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Joe Meder honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Rural Solon resident presented with recognition at World Taxidermy Championships®
Joe Meder, of Solon, and World Show master of ceremony Russell Knight, during the presentation of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. (photo courtesy of the World Taxidermy Championships®. Rights are given for its usage by Breakthrough Magazine, Inc.)

PEORIA, Ill.– May 19 was a special day for Solon’s Joseph Meder. One of the most esteemed honors that can be bestowed on a taxidermist was awarded to Joe during the award ceremonies of the World Taxidermy Championships® recently held in Peoria, Ill. Since the award’s inception in 2007, the World Taxidermy Championships® Lifetime Achievement Award has been awarded every two years. Meder is the fifth person to receive this special honor. The award recognizes extraordinary accomplishments for individual work in the art of taxidermy along with contributions in technical advancements, leadership, and education in the profession.
The outdoors has been a big part of Meder’s life since his younger years growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Guttenburg. After earning a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in science education at the University of Iowa, he was offered a full-time position as an instructor at the University of Iowa Natural History Museum in 1973. He held this position until 1981 when he resigned his position at the University and opened his full-time taxidermy studio, Kodiak LTD.
In 1985, Meder won the Best in World Whitetail title at the World Taxidermy Championships® with an entry that captured taxidermists’ attention like none before. His whitetail entry featured lifelike details which incorporated reconstructed lip lines, naturally textured nose and fleshy tissue areas, along with eyes exhibiting white scleras and very subtle blood veins. The ears were anatomically correct inside and out, including the natural veining noticeable in a late-summer whitetail. Most of these features were completed with techniques that had not been used in any taxidermy competitions before. Meder established methods and standards that elevated the quality of taxidermy and his influence continues today.
With Meder’s notoriety flourishing, he was not only getting attention from hunters and collectors, but was constantly being approached by taxidermists around the world for instructional workshops. Over the past 30 years, Meder has judged the World Taxidermy Championships® 14 times, including two held in Salzburg, Austria, and international shows in Canada, Europe, Russia and New Zealand.
World Taxidermy Championships® chairman Larry Blomquist issued the following statement after the award ceremony: “Joe Meder’s impact and accomplishments on taxidermy, taxidermists and this unique trade cannot be stressed enough. As long as I have known him, he has set an example for all of us to follow. His impact has been far-reaching more so than he will ever imagine. He is a humble man and that is one of the reasons he has earned the deep respect of his peers. It is also fitting that the Taxidermy Hall of Fame announced tonight that Joe Meder is one of four new inductees going into the Taxidermy Hall of Fame for 2017. The official induction will take place at the National Taxidermists Association (NTA) convention in Layton, Utah, in July of this year. Joe is also a past president of the NTA.”
Meder and his wife Peg still reside in Solon, and he continues to operate his business, Kodiak LTD, accepting work on a limited basis.