The new May 2016 issue of the National Grange newsletter is now available. Check out the latest of what is going on in the Grange. Read about what is soon to come and what's happening right now. Receive this and other issue via email by subscribing to our e-newsletter. Submit our email address … [Read More...]
The newly redesigned National Grange newsletter is now available. Check out the April 2016 issue complete with valuable Grange Month information, 150th Annual Convention news and a whole lot more. Receive this and other issue via email by subscribing to our e-newsletter. Submit our email address … [Read More...]
On-line registration is now open!! Please take advantage of the $25.00 early bird registration and save $5.00. You can register now through September 2nd to receive this savings. After September 2nd, registration fee is $30.00. On-line registration ends October 28th. Please join us for the … [Read More...]
In this message, National Grange President, Betsy Huber discusses the Spring and her love of gardening. She also touches on the importance of Grange Month coming up in April. Town hall meetings and open house events are some of the things our Grange Members look forward to planning during Grange … [Read More...]
WASHINGTON – National Ag Day is typically celebrated on the first day of spring to increase awareness to the values of agriculture. On March 15, National Grange Youth Ambassador Shannon Ruso of New Baltimore, New York traveled to Washington to join other youth for Ag Day activities and meet with her … [Read More...]
150th Annual National Grange Convention
- Update: Rural America Left Behind in Lifeline Reform
National Grange President, Betsy Huber, has expressed serious concern with H.R.4884, the CURB Lifeline Abuse Act with. In a letter to House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Walden (R-OR-2), Ranking Member Eshoo (D-CA-18) and bill sponsor Scott (R-GA-8), Huber acknowledged Congress’ concerns with fiscal responsibility of the Lifeline program, but opposed the proposed two-year phase-out of mobile voice Lifeline service in favor of broadband service. Read more
- Why is Rural America Being Left Behind in Lifeline Reform?
Major portions of rural America have no access to broadband. Fewer than one in five Americans (17 percent) can’t access what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines as broadband, but that level is three times higher – a whopping 53% — when it comes to rural America. And what about those parts of rural America with broadband access? According to the 2015 State of the Internet Report, the average connection speed in many rural areas is slower than those in Estonia, Uruguay, and Thailand. Read more
- The National Grange Cert Decision Announcement
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to review the ruling in the long-running design patent infringement case between Apple and smartphone rival Samsung. This important case is about correcting an outdated interpretation of how damages are awarded for design patents in infringement lawsuits. The lower court’s ruling elevates design patents and ornamental features of a product over utility patents and a product’s functionality. Additionally, the court-awarded damages for infringement could be equal to the total profits earned from the alleged infringing product. These massive damages from infringement could result in total profits – an incentive for troll-like litigation over design patents. For these reasons and their implications on the rural and agriculture industry, the National Grange is thankful the Supreme Court is reviewing this decision. Read more
- Samsung Files Petition for Supreme Court Review
Samsung officially filed a request with the Supreme Court to examine the decision in its long running litigation with Apple. At the crux of the petition is design patents and their legal interpretation in infringement lawsuits, and the damages awarded from alleged infringement. Read more
- What’s Next: Apple-Samsung Lawsuit Continues
The National Grange has monitored the Apple-Samsung patent litigation for well over a year, and as the battle between these two super companies continues, the National Grange will continue to update its members and fight for their best interests. For background, in August we wrote about a disappointing decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and what the implications of that ruling could mean for industries and consumers; and this summer, National Grange filed an Amicus brief with the Court, expressing our concerns on the impacts of this landmark case. Read more
- Federal Communication Commission Should Encourage Innovation and Private Investment in Rural America
Last week, Congress held a hearing to evaluate proposals and recent actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and determine how the agency can better serve the public. Both Republican and Democratic members asked all five FCC commissioners questions regarding their work over the past year on a range of issues that impact consumers, from spectrum to broadband deployment. One particular issue that surfaced repeatedly during the hearing was how the FCC can improve its efforts to expand these essential services and resources to rural areas. Read more
- Federal Appeals Court Makes Disappointing Decision on Patents
On August 13 – the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc in the Apple-Samsung patent dispute. The National Grange has closely followed this lawsuit for its impact on Grange members’ access to advanced telecommunications technologies. Last month we filed an Amicus brief urging the court to reconsider the $399 million penalty imposed for alleged design patent infringement covering basic shapes. Read more
- Spectrum Needed
The United States is experiencing a “Mobile Revolution”. Experts predict that by 2020 the number of connected devices will reach 50 billion. The “Mobile Revolution” is changing how Americans communicate and manage nearly every aspect of daily life. These advancements have made life easier, more enjoyable, and more productive for the millions who have embraced these innovative technologies. Among those who are embracing and relying on wireless broadband services at an increasingly rapid pace – although often over looked – are farmers, ranchers, and others who make up our rural communities. Read more
CALL YOUR SENATORS TO STOP WOTUS OVERREACH
The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is now the law of the land for much of the country but not all the country. A 197 page regulation from the EPA and Corps of Engineers that will further regulate practically all waters and land mass in the country went into effect Friday, August 28. However, it will not be enforced in 13 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, and New Mexico) but will be in effect for the remainder of the country. On Thursday, August 27, a federal judge in North Dakota blocked implementation of the WOTUS rule in the 13 states that had filed in his court.
In his ruling, Judge Erickson said, “Once the Rule takes effect, the States will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the Clean Water Act.” A dozen farmer, rancher, land owner and business organizations and a total of 31 states have filed various legal actions for relief from the WOTUS rule. One of their primary concerns is the apparent disregard for private property rights. An editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily suggested, “The EPA interpretation would lead to private land owners having to ask permission from the government to do anything. It would give the EPA sweeping control over almost all private land in America.” The EPA, however, responded immediately that the rule would go into effect in the remaining states on Friday.
National Grange policy recognizes the importance of protecting all watersheds but opposes any mandate that suggests all watersheds are to meet the same water quality standards. We believe Americans must not sacrifice their property under the guise of environment, climate change, critical habitat, urban sprawl or other initiatives.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Contact your two U.S. Senators
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard
Ask for your Senator’s office
Request your Senator to vote to stop the WOTUS rule
The National Grange is working with America’s Electric Cooperatives to advocate against the EPA’s new rule. Tell EPA that its new rule on existing power plants will jeopardize the economy, cause energy prices to skyrocket, kill jobs and penalize low income Americans.
UPDATE: EPA Extends Comment Period for Coal-Fired Power Plant Rule
The EPA has extended the comment period for its proposed rule to limit power plant emissions from October 16 to December 1. Coal, at 39%, is the largest single source of electricity generation in the country. The electric utilities warn the rule will cause more than 600 generating plants to close before sufficient alternative power sources (natural gas, renewable energy, wind and solar) are capable of filling the void.