I know that many of you have watched the recent posting and may be somewhat confused by all the rabid dogs and frothing mouths. But those of you who don't know which dog to bite, I'd like to offer some explanation. Many of you weren't even born in 1970 and many of us who were, have forgotten what it was like. Taxidermy was a CLOSED SHOP, period. Even today, some vestiges still remain where taxidermsist won't talk to anyone asking them a question about their industry, capes are fed through doors to secret back rooms were magic is performed. Then along came some folks with the insight to understand that if all that secret squirrel stuff were stopped, individual taxidermists wouldn't have to invent the wheel separately. The National Taxidermists Association was forms and eventually all the members were invited to one big shindig. At this meeting, the founders came up with an idea that it would be great to have individual states represented as such and they divided up at tables by state and formed the first associations. There was no question that all "state" members were NTA members because everyone in attendance was an NTA member. One rule that quickly hurt was that at least 10 members would be required from a state before it could become an association. Several had less, so many of the founders joined multiple state groups just to meet the charter.
The idea took off and soon, states were growing, but the original mandate. When it was recognized, many states sought to "bypass" that original decision and the NTA agreed that a state could bypass it by paying an "affiliation fee" which amounted to the STATE becoming a member of the NTA. One membership fee, paid by an individual state allowed non-NTA members to enjoy the perks of those who did pay.
Finally, the paying members say that their dues were having to be raised more often and began to question why. It didn't take a brain surgeon to quickly see that many states had huge treasurys and big memberships being sponsored by a fraction of NTA members. Now I'll include just the figures posted by several of the states who are complaining the loudest. THREE STATES have over 900 members combined. These same 3 states brag that only about 120 or their 900 members are NTA members (these 120 taxidermists are paying their own membership dues to both their state and the NTA privately). Now for the dues of these 120 NTA members, the NTA is expected to supply the exact same benefits and perks to the 780 members of those states who are doing absolutely nothing for the NTA. Yet these 780 are eligible to receive the "Outlook" magazine, get the insurance, the reduced freight tare, as well as become "Certified Taxidermists", receive the "Award of Excellence" and use all the NTA copywrited materials to prove it. As a result, NTA dues have risen form $25 a year to their current $50.
Many will spout that they don't get anything from competitions and taht competitions are overrated. Though it may or may not be true, I don't see any of the states eager to stop it and this past World Show had more entries that any other show ever hosted. Then their innuendos about corruption, but no one is volunteering to join in and eliminate the "well that's what I was TOLD" syndrome. The executive director position is not permanent and resumes were accepted in the past to fill the position. Strange how few people were interested in taking this job that innuendos have paying such big money for. If they were true and taxidermists have such problems making a living, it would seem hundreds of resumes would appear each term, doesn't it.
The NTA was the first organization of taxidermists and remains the only one with an established program carrying the title of NATIONAL. I structured the whole competition system and everyone and everything that has followed, still uses that structure even down to the scoresheets and judges.
I am dissappointed and disheartened that some of the people who made their names common in the industry on the back of the NTA, now cavalierly want to badmouth it. They want to say the NTA "penalizes" them and "demands" of them. My analogy earlier of the Little Red Hen still stands. These people want to ride on the backs of dues paying members without obligation of contribution. They shot that "when" the NTA requirements of perks being provided only to legitimate members fails, the NTA will come crawling back. Well, there are many of us who've accepted this fallacy and many more who are not going to look back. If these people come to their senses and recognize that they can no longer ride for free and want to continue the idea and ideals the NTA was founded on, we'll be very happy to have them back. I would, however, suggest that they become immediately concerned with retaining those members who DID vote for 100% or who are dues paying NTA members who've seen how their dues were going to the wellfare of others who didn't care enough to support the program. Double speak may have worked during the Clinton years, but it's 2001 now and a new day is dawning.
Those of you who are undecided about joining, I'd encourage you to consider it. You will meet people just like the ones this WASCO site provides for you every day. But then you can put a face on us and look into our eyes as you ask the questions. The NTA opened this industry up to the world and regardless if you are old enough to know it, you can read this here, today, only because of likeminded people in the NTA. We're just like you and not the ogres some would have you believe. Be a part of the solution. Join today. If you're young, join for life and save all that money so that when you get to my age, you can own a major league baseball team and run for President...of the USA. LOL
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George if that profound statement took less than several hours to prepare, you are in the wrong business. Read it with interest and comprehension. I am sure there are those willing to attack it, but some of these dawgs seem ready to bite on anything. I want to be the first on the block to thank you for the education and interesting history, and to defend your right to state it......NEXT!
Are you sure about those benifits did state members who do not belong to the NTA as ind? Maybe that is why you always post about paying our own way?
Since joining my state in 1995, I have never once received any direct NTA benifit - no outlook, no free entry to a convention, etc.
In fact when researching NTA benifits I was told by Percy Wright that only NTA members could get that insurance (Lucky for me, cause in my research I found in-state agents offer a better plan at half the price because they are already licensed in my state so I am not paying extra so a firm from out of state can sell insurance to me).
About the freight discounts, again I was told by the firm manager that only NTA members were entitled to spend the extra $75 to get that potential savings on freight.
Again George I agree that the NTA could be a wonderful parent organization for all US taxidermists. I only question you on this issue, as to non NTA members getting the same perks as NTA members.
Maybe an official from the NTA would respond and clear that up. If I am entitled, I look forward to reading all those back issues of Outlook.
I ever received any perks from NTA was in '97 when I was a member. If you don't pay your NTA dues, you don't get anything. At our state show we use NTA score sheets, but those are paid for.
And as far as the NTA getting credit for getting competitions and seminars rolling. I think they jumped on the wagon, only after they saw the success someone else had with THIER idea for this type of format. Actually the NTA was approached for the first competitions but wanted no part of them.
In my haste to write, I didn't bother to reread.
I have been told that our state will not be able to make the 100% goal based on a phone survey of the state officers. I am not a member of NTA yet but have been considering joining. Although I don't consider all things the NTA classify as a benefits (such as insurance)of being a member. I do want to obtain certification mainly as a personal goal. Question: Can you belong to another state assn that is 100% to get the required points? Since I have never checked into another states rules, can you join even if you dont live/do taxidermy in that state? Where can you obtain a list of 100% states.
Thanks for any answers
George You really put together a good fairy tail, but you really should get your facts straight. In an attempt to defend the NTA, which doesn't need defending from the people against The 100% rule, you have misled the readers No one gets any perks from the NTA unless they are a member period.This has always been that way. Any Benefits you mentioned are trumpted up. You give some great advise and I have alot of respect for you, but you really need to get your facts straight.
Why should members that have their Award of Excellence and could care less about any Outlook magazines be required to spend an extra $50 because you (the NTA) say so? Alternatively, why should I be denied any benefits because someone refused to comply, whereby our state would not have attained 100% status?
To learn from mistakes and successes is wise, to relive and remain stagnant regardles is not.
Besides, since when is the NTA a "National" organization? By all rights it should probably go by the nickname of "Anti-Western Taxidermy Association".
First and foremost, I want to apologize to anyone who may have been misled by several mistakes and the typos in my initial posting. I was pissed and when I'm that way, I write faster than I think. I'd told myself that I'd reread and cleaned up the errors, but they weren't and I'm guilty of that. I'm also told that my biggest fault is speaking from the heart. I won't apologize for that as I've been called worse things that that often. I also know what it was like before the NTA and to say "they jumped on the bandwagon" is much like Marge Schott saying "Hitler wasn't really such a bad guy." In the 50's and 60's, IT WAS BAD.
I also want all of you who are thinking about the NTA membership and what it can do for you to read Lars post above. It's classic and it contains no mistakes or errors. Thank you, Lars, for putting it so succinctly.
I would also ask that you note that the people who are raising the biggest stink, are NOT NTA members and seem to think that the NTA withdrawing affiliation is a very big deal to them. Am I the only one to see a simple solution to that problem?
To answer your question: YES. You can join another association in an affiliated state and gain all the benefits that you desire from it. Here in Delaware, we have several members who live in Maryland and New Jersey. Good luck in your quest.
Paul G. I think you missed the whole point here. The people that have been arguing here are for the most part Pro NTA including me. I don't want this forum reduced to name calling. A person that earns and recieves his "Award of Excellence" should be more for the NTA than anyone. I would not respect anyone that just joins for that reason and quits when (he,she) acheives it. I would encourage everyone to join the NTA and if anyone gets an idea other than that from what I've said, I'm Sorry
But since when do you have ESP? How do you know "that the people who are raising the biggest stink, are NOT NTA members"? Again, speaking before thinking I believe.
Also, where's the logic in requiring someone to join ANOTHER state because someone/the organization in their state refuses to comply with such a socialistic requirement?
but I think you miss my point. Let's say someone named Chris joins for his AofE and doesn't give a rat's behind about the NTA and quits afterward. That's not ME, that's not MY choice. But to require him to pay, or to require me to join another state AND go to their shows in order to qualify for my AofE? Is that justifiable? I don't think so.
I'm not saying that the NTA doesn't have an important part in taxidermy and that I personally have any problem with being a member. I just don't agree with all of their choices.
All I said was wagon. And I was refering to competitions and how they got started. NTA was not involved with the first couple taxidermy shows,nor did they want to be. They were asked though,but wanted no part of anything like that. Kinda like when dodge made that radical change to there pickup trucks. Couple years later others followed suit.
And as far as myself worrying about the NTA pulling affiliation with MI., doesn't matter to me personally. But I know it will matter to some of our membership who do want the certifcation and award of excellence. And since I am very involved on the state level I would like to know where the logic goes when someone has been paying their dues and working toward a goal, only to have some hairbrained idea of "all or none" throw a wrench in their plans. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Taxidermists to me seem to be a pretty independant bunch, probably why they choose to be taxidermists. Put a hundred or so together and tell them they have to do something , or else. Good Luck.
More appropriate for a previous post, but I'll address a couple George's ideas here.
It's been stated that if your state is not affiliated then you can go to an adjoining affiliated state. Well, that may very well be easy in the East, but here in the West, you could place several of your states just in California!
On that theory, yes, it may be easy to drive to an adjoining state in the east, but out west, what are the choices? Oregon? sure. Washington? sure. Nevada? huh? George, you don't even realize that Nevada doesn't even HAVE an association!
I'm still wondering how the NTA can REQUIRE state "MEMBERS" to have 100% membership, yet they somehow "can't" require their "MEMBERS" to join a state association. Funny how that is....
George, many of us know how valuable the NTA is. I for one keep stressing the point of being pro-NTA in spite of this latest rash. But you are defending the NTA to validate the affiliation thing, and it aint gonna fly. WHO the HELL is GOING to EXPLAIN WHAT to do NEXT? When folks dont join BECAUSE thier state isnt 100% AND they have been told thier points wont count, etc? The NTA really shot itself in the foot this time. Love ya George, but I cant agree with ya.
But you are so right. I wonder how many of the 40 or so state members in my group that also belong to the NTA, will give up their NTA membership when faced with travelling out of the midwest for those A of E points.
After all they are the ones getting penalized cause the other 250 or so of us did not want to be forced to join the NTA.