Come home to Conservation at CFM’s 84th Annual Convention
By: Tyler Schwartze
The annual convention is upon us and we truly hope that you, as a vocal and supportive member, plan to take part in this monumental event. Convention truly embodies the mission of our outdoor heritage and what our storied organization is all about. Advocacy, Education and Partnerships. If you’re not familiar with our mission, please read 2nd Vice President Richard Mendenhall’s article in our March/April issue of the Conservation Federation magazine (page 28).
Convention kicks off on Friday evening at the Annual Conservation Awards Ceremony. This is when we honor outstanding accomplishments throughout the past year including the Conservationist of the Year and the Conservation Organization of the Year. Scholarships are also awarded to the Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) students.
The CLC is comprised of over 40 high school and college-age students that attend convention. They spend their time interacting and networking with resource professionals while growing their talents and leadership skills. In addition, they present the resolutions which are approved by the entire membership on the final day of convention. It is a joy to see their energy and vibrance that they exude over the course of convention.
Saturday morning will start off with updates from agency directors from The Missouri Department of Conservation and Soil and Water Conservation Program. The Natural Resource Advisory Committees then break out in their respective meetings. Topics include archery and shooting sports, forests, grasslands and prairies, waterways, wetlands, waterfowl, big game, education, ecology, public and private lands, and upland wildlife. On Saturday afternoon we plan to have a legislative session as well a mini-symposium on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
Saturday evening concludes at the banquet with the always fun and exciting silent and live auctions. Many raffles, games, and auctions take place, so there is something for everyone. I will get the opportunity to give my state of conservation and the outdoors address. Miss Missouri, (sponsored by the Missouri Trappers Association) plans to be in attendance as well. Again this year, we will feature St. James wine and Public House Brewing Company beer both evenings.
Convention culminates on Sunday with the General Assembly meeting, followed by the board and business meeting. This is when the resolutions are presented and then voted on by the members. This is another example of one of the many acts which make CFM such a strong and powerful voice moving forward, by gaining the collective support of all our members. This is one of the most critical and impactful parts of the weekend.
As you can see, there is a lot to see and do at convention this year. An event this large certainly takes a lot of time and effort by many to always pull off such an amazing weekend. The volunteer committee which tirelessly helps staff pull this together is comprised of Mossie Schallon, Ginny Wallace, Bill Kirgan and staff. Plus, there are many volunteers and staff that help when the big weekend gets here. We certainly couldn’t do it without everyone’s help, so thank you very much.
We hope that you have made plans to join us for all, or even part of the weekend, so that you can let your voice be heard throughout the Missouri outdoors.