I have read the last several day's worth of postings on the NTA 100% mandate. It seems to me that one of the basic issues is "but I didn't get to vote on this!"
Yes, actually, if you are an NTA member, you did. (If you are not an NTA member, you didn't -- duuh!) A 10th grade education will tell you the difference between democratic and representative forms of government. Any organization requires government, or it will simply be chaos. The NTA has been organized on the representative principle.
This means that the NTA membership at large votes to elect Board Members to represent them. Rather than individual ballots going to each NTA member on each topic which may come up, the Board Members decide these issues. The Board Members certainly take note of the input of the members they represent; however, they do not take a poll. Their responsibility is to make decisions in what they truly believe is the best interests of the members they represent.
All NTA Board Meetings are open to all members. Information on when and where these meetings are held is readily available.
If any NTA member is unhappy with the decisions made by the Board, there is clear information available on how to nominate someone to the Board and on who is running for office. This information has always been published in Outlook. It is also available at the official NTA website, nationaltaxidermists.com. You may reach this site through the NTA click button on the taxi-net homepage. Contrary to a prior post, there is NO password necessary. This information is easily accessible to all interested parties. There is no need to look for "official" NTA information in other places.
Contact information for each Board Member is also available in both places -- click Contact the NTA and scroll down for mailing and email addresses and phone numbers. I know several Board Members personally. You will find that they are reasonable people who truly have the best interests of taxidermy at heart. That is why they volunteer their time and efforts to help the NTA.
What a shame so many people seem to have nothing better to do than try to destroy from without, rather than help or change from within.
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It seems to me that a large number of taxidermist are only saying "WHAT CAN THE NTA DO FOR ME?"
I think of the old commercial about SAFETY IN NUMBERS.
Can you imagine the power the NTA would carry if 75% of the taxidermist were members. It would dwarf the NRA?SCI.
Maybe some one should remember to mis quote Pres. Kennedy kinda.
"Its not what taxidermy can do for you , but what you can do for taxidermy!"
You help it and it will help you. There is power in numbers, no authority can dispute know numbers. Now is the time to group together and stand for what you want to call your hobby, your profesion and your livlyhood.
I would like to reference the Disabled Veterans of America. look at the numbers, small but loud they do get the job done. The VFW, American Legion still yet not 20% of the veterans are members, but they get the job done.
The NTA, SCI, etc have far more that they could do. Sure I hear you but I alrady belong to the NWTF, SCI, DU, etc, etc. Numbers count so what if you are counted three or four times.
Its simple. If you arent even a NTA member you oughtta be at LEAST a state member. The states all voted, or will be soon. Too bad the NTA couldnt "force" members to belong to their state shows too. No sarcasm there, Im just trying to think of a good way to pull all this stuff together for a one-time Yox proposal...
No sarcasm here either-'but the truth hurts'. It seems to me that when someone DARES to say something contrary to someones agenda,everything comes out of the wood work to defend that NTA.
Before you start jumping out the windows to beat the cr#@p out of poor me,let me tell you that I've been a NTA member for years,but I also say what I Think,you have to learn to AGREE to DISAGREE.
This whole mess would have been avoided if the NTA board had gone over the wording of the mandate,but NO stance--my way or yo're out.
We all make mistakes,we learn from them.
NTA---learn from yours and bring all the states pres. to the table and came out with a plan that we all can live with and work for a UNITED TAXIDERMY ASSOC>NTA>NTA>NTA.
I do have to clear one thing up. If EVERY taxidermist joined the NTA would still have very little power. Dwarf the NRA and SCI? Are you kidding John? The NRA boasts over a million members AND SCI money will NEVER be reached by the NTA. I believe in joining the NTA when possible. I do not believe in the 100% BS. They say they will get "power" but they won't. If I give every state org 100 members, (afew have more but most have WAY less) and I give every state a group (there aren't) that is 5000 members X $50= $250,000. Chicken feed. EVERY taxidermist does not join the NTA NOW, let alone when they have the extra cost of state+NTA dues. 100% hurts the state groups and does nothing for the NTA. The ONLY way to gain numbers is for people to perceive value for their $. There are just TO FEW of us to make much of a noise. Fact not fiction.
There are in my towns service area of 25,000 over 65 people claiming to be taxidermist. Only one other is a NTA member. When each and everyone that atempts to try taxidermy is Speaks out it would out number the known members of those two clubs. Make the noise and the wheel will get greased, that just what the antis are doing.
Why not say "if every person who ever shot a gun has to became a NRA member". My guess of your 25,000 people in town that would add to at least 10,000 people vs. the 65 taxidermists, of which perhaps 5 are full time at most.
Jim Tucker and many more people have grown tired of the verbal beating on this site when disagreeing with this mandate thing. Most FULL time taxidermists believe it is a good thing to have an NTA but don't see its power or its' mandate to force people to join, especially part-time people. Perhaps everyone who loves trees should become a tree hugger, everyone who eats vegetables a vegetarian, everyone who owns a dog should join the Humane society. It just doesn't work that way. IF the NTA had 100,000 people as passionate as you, George, Leanne, and Charles Gossett - well then you would have a powerful force, but most people do not become activists for a cause, and brow-beating them will not help the cause. I feel the NTA lost this round, and if they come up with a list of consequences for not being afiliated, they will be digging the hole deeper.
I would expect an educated person as yourself to be better informed on an issue. What part of "THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR NOT BEING AFFILIATED" is confusing?
Say for example John Q. Public is an NTA member and a State member in the Pennsylvania Taxidermy Association because he won the lottery and could afford both. Then say he was hot and heavy to obtain the Award of Excellance Points because he was convinced he could charge more for mounts. He has registered for the PTA meeting BUT since the PTA is unaffiliated (I guess) then they cannot use the official NTA score sheets and the points he would have earned do not count because the meeting is not a recognized event in the eyes of the NTA. There are consequences because old John Q. has to now travel to Ohio or Maryland, or Delaware or somewhere to a sanctioned NTA event. The NTA is in effect punishing John Q. Public because in the NTA's mind the leadership of the Pennsylvania Taxidermists Association did not wish to follow the mandate that all members belong.
In my eyes taxidermists often box themselves into situations because they can't see the trees for the forest. Otherwise there wouldn't be a International Guild of Taxidermists, or the split in the state of New York, or the two Societies in Ohio. I'll trot out the usual colloquial statement "Can't we all just get along?"
Taxidermists are independent minded and as a group are not subject to peer pressure. Many will take their ball and go home.
On the contrary Fernando, I think it's about time more people DID come out and defend the NTA for what if defends for US!
Amy great job!
And Stephen, your analogies are lacking.
There seems to be big confusion over who is being punished when a state doesn't affliate. You have spelled out the reality of who is punished.
In a state group of say 250 members, 70 of whom compete and 50 of whom belong only to the state group and the NTA. The 200 non-NTA members are not harmed by being unable to earn their NTA points at home. They don't care about the NTA points or they would join the NTA.
Those 50 loyal NTA members are harmed, because as you so correctly pointed out, if they want NTA points they now must incur the huge expense of traveling out of state to earn their plaque.
While any award can be proudly displayed, often some of the state's most talented members and 'state champs' don't have the time or desitre to compete at the national level to earn another award.
They are happy earning their awards as US GREENBACKs - legal tender in any state or the awards picked up at their home show. So these folks are not punished when their state isn't 100%.
Only the NTA members suffer, by not gaining those points. Now some will respond, that there is more to the NTA and to conventions than competition. They are correct. There is education and friendship also readily available. But as we are are discussing those harmed when a state doesn't go 100%, are the actual NTA members. Some fail to understand this point.
That is not exactly what I'd call "harmful". A benefit we cannot use, as we join the NTA KNOWING our state is not 100%, but not one to cause harm. We know when we join the NTA (we being members of non affiliated states) this is not a benefit we can participate in, because of the rules stated by the NTA. But some of us still join to support the overall benefits of taxidermists in general as well as all the rest of the "unharmful" benefits we can participate in. "Some fail to understand this point".
NTA members being harmed?! No. Fair?! Yes. Rules are rules.
"...some of the state's most talented members and 'state champs' don't have the time or desitre to compete at the national level to earn another award".....what are you saying here? Who's fault are you implying this might be? If there is no desire or time for another award, what's the point of you even mentioning it? If you have some valid points, by all means let us all hear them! Thus far it seems you have a personal vendetta against the only National group out there for Taxidermists and their profession/hobby, and that concerns me. I still wonder what your real issue is Bob, and why you continually try to sabotage an association that holds benefits that FAR outweigh any weakness's it may bear, after all, no group or association is perfect.
I understand you finally joined the NTA and if I am reading you correctly, you knew when finally doing so, that you are not entitled to NTA points for competition earned within your state as your state is not 100% - so you feel unharmed. Do I have that part correct?
Ok, what about those you have been long-term NTA mambers who were 1/2 or 3/4 towards their goal of reaching the needed NTA points to earn the plaque.
Because you feel unharmed, they are then also unharmed? Is that what you are suggesting?
Sorry Leanna, but you are assuming it is someone's fault for people who do not compete for NTA awards. I do not believe that is true. In fact I know state champs who do not compete at NTA functions. That certainly makes these talented people no less talented.
Maybe your state is different Leanna, but our state only has a minority of members compete at the state level and even a smaller minority compete beyond the state level. Again that does not mean they are any less talented.
They just have other priorities in life, than winning more awards. Some have limited vacation and prefer family trips or maybe cruises over taxidermy conventions.
Personally I don't consider taxidermy conventions as vacation, neither does my family, but others do and you know what, that is fantastic. Many hobby taxidermists are some of the most talented artists in the country and really enjoy taxidermy conventions. That too is perfectly all right.
Leanna nothing is wrong with taxidermists who enjoy competing. If you can understand that, then hopefully you also can understand that there is also nothing wrong with taxidermists who do not wish to compete.
Leanna you need not seek fault where there is none.
Leanna the real issue you want, has been clearly spelled out by me untold times on this site. I'll put it here again for your benefit.
I along with many others believe the mandate will hurt the membership rolls of state taxidermy groups. If we tell our members they need to nearly triple their annual dues, because they now have to join another group just to remain a member of ours, some will quit. While that may not concern you - it does concern many of us.
I along with others also do not like the idea of taking the choice of what groups we finance away from our individual members. Many NTA members have also expressed their displeasure with that concept right here on this very sight.
Please feel free to email me or phone with any additional concerns you have. I have just explained my "personal vendetta" to you, please call if you are still confused on my position.
Maybe I can voice my position better to you, than type it over and over here.
Thank you for your interest and thoughts
The difference here seems to be HOW we take sides. Bob seems to want to talk people AWAY from the NTA, and to the other extreme, my friend George cannot see it any other way BUT as the NTA does. Both of these positions confuse me a bit. They seem a bit uncharacteristic for these guys, based on what I know of them in the past in this site. I have to agree with Stephen, as Ive also said that Im afraid that the NTA has already dug themselves quite a hole. The ultimatums have left them with very few alternatives, regardless as to whether they choose to admit to it. I also feel that some of what is here might be the result of past officers. Not many will agree with me, but it sure seems like a lot of face saving, and its gonna be hard to swallow ones pride and move on. The alternative? Well, its likely going to be someone slandering another, to one-up a guy (like myself) for saying such things. Ive already gotten the email accusing me of lying about my membership, and I see the same comment about "finally joining the NTA" aimed at Leanna. A very poor way to debate a point. I for one do not want to steer anyone from the NTA. I want the NTA as well as those who are selling this to change tactics and strive to find ways to become more attractive to new members. We already know what the NTA has done for taxidermy. They do have many members. But the simple fact still is, they have discouraged folks who HAVE been members to the point of not wanting to re-up. What do you think thats doing to folks wanting to sign up for the first time? There are obviously good points to being affiliated, who could intelligently argue against that. Im concerned about how we at the state level are going to stay solvent. Its hard enough to keep folks on board at 30 to 40 dollars for a state membership. Maybe it shouldnt be, but hey, facts are facts, the numbers bear it out. I want folks to pay $50 more for the NTA, but we all know the reality of that. Some of these state shows just cant absorb that hit. Im just hoping the NTA figures out a way to help that concern, rather then give us another "or else" announcement. In the spirit of Unity, Im hoping someone will offer a positive suggestion. I also hope the NTA didnt burn too many bridges, however small...
Leanna, you cant hardly forget your name now, can you Leanna!