Heartland NAVHDA, LC


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The Heartland Chapter of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association serves the Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa area. The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to foster, promote, and improve the versatile hunting dog breeds in North America; to conserve game by using well trained reliable hunting dogs before and after the shot; and to aid in the prevention of cruelty to animals by discouraging nonselective and uncontrolled breeding, which produces unwanted and uncared for dogs.

The Heartland Chapter conducts educational activities, monthly training sessions, and sponsors NAVHDA sanctioned hunt tests three times a year. Our goal is to help our members fully realize the potential of their versatile hunting dogs as companions and hunting partners.


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This is a message from Dave Trahan, current president of NAVHDA, who is running for re-election.



In the three years that I’ve served as President of NAVHDA, I have stressed the need for more communication with our members while always keeping an open-door policy to listen and act on new ideas for the organization’s improvement. Along with the other members of the Executive Council, and with the support of many of our local chapters, membership in NAVHDA has increased nearly 10%. When I ran for this position I knew that it would not be easy—especially not having served on the Executive Council. However, as an active NAVHDA member for over 20 years, I believed that I could represent the membership well while also providing the leadership to keep the organization moving forward.



I am a Life Member of NAVHDA, a Senior and Invitational Judge and Clinic Leader.  I am a founding member of the Merrimack Chapter, and served the Yankee Chapter as its President.  I have run and qualified dogs in every facet of the NAVHDA testing system.  I am a self-employed Professional Dog Trainer and Licensed Hunting Guide. I am owned by my 5 German Shorthaired Pointers, and reside in house with my wife Carol.


In recent years NAVHDA has gone through many changes, most of which have only strengthened the organization. These positive developments have been made possible by a dedicated and passionate Executive Council, who work tirelessly year-round on your behalf. Of course, these changes would not have been possible without the continued support of the membership. 


Here are some of our recent accomplishments, along with areas of focus for me as your newly re-elected President: 


Member retention has improved, and the Registry is going strong! I will continue to focus on these important aspects of our organization by listening to you, the Members.


        We have had a strong focus on improved communication with our membership, with enhancements to the Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine, reorganization to the

NAVHDA website and creation of presence on Facebook. On The Right Track,

Ask Dr. Lisa and Full Circle Fair continue to have a strong following. Mary Burpee has done an outstanding job as Editor and Publisher of VHD and this will continue to be a focus for our organization. 


        NAVHDA’s Youth Development Program (due to generous donation from Terry Wilson and Nancy Ansfield) established test Fee refunds for youth handlers and provided financial assistance for youth camps, etc. In addition, our members have also given generous donations to further this program. 


Our Sponsors and Partners have become more active with NAVHDA, and we have ensured that they all receive the recognition they deserve by making sure that all local chapters have Sponsor banners.  We have a new key conservation partner in Pheasants Forever, who has been active with our youth events, and, of course, our Focus On Forever events. The Ruffled Grouse Society has entered into a Partnership Agreement with NAVHDA to also focus on youth events. 


We continue to focus on Judge Development by ensuring consistency in the assessment of both Apprentice and Acting Senior Judges.  The Judges Workshop was moved to the last day of the Annual Meeting, resulting in improved attendance. 


We have been working with other breed and testing groups to help them understand our testing program and accept us as a leading testing organization. The popular television program Wingshooting USA was invited to the Invitational to give NAVHDA national television exposure and to showcase our testing program.  We have also implemented a new Member requested recognition program through our Test Pins, which have been both wildly popular and profitable for our organization.


We have also implemented numerous improvements in the Central Office. While staying within our approved Budget over the last three years, we have hired a new full-time resource to replace Jim Applegate, and have also hired Maria Bondi as Office Manager.  A new Employee Handbook was developed, and the Central Office Computer system and servers have been replaced. In addition, we have been able to see cost savings on the printing of VHD with the transition to a new printing house. 


I am very proud to have been a part of these accomplishments, and hope to build upon the progress we have already made. I humbly ask for your vote this next election.





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Click here for a video that will help explain what our organization is about!

Heartland NAVHDA, LC - Welcoming Guide

Heartland NAVHDA, LC - Tri-Fold Flyer

This website is UNOFFICIAL and not recognized by NAVHDA, INC, the Heartland NAVHDA, LC or any of their affiliates. In no way should NAVHDA, INC, the Heartland NAVHDA, LC, or any of their affiliates be held liable for any information contained in these web pages. This website and its related pages are intended for recreational purposes only. This website does not and is not authorized to speak or act on behalf of the NAVHDA, INC, or Heartland NAVHDA, LC.
There are no guarantees as to the accuracy of any information contained in said pages.

Copyright 2009 Heartland NAVHDA, LC.  All Rights Reserved.




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