Well, it's Sunday afternoon, and I just returned home from the 2016 Fall Rendezvous in Cuba, Missouri.
Things got started Friday morning with fur handling and grading demonstrations throughout the day at the Fur Harvesters Auctions booth, and when it wasn't raining, there were trapping demonstrations throughout the day. At 9 a.m., we had the board of directors meeting. At 5 p.m., a good crowd gathered for a fish fry. If I remember correctly, 150 pounds of fish were cooked up, and no one walked away hungry. After that, the awards ceremony took place, where Thad Davis received the Director of the Year Award, Carl Cook received the Appreciation Award, Jim Palmer received the Ray Brudigam Memorial Leadership Award, Clay Creech received the President's Award, John Harlow received the Trapper of the Year Award, and Randy Adey and Ron McNeely received the Hall of Fame Award. The night ended with the Bob Whitworth Memorial Washer Tournament.
Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day with a lot more demos and activities. Miss Missouri 2016, Erin O'Flaherty, was there to make her appearance. I took her around introducing her to people and showing her what we are all about. She experienced some fur handling and trapping demos, saw finished fur products made by Kenny Cook, and met and talked with a lot of you. She was probably getting some writer's cramp from signing so many autographs.
At 4 p.m., the general meeting went underway. The board of directors gave its report, and a few major topics were discussed, one of which was a proposal to change how we perform of our elections. Currently, eligible voting members can receive a ballot by way of absentee ballot or by having ballots available at the fall rendezvous. The proposal was basically that each member would receive a letter with an envelope inside containing a ballot. The member would mark his or her vote, place the ballot inside the provided envelope, sign and seal, and return to the nominations chairman. The envelopes would not be opened until the count was done at the fall rendezvous. After much discussion, the majority of members voted to keep the elections as-is.
Another topic that was discussed and voted on was whether to support the wildlife division within the Missouri Department of Conservation to do away with cable restraint certification. One discussed reason for why we would do this is that there are around 2,000 certifications issued with very few who actually use cable restraints, so they felt like there was no need for it anymore. There was quite a bit of discussion on this subject, and the membership voted to support the MDC's proposal to do away with the cable restraint certification.
After the meeting, we had the barbecue supper and a live auction. The auction is always a good time and raises money for the association.