As 2014 comes to an end, we reflect on the past year and turn to those of you who have helped us accomplish various achievements. We value your support and partnership, and we sincerely thank you. We look forward to what lies ahead in the coming year and anticipate your continued support and dedication. The National Grange would like to wish you a happy holiday season and a new year filled … [Read More...]
On Friday night, more than 350 people gathered to enjoy the talent that abounds across the Grange at the Evening of Excellence. It was a night to remember with vocal acts, variety acts, and Sign-S-Song performances as well as the announcements of new Junior and Youth Ambassadors. National Grange Lecturer Jim Tetreault co-hosted the event with Illinois State Grange Lecturer Trisha Renken and … [Read More...]
Two Wisconsin Grangers will hold seats on the National Grange Executive Committee simultaneously after several rounds of balloting by delegates to the 148th Session Thursday for the two open positions. Leroy Watson, a 42-year Grange member, who serves as Treasurer of Fox Valley Good Earth Grange #776 in Neenah, Wisc., and Overseer of Potomac Grange #1, D.C., picked up his first seat as an officer … [Read More...]
Wednesday night, more than 100 people gathered to celebrate with winners of the Distinguished Grange Award during its fifth year of the program. The program honors Subordinate and State Granges that fulfill responsibilities while excelling in the areas of membership, fundraising and community service in their communities. Two State Granges, Maryland and New York, and seven Subordinate Granges … [Read More...]
During his sixth address to the members and public, National Master Ed Luttrell on Tuesday directly after the opening of the 148th Annual National Grange Convention focused heavily on overreach by government, such as unnecessary and often detrimental regulations as well as threats to personal freedoms. He also discussed challenges to the agriculture industry and systemic global issues, calling … [Read More...]
- USDA Extends Application Deadline for Dairy Margin Protection Program to Dec. 19
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the application deadline for the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) will be extended until Dec. 19, 2014. The program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant. Read more
- Federal Appeals Court Scheduled to Make Important Ruling
Today is a big day in the intellectual property arena, and it’s not just scholars and technology aficionados who are taking notice. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is set to hear appeals and objections in the Apple vs. Samsung proceedings (14-1335, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.), a critical case in the development of design patent reform. The National Grange is paying close attention to this case, being heard directly across Lafeyette Park from the National Grange Building in Washington DC, for its impact on Grange members access to advanced telecommunications technologies. Read more
- Agriculture, Interior Departments partner on water quality
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a new partnership agreement today that will provide a clearer picture of the benefits of farmers’ conservation practices on the quality of our Nation’s water. Read more
- New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Premium Subsidy Established
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced that a premium subsidy has been established to offer more affordable protection to eligible diversified farm operations, as part of the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance policy. Read more
- USDA Invests Nearly $118 Million to Support America’s Specialty Crop Producers
MIAMI, Fla, Oct. 2, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $118 million in grants to strengthen markets for specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. The grants were authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill as part of an effort to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and provide resources to strengthen American agriculture. The Secretary made the announcement in Florida. Read more
- To Ensure the Best Outcomes for Rural Americans, Better Provisions Needed in Federal Broadband Plan
Today’s global economy demands that every participant have access to reliable, high-speed Internet in order to attain a level playing field to actively participate in the virtual business marketplace. Although rural America constitutes 15% of our total population, it is these men and women and families who keep food on our tables, fuel in our cars and provide energy for our homes and businesses. We owe it to them to implement the infrastructure to provide broadband internet services. Americans living in rural areas still lack access to this vital resource. Read more
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.
We urge our State Grange partners who have not already done so to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in opposition to the proposed rule which would essentially expand EPA and Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over all waters of the United States. Practically all farmers, ranchers, land owners, rural small businesses and rural homeowners will be affected should this regulation become final as proposed.
EPA has been given regulatory powers over navigable waterways by Congress. The proposed Waters of the U.S. regulations will give EPA and the Corps new jurisdiction over most rural lands and surface water in America. With such authority, the EPA and Corps would have the legal right to oversee land use and production practices all across the rural landscape. This is not necessary. All waters of the U.S. are not threatened, endangered or impaired. For those waters that are below current standards, EPA already has ample statutory authority to take action on a situation-by-situation basis. This proposal is increasingly bring viewed as a regulatory overreach by the executive branch of the federal government.
We urge you to file your State Grange comments by Friday, November 14. Please encourage all Pomona and Community Grangers to file comments as well. Ask EPA to withdraw the proposal. CLICK HERE for instructions about writing, addressing and filing (either by mail or email) comments.