MFTA is an organization of sportsmen with a strong interest in hunting, conservation, and especially the advancement of the pure-bred retriever breeds of dogs. The primary activity of the Association is to conductAKC-member retriever field trials where the capabilities of the pure bred retriever can be demonstrated.
MFTA is a member club of: The American Kennel Club, The National Retriever Club, Inc., The National Amateur
Retriever Club, Inc. and the Minnesota Retriever Advisory Council.
MFTA was formally organized in early 1937 and has functioned continuously since then as a member club of the
American Kennel Club. The club became incorporated in April 1939. In the early years, there were no other field
trial clubs in the state. In 1940 and every year until 1996 , the Vestal Traveling trophy was awarded to the top
Amateur handler in the Open stake.The trophy has now been retired and is on display in the Retriever Hall of Fame. MFTA held its field trials throughout the state,
working not only to bring the capabilities of trained retrievers to the attention of the public but also to encourage
the formation of additional retriever clubs in Minnesota.
MFTA's first trial was held in Winona, MN on May 21, 1938. From then until 1950 various locations served as trial
sites - Winona, Mound, White Bear Lake, Rochester, Anoka, St. Cloud, Austin, Duluth, Bayport and Shakopee.
From the fall of 1950 thirty-three trials were held at the James J. Hill North Oaks Farm (now the City of North
Oaks). When the pressure of real estate development curtailed the use of the area, the Club moved to the Wild
Wings of Oneka Game Farm and Shooting Preserve, near Hugo. From 1980 to 1984 MFTA held 10 trials on the
Kelly Farms near Marine on St. Croix. From 1985 to 1988, the Club held its spring trials at Wild Wings and the fall
trials at Kelly Farms. During a peiod of drought in 1989 and 1990, Kelly Farms was the site for both the spring and
fall trials. Since 1991, MFTA has held its trials at the Benton Retriever Grounds, Inc.
From it's inception, MFTA has been characterized as a club whose members hve been very active in both local and
national competition while providing much of the leadership in the development of and continuing interest in field
trialing. MFTA was one of the eleven charter club members in the formation of the National Retriever Club in
1941. Over the years, a number of members have served as Judges for the national championship trials put on by
the National Retriever Club and the National Amateur Retriever Club. Recently a club member was inducted into
the Retriever Hall of Fame. (An MFTA member was a primary driving force in the concept and organization of the
National Amateur Retriever Club, and served as its first President.)
Dogs owned or handled by MFTA members have won at least nine Championships at the trials for the National
Retriever Championship and/or the National Amateur Retriever Championship. Members have made their mark in Canada by winning the Canadian National Championships and Canadian National Amateur Championships.
Membership in MFTA is open to all persons who are sincerely interested in the betterment of the pure-bred retriever breeds and in competitions demonstrating the capabilities of these dogs. MFTA is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors which meets quarterly. Membership applications are available.
For information concerning trial entries and or entry forms contact the Field Trial Secretary.