Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, Inc.
St Louis, Missouri
June 22, 2018
President David Williams welcomed all trustees to the 101th annual Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America meeting of 2018. The meeting was called to order at 10:05 AM. The group was advised the meeting was being taped for the purpose of constructing the minutes.
President David Williams asked for the roll call. The following replied: Secretary, Piper Huffman, President, David Williams, Region 1: Eli Richardson, Region 2: Brian Sanchez, Region 3: John Ivester, Johnny Atkinson, Gary Winall, Region 4: Jim Crouse, Ray Wheeler, Region 5: Tony King, Sean Derrig, Region 6: Michael Shears, Dr. Fred Corder, Region 7: Dr. Buck Neil, Region 8: Gary Young, Region 9, Harold Chadwick, Region 10: Todd Schaaf, Region 11: Torben Hansen, Region 12: Ric Peterson, Region 14: Lou Qualitere, Region 16: Rick Stallings, Larron Copeland, Mike Moses, Region 17: Dr. Pat McInteer, Don Beauchamp, Region 19:; Frank Lanasa, At Large Trustees: Dr. Bob Rankin, Mark Johnson.
Bernie Matthy’s Jr. was present for the meeting. President David Williams made the group aware of the absentee of 2 trustee’s Jeff Haggis and Preston Trimble. He stated Mr. Haggis had a court date and Preston Trimble was unable to fly due to health issues. Both gentlemen expressed their regrets for not being able to attend. President Williams welcomed Mike Moses the newest trustee for Region 16 and Brian Sanchez sitting in for Region 2 trustee Regis Linn.
There was a motion made to accept the roll call by Rick Stallings and was seconded by Eli Richardson. All were in favor.
Minutes of the 2017 AFTCA annual meeting were presented by Secretary Piper Huffman. Johnny Atkinson made a motion to accept the minutes and Tony King seconded it. Motion passed.
President David Williams enlightened the group on the Region 15 members of Japan. He stated “they are very active Region with eight-member clubs and are devoted to the AFTCA”. Communication is difficult due to the language barrier, but Secretary Huffman and myself communicate with them the best we can. The AFTCA is thrilled to have them as a part of this organization as they have been for a long time.
Ric Peterson reported for the financial committee. He stated the finances are in good order with the books audited every year for a 3-year audit comparison. After speaking with the auditor and looking into the books thoroughly, the 501C3 falls right in line with the AFTCA charter. The assets in the Stephen’s Investment account in Memphis, TN are $637,000.00 with returns good at 4 %. There are new expenses and income in the operating fund with the website and the individual memberships. They look promising and our hope is the income continues to grow. The website was a large expense this past year. All in all he expressed the finances were in good shape. President David Williams stated moving forward individual memberships, club dues, and financials are all on the same fiscal year July 1 to June 30th. Jim Crouse made the motion to accept the financial committee report and was seconded by Harold Chadwick. All were in favor.
Frank Lanasa highlighted the Insurance coverage for the AFTCA. He explained there are five policies and all of them are active and in place. For the first time in many years the cost has gone down by $50.00. The policies we have are extremely stable. The policies consist of the Office policy (which covers property at the AFTCA office) auto and fire, General Liability (which covers events away from the office), Workman’s Comp, Officer and Director’s policy, and Employee Dishonesty policy. The total cost of the five policies is $4,892.00. A lengthy discussion was made on insurance for Regional, National Amateur Championships, and AFTCA clubs. It was determined by the trustee’s that they need to go back to their Regions and make sure they have insurance coverage at the regional level and to encourage member clubs to do the same. Ray Wheeler made the motion to accept the Insurance report and Johnny Atkinson seconded it. Motion passed.
Dr. Hunter Wilcox presented the 20th Century Fund report. He apprised the group that he had selected a new committee consisting of Ray Wheeler, Dr. Buck Neil, and Pat McInteer. He thanked the members of the committee that helped him in the past. Dr. Wilcox stated that when monies are granted out they are given to a venue. If there are several clubs which use the same venue the money is granted to only one club. Several organizations use the same venues such as AKC, US Complete and National Bird hunters. They are using the benefits of our grants especially the AKC. Dr. Wilcox encourages anyone who has any influence with these organizations to encourage them to donate money to the AFTCA’S 20th Century Fund so we continue to have the funds to continue to support these shared venues. This year 20 applicants were awarded grant money in the amount of $20,750.00. The grants are as follows: Georgia Field trial Club, $1000.00; Ames Amateur Field Trial Club, $1000.00; Cedar Valley Field Trial Club, $500.00; Moran Field Trial Club, $1000.00; West Texas Field Trial Club, $500.00; Virginia Amateur Field Trial Association, $1000.00; Husker Bird Dog Club, $1000.00; Kentucky Field Trial Association, $1000.00; Ohio Valley Field Trial Circuit’ $1000.00; Field Trial Sportsmen’s Association, $2000.00; Cahaba Bend Field Trial Club, $1500.00,
Camp Robinson Field Trial Club, $2000.00; Southern Illinois Bird Hunter’s Association, $2000.00; Continental Amateur Field Trial Club, $500.00; North Carolina Field Trial Association, $2000.00; Hell Creek Field trial Club, $1000.00; Hawkeye Brittany Club, $250.00; Holler Point Field Trial Club, $500.00; Mid Carolina Field Trial Club, $500.00; Sacramento Bird Dog Club, $500.00. Mark Johnson made the motion to accept the 20th Century Fund report and Gary Winall seconded. All in favor.
Frank LaNasa enlightened the group on the website report. He stated that it was time to form a committee for making decisions on the future of the website. He appointed Jeff Haggis and Buck Neil moving forward and encouraged anyone else to join them if desired. After the meeting last year, there was a 20-point list to clean up the website (most all of which has been done). The next website objective is in the club area. The clubs are being loaded into the software system that handles club membership payment. Paying club dues by credit card will be available on the website the first of July. Clubs will also be able to manage and update their club profiles. The AFTCA profile when searching on the internet did not have a positive reflection in the past, but now it has been changed tremendously and is very impressive with good information. The AFTCA now has 2 Facebook pages one is Secretary Piper Huffman’s business side for posting information, drawings, winner photos and communication. The AFTCA member group page monitored by Chris Mathan is for members and potential future members. This Facebook page allows members to post and ask questions on the site in a public forum as well as view links to answer questions pertaining to the AFTCA at aftca.org. Another project is the history articles about the National Amateur Championships. We are hoping to move the National Amateur Championships to the front of the website where people can view winners, past winners and articles on the National Amateur Championships. Region 15 is very active in the AFTCA and they are going to be added to the website, so they can be recognized and win certificates viewed and printed. Another point made was about the “Guidelines to Field Trial Procedure and Judicial Practice” booklet has been added on the website in digital form. They look really nice and are well formatted. This booklet can be a great tool for everyone to use. On a final note, moving forward the website is ready to start getting sponsors and adding links as well as classifieds. Jim Crouse made a motion to accept the Website report and was seconded by Ray Wheeler. All were in favor.
Piper Huffman presented the Individual Membership Report stating the memberships have dropped dramatically. There are currently 1126 individual members but there is over 1400 that have been members at one time or another but have not renewed. It was made clear the essential data forms that come through the office are checked to make sure owner(s) and handlers have a paid current membership before entering winners into the database. There are a lot of people just on the essential data form that do not have a current membership number so there is no telling how many are entering without a current paid membership. Our organization needs to make people aware that this is an annual fee and not a one-time fee to enter AFTCA events. Club secretaries need to make sure they get the membership number when a participant enters a trial. It was determined a letter explaining the individual memberships will go in the American Field packets that are sent out to clubs hosting trials. It is our hope this will help educate participants on the rule. It was made clear that members can join for more than one year at a time. Club dues are moving to July 1st to June 30th membership just like the individual memberships to complement our new fiscal year. You can purchase club dues anytime in that time frame. It is fine to pay club dues when you host your trial or you can go ahead and take care of the payment the first of July. It was brought to the floor about having a lifetime membership for AFTCA individual members. It was determined this would be positive for the membership drive and would be looked into throughout the course of the year by the committee. It was also stated that the individual memberships are being well accepted and the decline in renewing memberships is simply negligence. Bob Rankin made a motion to accept the AFTCA membership report and was seconded by Michael Shears. All were in favor.
A short lunch break was taken.
The meeting was called back to order at 1:00 PM.
The Continental Breed Working Committee was presented by Tony King. He thanked the committee of Dr. Bob Rankin, Mark Johnson and Don Beauchamp for all their help. They came up with 3 main points to discuss.
1. Maintain the same format in regards to the membership requirements and Breed Championship fee that was activated in the 2017 meeting with the goal of monitoring this program for three years.
2. The Goal of the committee is to produce a Bylaw clarification/modification to clean up the wording of the Breed Championship and others in section 18 Article VII of the bylaws and running rules.
3. Over the next several months members of the Continental Breed Working Committee will be working on a promotional and informational flyer targeting additional continental breeds such as Wirehairs, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Weimaraners, and AKC pointers and setters.
A motion was made to accept the Continental Breed Working Committee by Harold Chadwick seconded by Don Beauchamp. All were in favor.
As first order of new business President David Williams discussed with the group the Five-Year Plan. He expressed the five year plan was explained to everyone at last year’s meeting for other trustee’s to help develop a plan. He expressed he was very happy with the responses he received and very disappointed with those that choose not to participate. He received some really good ideas and enlightened the group on many aspects that need to be pursued in the 5-Year plan. The AFTCA is challenged to help introduce our youth to this magnificent sport which leads to our number one goal in the 5-Year plan. This is a rough draft of the plan.
I. Increase Participation
A. AFTCA Regions host youth trial/bring your dog seminars
1. AFTCA requests 5 Regions organize and host these events
a. Regional Trustees take leadership role
b. Enlist mentors to youth and bring your dog participants
2. Five Regions should rotate annually
a. Each host should contact local FFA Chapters, 4-H Clubs, Scouts, etc.
b. Contact local media (TV station, Radio station, newspaper)
B. Establish a sponsor name/AFTCA Junior Handler of the Year Award
C. AFTCA forms Participation Committee
1. Committee works with Regions to find local sponsors and or fundraisers
2. Committee advises and coordinates Regional events
3. Committee coordinates with Breeds Committee to encourage greater participation from various Breeds and other Pointing Dog Organizations (AKC, NBHA, US Complete, American Bird Hunters, etc.)
a. We have a great deal more in common with these groups than differences
4. Sponsor name/President’s Sportsman of the year award
a. Regions submit 1 nominee each by April 1
b. Presented at annual meeting
D. AFTCA encourages clubs to include more entry level stakes
1. Clubs host Walking Dog Stakes
2. Clubs host Puppy Stakes
3. Clubs host Gun Dog Stakes
4. Clubs host Fun Trial
A. AFTCA needs another major sponsor or more to help finance current and future endeavors
B. AFTCA forms working group of trustees and outside individuals to explore potential sponsors
1. Appoint a liaison to each potential sponsor to organize and develop ongoing relationship
C. Website Committee coordinate with Working Group for economic inclusion of sponsors in Media footprint
III. Business Plan
A. Finance Committee develop a budget
A. Provide Liability insurance to all dues paid club members
V. Social Media – Gateway to new members and sponsors
A. Website Development
It was expressed we need to promote this sport and let people know who we are and what the AFTCA is about. President Williams encouraged everyone to participate and help make this organization and our sport grow. It’s a work in progress and we all need to be thinking about our future as stewards of this great sport.
Torben Hansen brought to the floor the current protocol on banning members. He expressed as an organization we need to revisit impugning judges and penalty for misconduct. The rules aren’t real clear and their need for a change for extreme cases. In serious violations, there needs to be a more expeditious way to process the incidence. The rules need to be made more clear. It was determined the executive board will take a look at the wording.
Books to educate judges was discussed. President Williams expressed there is an excellent book called “Guidelines to Field Trial Procedure and Judicial Practice” which is digitalized on the website. Everyone has access to the book on aftca.org located by the Bylaws and Running Rules. It was stated by Sean Derrig the “Guidelines to Field Trial Procedure and Judicial Practice” was changed through the American Field some years ago to Standards not Guidelines. President Williams stated the AFTCA was not aware of this change. Frank Lanasa expressed this book is a great asset to us and needs to be utilized by all field trial enthusiasts.
Pat McInteer discussed colored collars for AFTCA events. He expressed the need for the top dog and bottom dog wear different colored collars. He stated how much easier it is to judge and for the handlers. Dr. McInteer made a motion for a new rule that the top dog be required to wear orange or red collar and the bottom dog wear a green or black collar. It was seconded by Eli Richardson. A vote was taken and failed.
Piper Huffman made everyone aware that too many dogs are being entered in field trials by only their call name and the drawings are being posted in that same manner. This is happening way too often and has become a problem on social media. Dogs must have a FDSB registration number to enter a trial and to be recognized by the AFTCA and American Field. All drawings posted should use the dogs registered name.
A National Amateur Sage Grouse Championship proposal was presented by David Williams for Mr. Glenn Conover. Mr. Conover wanted a time slot at the AFTCA annual meeting to present the Sage Grouse Championship himself but was unable to attend. Mr. Conover sent pictures of the grounds, financials on 2 trials which showed profits, and information from the Montana Game and Fish Commission explaining the sage grouse population and habitat in that area. A pamphlet was also included from the US Game and Fish Department. In 2010, the Sage Grouse was put on a watch list to see if the Sage Grouse should go on the endangered species list. In 2015, there was enough evidence of improved habitat that the Sage Grouse was taken off the watch list. It will be reviewed again in 2020. After discussion, a motion was made by Rick Stallings to table the Sage Grouse Championship Proposal and was seconded by Frank Lanasa. All were in favor.
Reinstatement of amateur status was opened for Burl Hicks. His information was presented and voted on by the Board of Trustees to reinstate Burl Hicks. A motion was made by Jim Crouse to reinstate Burl Hicks on November 20, 2018. Michael Shears seconded the motion. Motion passed.
With no further discussion the meeting was adjourned at 2.48 PM