The Grange is a family, community organization with its roots in agriculture. Founded in 1867, the Grange was formed as a national organization with a local focus. Our members are given the opportunity to learn and grow to their full potential as citizens and leaders.
The family is the base of the organization with full membership beginning at age 14. Women have been equal members since the inception of the Grange. We have a Junior Grange program for children age 5 to 14, that has helped the youngest members of the family learn about community values and citizenship for more than 100 years. Our Grange Youth program develops the leadership skills of our young adults and young married couples.
The foundation of the organization is the Community Grange, which can be found in rural, suburban and urban communities. Faith, hope, charity, and fidelity are the basic lessons of the Community Grange. To learn more, see the Declaration of Purposes.
The Grange has four levels, Community, County or District, State, and National to ensure that the membership’s voice is heard at the appropriate place. Our membership sets the direction and activities for their Community Grange in true grassroots fashion, and those decisions seep up to the national level. Nonpartisan legislative advocacy, educational programs, service projects, and social interaction and networking are just a few of the ways local Granges serve their communities and members.
After nearly 145 years, the organization continues to grow, chartering several new Granges in 2011 in communities across the United States. The most recent addition to the Grange family is Sandy Valley Grange #19 in Nevada.
Programs for the Family and Community
For more than a century, the Grange has offered programs for the whole family, including Junior Grange for children ages 4 through 13. Children involved with the Junior Grange program become more aware of their community and the world, agriculture, service and citizenship.
Full National Grange membership with voting rights and the ability to hold office begins at age 14, and Grange Youth supports those members ages 14 through 35. All Grange activities support members’ personal growth. Individuals involved in Junior Grange and Grange Youth attend camps, leadership seminars, compete in contests designed to foster a wide range of skills and abilities.
Every year, Grange members give thousands of hours to volunteer in their communities and raise millions of dollars for important causes. Grangers attend public meetings, inform themselves of local, state and national issues, and speak for the rights of all Americans, especially those who work in agriculture, producing our food, fuel and fiber.
Each November, members from across the country gather for the National Grange Annual Convention at which policies, adopted in community Granges, passed by State Granges and moved to the national delegate body, are debated. A true grassroots organization, those policies that pass at convention become the issues for which the National Grange advocates.
The Grange has been instrumental in bringing about avenues for rural access from rural mail delivery to electricity; supporting social reform including women’s suffrage; and assisting groups such as the deaf and hard-of hearing through financial contributions and awareness campaigns.
Want to learn more? Continue reading about us or stop by a local Grange meeting and meet the proud members in your community. If there’s no Grange near you, learn about starting a Grange in your hometown.