The legacy of the NTA began in Poplar Bluff, Missouri on September 26, 1972. The first seminar of painting a fish was held here, but actually failed due to lack of space. No one could watch this seminar because of the fumes. Along with the new NTA officials being selected, by-laws were scripted by Onno Van Veen. The “promotion of the art of taxidermy” as it states in the NTA Mission Statement was discussed and feuded over at a board meeting on May 18, 1973. One major discussion was about the increase of “basement bandit-type taxidermists” in operation; updating by-laws; pricing for work, as well as the replacement of the president should death or anything else remove him from office. The next location was held in Owensboro, Kentucky on August 17-19, 1973 in the National Guard Armory. It was decided that board members would be able to take place in the convention. Bud Hull from Rossville, Georgia’s entry was chosen as the NTA’s logo emblem. This progression was the key to promoting taxidermy from this point forward.
With the furthering of taxidermy, the NTA’s mission statement has impacted different branches of wildlife and the art of taxidermy. The statement quotes, “The mission of the NTA is to promote the art of taxidermy, and wildlife conservation and protect the freedom to hunt.” Along with my father being a full time taxidermist, I have grown up around taxidermy all my life. Helping my father’s business, has brought me to realize this art will always be in my life, with my decision of higher education, the money from this scholarship will further me in my decisions of college, while still participating in this art. With two youth titles from the NTA already under my belt, this organization has broadened my perspective of the art of taxidermy, as well as promoting me into a better future. Another thing taxidermy has taught me, is that it’s not all for personal gain. We have put many smiles on the old and young with all types of their trophy pieces. My father always told me, “If you don’t like it, your customer won’t either”. “This art is about “preservation” if you can’t make your specimen look just as it did in the wild, then you haven’t just disappointed your customer, but you also disappointed life itself”.
All in all, the NTA has been shining the way to promoting taxidermy for over 40 years. The NTA’s goal since 1972 has changed the lives of many people, not only in the art, but as well as with the scholarship. This is such an amazing opportunity. Let alone to have the prestigious honor of a scholarship from the NTA would be life-changing for me, as well as the rest of my future, on into my adulthood. Taxidermy, no matter what, will leave lasting impressions on me; I can give thanks to the founders of the NTA and organization for this wonderful opportunity for this scholarship in my goals for college.