FTA was there to represent trapping and the important roll it pays in agriculture. With 10,000 students, instructors, and guests in attendance, it was a great stage to promote modern trapping. Not only was the FTA well represented, MN was well represented as MTA had its own Brianna Jonas there to compete as a student. Brianna started to compete within MN with a Presentation called “Trapping with my Dad”. After progressing and winning State, she went to Kentucky as one of the Fourth Best in the Nation. When the dust had settled, Brianna returned to MN as Runner up or the Second Best in the entire nation. Congratulations to Brianna and when you see her congratulate her for representing both trapping and MN in such a positive manner.
The FTA continues to work on “Trapping in Schools” project. With the video “Trapping in Today’s World” and a follow up “BMP Overview and Attributes of the Foothold Trap”. The FTA has mailed out videos and educational material to 49 States, with many states receiving over 100 sets. If the trappers do not educate the public, the Anti’s will.
The Fur Takers recently made a nice financial contribution to the California Trapping Community to aid in the campaign to reinstate bobcat cage trapping. The bobcat population is thriving and had grown in leaps and bounds with controlled trapping. The vote to end all bobcat trapping in California was 100% political and trapping was making only positive biological impacts. We are all in the fight together to preserve the sport!
Considerable pressure is still being applied by Sportsman Alliance to get the Great Lake Wolves off the Endangered Species List. There is little doubt in MN the wolf population has long since recovered. Fighting constant frivolous lawsuits protecting the wolf is not the answer. Getting the obviously recovered wolf off the ESA and out of the Court’s hands via Congress is the only real solution.
Looking forward the annual FTA Convention will be in Lawrence KS at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on July 7-9. I look forward to the event and getting to explore another location, Deb looks forward to hanging with the girls as their group always blazes some new trails in every community they visit.
In closing, I want to thank everybody that stopped by the FTA Booth at the winter gathering. There was a lot of renewals, lots of new members as well as many who again became sustaining members and do that little extra. If you ever have any questions about the FTA and becoming a member stop by the booth, call or email.
Cory Van Driel