The Future Angler Foundation (FAF) is an incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in April of 2012 by a small group of anglers dedicated to help grow participation in angling and boating through education and outreach.
The FAF works to “Create New Anglers” by working with individuals and organizations throughout the United States to expose potential new anglers and boaters of all ages to the sport of fishing and to boating by educating them on how to catch fish and to boat safely. The educational component of what the FAF does is critical to the future of the sportfishing and boating because equipment alone will not catch fish or assure participants will be safe on the water, each angler/boater must have the knowledge needed to use the equipment effectively and safely.
Additionally, with the introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in the U.S, anglers and boaters must know the part they must play in slowing the spread of AIS if we are to protect our lakes and streams for future generations. As such, the FAF partners with state and federal agencies and other conservation oriented non-profits to assist in educating anglers and boaters on how to become to become good stewards of the water by knowing the steps they should take to slow the spread of AIS.
The FAF is utilizing angler/boater education and outreach to help reverse the attrition that has taken place in the sportfishing and boating over the past few decades, and to support the R3 efforts that strive to bring the next generation participants to the outdoors. We are able to do so through the use of networking and hands on grassroots approach that has proven to be extremely effective and through the digital content that we have created that now make millions of impressions annually. It is our opinion that participation in outdoor activities like fishing are at the core of the American way of life and essential to the future of our nation as we know it.
Specifically, the FAF works to:
- Support volunteers and organizations that host angling educational events that contribute to an increase in participation in angling and boating. The FAF does not host these events; rather the FAF supports the volunteers who host them by granting them no charge: rod/reel combos, angling promotional items such as T-shirts, and angling education handouts/booklets. Average attendance numbers at FAF supported events has been 20,000 youth and parents annually with an average of 4000 Rod/Reel combos and 4000 T-Shirts donated annually.
- Create digital angling and boating safety content that creates millions of impressions annually with financial support provided through grants and partnerships with the: Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Yamaha, and Onyx. This content has been created through production contracts given to Discover Media Works (DMW) and their Emmy award winning “Into the Outdoors” television network. DMW has created a video series and corresponding educational curriculum under the “Getting Families Fishing” (GFF) brand targeted at grade school and middle school age students to educate them about angling and boating. The series is distributed through the Discover Media Works “Into the Outdoors” network at no charge for download and use by the general public, sportfishing /marine industry, R3 Community and State Agencies. This educational digital content can be accessed at the following link: Getting Families Fishing or for classroom curriculum kidsfishing.us
- Create an infrastructure to support accomplished angler/boater volunteers to educate anglers of all experience levels at venues like: National Parks, National Forests, State Parks, State Forests, and Federal/State Wildlife areas, fishing clubs, other outdoor related organizations, and angling events.
- Develop programs to bring angling/boating safety into the schools as part of a school curriculum. FAF supported volunteers donate their time to go into school systems to educate students about angling /boating and they also help to train the teachers in those school systems. Free source Getting Families Fishing/Boating curriculum that is certified for use in the school systems is available to the schools systems at no charge.
- Expose the work FAF supported volunteers and programs are doing to educate anglers/boaters of all ages through the FAF website.
- Works with the fishing and boating industry, Federal and State Agencies in a manner that will garner support for the FAF’s mission to educate anglers/boaters of all ages.
The majority of the Future Angler Foundation’s management is provided by the FAF Board of Directors and the FAF president/general manager on a volunteer basis. The FAF currently has no paid employees, but is working with independent contractors to that handle the: FAF grant administration, social media admin, fund raising activities, website management, accounting function, digital content creation and product distribution for FAF supported programs. Funding is provided by: partner contributions, donations from the general public, donations from businesses, grants from government agencies and grants from other nonprofit organizations.
The FAF has no investments or real-estate assets. The FAF activities are summarized below, with estimated percentages of resource (cost and volunteers’ time) allocation:
- 30% Equipment/support materials given to attendees by volunteers at educational events
- 50% Production costs for “Getting Families Fishing” program content/curriculum
- 15% Grant Administration, communication, accounting, record keeping, and Futureangler.org web site(website admin, event admin, content creation, social media admin, accounting)
- 5% Travel expense to attend angling related educational conferences and trade shows
The FAF is managed by its board of directors who have extensive experience in areas such as: AIS prevention, industry advocacy, angler education and sales/marketing. The board includes: Patrick Neu-FAF President & NPAA President; Kevin VanDam, professional bass anglings most recognized angler and accomplished tackle/marine industry businessman; Thom Dammrich past President of the National Marine Manufacturers Assoc. and current/past board member for numerous boating/fishing industry associations; Sam Calabro, avid angler/past sales/marketing executive at Union Pacific Railroad who is acting as the FAF’s Vice President-Industry Relations; Dr. Robert (Nick) Schmal retired U.S. Forest Service Aquatic Biologist, acting as FAF Governmental Partnership Liaison; Dr. Phil Moy a former U.W. Sea Grant Director and aquatic biologist; Robert Blosser, pro angler/opinion leader and successful business person. Day to day management is undertaken on a volunteer basis by FAF president Pat Neu.
Meet the Team
Patrick Neu — President and co-founder, outdoor market consultant with extensive experience in the outdoor industry and the Executive Director of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA)
Sam Calabro — Vice President Industry Relations, Sam worked in the transportation industry nearly 30 years for Union Pacific Railroad as a Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. He qualified for early retirement in the Fall of 2017 and is now donating his time to help grow the foundation. Sam is an avid fisherman and has fished across the U.S.
Dr. Robert (Nick) Schmal — Executive Director, over 30 years of experience working in aquatic resources. Nick holds a Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from the University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in fisheries science and water resource management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Dr. Philip Moy — Over 20 years’ experience working in aquatic science research, education and outreach. Previously worked as the Assistant Director for Research and Outreach at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and as Water Resources Department Director for Lake County, California
Robert Blosser — Co-founder, past president of the NPAA, successful entrepreneur and top ranked tournament angler
Dr. Thom Dammrich — Recently retired president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association where he lead the organization for the past 20 years, RBFF board member, avid angler and boater.
Kevin VanDam — Top fishing tournament money winner of all time, angler educator, successful sportfishing industry promotion specialist, and passionate outdoorsman
Our passion for the sport and our desire to share angling as a life changing activity with future anglers/boaters through education and outreach is the driving force behind the formation of this foundation. We truly believe that by exposing non-anglers/boaters to sportfishing/boating and at the same time reactivating anglers who have not participated in these sports recently, we can solidify a place for sportfishing/boating in our American culture for generations to come. We hope that you will join the FAF in our mission to grow angling/boating participation through education and outreach by donating to the Future Angler Foundation today!