National Grange Legislative Fly-In 2016

Come Join Us and the Presidential Primary Candidates
February 4 – 7, 2016
Concord, New Hampshire

Come to New Hampshire and participate in a presidential candidate’s campaign the weekend prior to the big New Hampshire primary vote the following Tuesday. Meet Grangers from other states, discuss National Grange legislative and regulatory issues, learn the history behind presidential primaries, tour the New Hampshire Statehouse and visit with the press corps covering the candidates. Then spend a day working on the campaign for the candidate of your choice!


Thursday, February 4 (Transportation provided from airport)
  • Flights – Arrive at Manchester Airport
  • Hotel – Comfort Inn, Concord
  • Evening – Welcome, itinerary, discussions, fellowship at hotel
Friday, February 5 (Transportation provided)
  • New Hampshire State Capitol, Concord
  • Morning meeting at the Statehouse with NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who will brief us on the First in the Nation Presidential Primary, and the history of presidential primaries in New Hampshire
  • Afternoon tour of the New Hampshire Statehouse that has been continuously occupied by the legislature longer than any other statehouse in the country
  • Evening – Dinner together and youth outing
Saturday, February 6 (Transportation provided)
  • Breakfast – New Hampshire State Grange Building with guest James Pindell, Political Reporter for the Boston Globe
  • Meeting with the on-site press corps to discuss the media’s role in presidential campaigns (Radisson Hotel, Manchester)
  • Grangers go to Manchester campaign headquarters of Presidential candidates of their choice, meet with representatives of the Democratic and Republican Parties to talk about their roles in the process, participate in a campaign event of their choice (i.e. stuffing mailers, phone banks, visibility, canvassing, etc.)
Sunday, February 7 (Transportation provided to airport)
  • Return home
Travel and Registration

All travel and hotel costs will be a personal expense for Fly-In attendees. Please make your own travel arrangements and book your hotel stay directly. If you plan to attend the Fly-In, please contact Stephanie Tiller by phone at (202) 628-3507 ext. 113 or via email to [email protected]register

Be sure to tell us:
  • Whether you will be flying or driving
  • When you anticipate arriving in Manchester (flying) or Concord (driving)
  • Your preference of presidential campaigns for work on Saturday (prioritize 1-2-3)
  • Any special accommodations or dietary needs you request
  • Your cell phone number and email


Our hotel is the Comfort Inn, 71 Hall Street, Concord, NH. 03301, phone (603) 226-4100.  Group rate is $199 plus 9% sales tax per night. The cut-off date to make a reservation is January 8, 2016.   Availability is limited so reserve your room now.

Recommended Dress

Casual, warm and neat. It is cold in New Hampshire in February. Layered clothing is good. Be prepared for snow.

Ground Transportation

The National and New Hampshire Granges will provide ground transportation between the airport in Manchester and our hotel in Concord as well as to our events on Friday and Saturday. We must have your cell phone and email in advance for the drivers.
We hope to see you all there!

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.

Millions of Americans living in rural areas and communities still lack high-speed broadband. Access to higher quality, faster Internet enhances people’s lives by providing more opportunities in education, healthcare, and professional development. It brings communities together and levels the playing field between rural areas, smaller towns and larger urban centers. But more must be done, and the National Grange is a strong advocate for Federal policies that help deliver the online opportunities that those rural areas deserve.

The FCC should learn from successful actions of the past and exercise regulatory caution moving forward. Over twenty years ago, the government embraced a light-touch regulatory approach that enabled the Internet to flourish into the essential modern technology and engine of economic growth and opportunity that it continues to be today. Now the FCC wants to impose outdated regulations onto broadband networks. This approach will inhibit the capital investment necessary for deploying broadband to underserved areas and rural communities that need access to broadband the most.

Consumers in rural America are better served by policies that encourage innovation and private investment so that the marketplace and competitors can provide a variety of choices and innovate, build, and expand to meet consumer demand. It is the sustained investment in expanding broadband networks that enables companies to deliver economic opportunities to rural communities and ensure no one is left behind.

The Grange wants to work cooperatively with government and other stakeholders to ensure regulations have purpose and achieve the goal of meeting the needs of consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs in rural areas. A heavier regulatory hand that saddles the Internet with regulation of the old Bell system threatens to undermine the very innovation and investment that produces benefits. A light-touch policy is a smart approach to getting all of America – particularly rural communities – connected once and for all.

National Grange Elects First Female President of Historic Organization

12239708_10205065571414463_3989116162222240606_nLincoln NE – During the 149th Annual Session of the National Grange, delegates from each state elected a new slate of national officers. Among this group was Betsy Huber, the newly elected President and the first woman to hold that office in the history of the organization.

Ms. Huber is currently employed by the Pennsylvania State Grange as the Government Relations Director where she works to advance the policies of the Grange within the PA State Legislature. She is a member of Chester-Delaware County Pomona Grange #3 and Goshen Grange #121. Betsy started her Grange involvement at a very young age as a member of the Juvenile (now known as Junior) Grange. She has held numerous positions with her local Grange and with the Pennsylvania State Grange, including serving eight years as President, the first woman to hold that position.

As the National Grange President, Ms. Huber will work with the National Grange staff to advance Grange policies in Washington D.C.; as well as oversee the day to day operations of the organization. The Grange, legislative work, and agriculture have always been an important part of her life. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Grange (chairperson 2007-14) and is also the executive secretary for the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Association. She has also held various positions in the agricultural community that include serving on the boards of the PA State Council of Farm Organizations (President 2011-12), the Governor’s Census 2010 Advisory Panel, the PA Department of Agriculture Fertilizer Advisory Committee, the PA Department of Environmental Protection Ag Advisory Board (Chair 2007), and PA Farm Link. She was employed as district aide to State Representative Arthur D. Hershey from 1992-2002.

She has also served her community as township supervisor for Upper Oxford Township for 24 years, chairman of the Township Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee, treasurer of the Chester County Association of Township Officials and as member of the PSATS Land Use Committee and Resolutions Committee. She has also served the Avondale Presbyterian Church as Elder, Deacon, Trustee and choir member.

Ms. Huber was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees by the delegates from agricultural societies in 2005 and serves on the Committee on Outreach, Development, and Community Relations and the Governance and Long Range Planning Committee.

The Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, non-partisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. With a strong history in grassroots activism, family values and community service, the Grange is recognized as America’s number one rural family organization. There are nearly 80,000 members in 2000 local community Granges across 41 states. It is the oldest agricultural and rural organization of its kind in the United States.

National Grange Announces Newly Elected Officers

Lincoln, NE – On the third day of the 149th Annual Session of the National Grange, the convened delegates elected a new slate of national officers, including the first-ever woman to head the storied organization. The group of new national officers includes:

  • Betsy Huber of Pennsylvania, elected Master
  • Jimmy Gentry of North Carolina, re-elected Overseer
  • Phil Prelli of Connecticut, re-elected to the Executive Committee
  • Joe Fryman of Nebraska, re-elected to the Executive Committee
  • Amanda Brozana of Washington, DC, elected Lecturer
  • Chip Narvel of Delaware, re-elected Steward
  • John Plank of Indiana, re-elected Assistant Steward
  • Chris Hamp of Washington, re-elected Lady Assistant Steward
  • Barbara Borderieux of Florida, re-elected Chaplain
  • Dwight Baldwin of Iowa, re-elected Treasurer
  • and Judy Sherrod of Tennessee, re-elected Secretary.

The newly elected officers will start their terms Friday afternoon, the fourth and penultimate day of the Grange’s annual convention.

Founded in 1867, the Grange was the first fraternal farm organization in the country. Today it is also recognized as America’s number one rural family organization. There are nearly 80,000 members in 2,000 local or “Subordinate” Granges across 37 states.

Live from the 149th National Grange Convention



The National Grange Supports Congressional Attention on Broadband Deployment and Budget Proposal Language

Believes Freeing Up More Wireless Airwaves is Essential

Alleviating spectrum scarcity will directly benefit rural America and the agriculture sector

 WASHINGTON – The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will convene tomorrow at 10:00 am for a hearing titled, “Breaking Down Barriers to Broadband Infrastructure Deployment.” The gathering follows a hearing from the same Subcommittee on October 7 – “Improving Federal Spectrum Systems” –  as well as a similar discussion in Senate that same day. Perhaps most importantly, tomorrow’s hearing follows the recently-released, bipartisan budget proposal that would require the Commerce Department and Federal Communications Commission to deploy federally-held spectrum to the private market.

Ed Luttrell, the National President of The National Grange of the order of Patrons of Husbandry – a leading expert on the broadband needs for rural America – issued the following statement in preparation for the hearing:

“The National Grange applauds the continued efforts this year by Chairman Greg Walden and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo to address America’s pressing broadband needs. We are particularly pleased that the draft budget introduced Monday includes specific language designed to promptly relinquish more wireless spectrum to the private market. While we agree more must be done to deploy high-speed, fixed broadband to remote corners of the country, we believe that selling or sharing underused, federally-held spectrum is the most pressing matter. We are happy that all discussions continue to emphasize underserved communities such as rural America and urge Congress to turn words into action.”

“Mobile broadband connectivity has become an increasingly important part of life for rural Americans as it helps to close the digital divide. By deploying greater wireless resources that extend to rural America, Congress can help lead the way in providing high-speed mobile Internet and allow rural Americans to have greater access to telemedicine and educational opportunities, as well as the benefits of the growing Internet of Things.”

“If able to alleviate our spectrum scarcity, Congress would also greatly assist the agricultural community, which is heavily reliant on applications and technologies dependent on wireless connections to increase productivity. As Deere & Company Senior Vice President Cory J. Reed testified to the Senate Commerce Committee this month, ‘precision agriculture’ is increasing farm profitability by $5 to $100 per acre, and improving overall crop productivity by 15 percent.”

“We applaud the continued efforts of both Chambers of Congress in this area and welcome an open discussion.”

The National Grange has a summary post on wireless spectrum on its website. Recent opinions from state chapters can also be found online: “Rural Vermont needs wireless help from D.C.” (Vermont); “Congress can help fix Internet woes,” (West Virginia); “Rural New Yorkers need more wireless connectivity,” (New York); “Illinois farmers, businesses need more wireless resources,” (Illinois).


The National Grange of the order of Patrons of Husbandry 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.

National Grange Bids Final Farewell to Edward Andersen

EdAndersonEdward Andersen, Past National Master, passed away in his home on Friday, October 16, 2015, at the age of 89. He was the son of Hans P. and Minnie (Sorensen) Andersen, born on June 6, 1926 in Omaha, Nebraska.

During his early childhood years, Ed lived on a dairy farm in Carter Lake, Iowa. When he was 6 years old, the family moved to rural Waterloo, Nebraska, where he attended elementary school at rural District 15 and 24, and then Valley High School.

He enlisted in the US Army where he spent much time guarding and transporting Federal prisoners across the country.

Upon returning home from the service, he farmed briefly for Ralph Zimmerman feed yard in Elkhorn.

In November 1947, Ed married Darlene Denker. Shortly after, they started operating the family dairy farm south of Valley, where they raised their family of four children; Robert, Susan, Nancy and Peggy.

During this time, Ed and Darlene were very involved in numerous community organizations. Also, Ed was elected to various leadership positions on local and state agricultural boards.

Ed was dedicated and committed to the Grange organization for 60 plus years; serving as President of the Elkhorn V-E Grange, the Pomona Grange, and the Nebraska State Grange. While serving as President of the Nebraska State Grange, he was elected Vice President of the National Grange. In November of 1979, he was elected President of the National Grange. They moved to McLean, Virginia for eight years working in the National Grange office. While in D.C., Ed was appointed and served on numerous national advisory committees and boards. Peggy and her husband, Kent took over the farm at the time of Ed and Darlene’s move to Washington D.C., and continue to operate the family farm.

Upon returning to Nebraska in 1988, they built their current home adjacent to the farmstead. Ed maintained his interest in farming, and was active in the American Legion, Church, and Grange. He enjoyed being able to watch his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow as they participated in activities from school and church programs to sporting events and weddings.

Ed is survived by his wife Darlene, son Robert (Jackie) Andersen, daughters; Susan (Terry) Gilfry, Nancy (John) Prestia, Peggy (Kent) Merryweather, 10 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, brother Nels (Opal) Andersen, sister-in-law Marge Grabow, brother-in-law Howard (Lois) Denker of Elkhorn, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 3 brothers, 1 sister, and great grandson Mason Schultz.

The family would like to say “Thank You” for your support, prayers, and your friendship.

Funeral service Tuesday, 11 AM at Bethany Lutheran Church, Elkhorn with military honors. Visitation Monday from 2-8 PM with the family receiving friends from 5-8 PM at the funeral home in Elkhorn. Private interment at Prospect Hill Cemetery Elkhorn.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to the Waterloo Rescue Squad or the Valley Veterans Club.

Cards and Condolences may be sent to:

Darlene Andersen
102 S 264th Street
Waterloo, NE 68069

National Grange President’s October 2015 Message

In this October message, National Grange President Ed Luttrell discusses the the fall harvest and the upcoming Halloween holiday. Mr. Luttrell also emphasizes the importance of our State Grange annual sessions and encourages you to attend your State’s session as well as the National Session this year in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As always, we hope you like and subscribe to these videos. It’s our way of sharing important information with each and all of you.

As always, we hope you like and subscribe to these videos. It’s our way of sharing important information with each and all of you.

Close caption for this and other videos can be displayed by clicking on the closed caption icon in the bottom of the video window. (see below)

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Policy Updates and News – September 2015

Pope, Presidents and Politics

Washington, D.C is high profile in national and international headlines this week.  Pope Francis comes from Cuba to Washington to meet with President Obama, address Congress, speak to huge crowds on the Mall, conduct mass and participate in several meetings.  On the heels of the Pope’s tour comes President Xi Jinping of China for meetings with President Obama and congressional leaders.  Liberals in the nation’s capital hope the Pope will address poverty, immigration and climate change.  Conservatives hope the Pope will have abortion, selling fetal tissue, tax dollars to Planned Parenthood and the moral fabric of the nation on his agenda.  Lawmakers are hopeful the dialogue with Chinese President Xi includes common agricultural objectives, trade and science-based regulatory decision-making for biotech crops and grains.

Waters of the Unites States (WOTUS) Rule Opposition Grows

The 197-page regulation from the EPA and Corps of Engineers designed to control practically all waters and land mass in the country has received a barrage of opposition from many quarters.  A federal judge in North Dakota blocked the implementation of WOTUS in 13 states.  At total of 31 states and a dozen farmer, rancher, land owner and business organizations have filed various legal actions for WOTUS relief.  The House of Representatives has approved a bill to block the bill.  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed S. 1140 to kill the rule but supporters are still looking for the 60 votes necessary to move it to the floor.  The best chance of blocking the rule short term is likely to be an appropriations rider that would bar funding for the rule’s implementation during fiscal 2016.

Could the Monarch Butterfly be a Naturally Occurring GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)?

Research with DNA is opening up all kinds of new frontiers.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is a molecule which contains the genetic instructions that makes each species unique.  DNA samples have become routine in criminal investigations to identify individuals.  Genetic markers, called DNA barcodes, are the latest technology used to identify the genetic origin of plants, animals, bacteria and fungi.   The food industry is poised to use DNA barcodes to test authenticity of an ingredient or whether a food might be contaminated by microbes or an allergen.   A monarch butterfly’s genome contains DNA sequences that come from another species of insect.  Researchers in Spain and France found that a particular species of parasitic wasps has the ability to inject viral DNA into the caterpillar and the monarch butterfly that emerges will have its genetic makeup altered by the wasp through a process known as Horizontal Gene Transfer.  The GMO monarch’s offspring are now better able to build immune defenses against the egg-laying wasp.

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has concluded hearing arguments from Canada and Mexico regarding the amounts of retaliatory tariffs to be levied against the United States stemming from the country of origin labeling dispute.  Previously, in four separate rulings, WTO confirmed the U.S. law requiring label disclosure of where animals were born, raised and harvested was protectionist and gave less favorable treatment to Canadian and Mexican livestock.  Canada and Mexico are seeking combined retaliatory tariffs of about $3 billion annually.  A final ruling on the arbitration is expected in November.  The House of Representatives voted in June to repeal COOL.  The Senate is considering a separate bill to replace COOL with a voluntary label specifying born and raised in the USA.

Rail Service Improving for 2015 Harvest

The frustration from inconsistent and tardy rail service that plagued the 2013 and 2014 harvests doesn’t appear to be a factor for the fall of 2015.  Elevator operators are reporting good availability of rail cars and cooperation from the railroads.  This is a stark contrast to reports in 2013-14.  The seven largest railroads are expected to spend a combined $29 billion on network improvements this year.  That’s almost as much as the $35 billion from the Highway Trust Fund for the federal interstate system.

Laid-Off Workers Shun Ag Jobs

With crude oil prices in the tank and oil field workers out of jobs, one would think AG jobs, even at lower pay, would be an attractive alternative to unemployment.  Not so say farmers and ranchers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada.  Ag jobs such as livestock handling, equipment operation, truck driving and welding seem to be of little interest to laid-off roughnecks.  The workers have been accustomed to wages up to $25/hour and are drawing Canadian employment insurance benefits until those benefits expire.

If Your Health Insurance is Great, Watch Out for the “Cadillac” Tax

Beginning in 2018, a 40 percent non-deductible excise tax on high cost health plans goes into effect.  Under the Affordable Care Act, both fully insured and self-funded employer health plans will be assessed a 40 percent tax on the dollar amount of any employee premium that exceeds the annual limits of $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.  These amounts do include employer and employee contributions to flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts.

Congress to Reauthorize Mandatory Price Reporting

The Senate has approved reauthorization for USDA to continue to require meat packers to report the prices they pay for cattle, hogs and lambs, and the prices they receive for wholesale meat cuts.  The Senate also reauthorized grain inspection standards which are necessary for grains entering the export market.  The House has already passed similar reauthorization.    Previous authorization for both services expires at the end of this fiscal year September 30.

What Else is Your Grange Working On?

Tele Med Act – To allow a Medicare physician licensed in one state to treat a Medicare patient regardless of location.

Spectrum Reallocation – Legislation to reallocate spectrum (broadband connectivity) from unused government licenses to commercial (and rural) broadband.

Medicare Part D and Part 340B issues.

Patent Reform – To protect patents from infringement and frivolous lawsuits

Modernizing the Universal Lifeline Program – Continue to guarantee low cost phone service to the nation’s most vulnerable and needy citizens.

149th Annual Convention – Lincoln, Nebraska November 1014, 2015.

National Grange President’s September 2015 Message

In this September message, National Grange President Ed Luttrell discusses the the fall harvest, education, and the importance of our Grange culture. Mr. Luttrell also emphasizes the importance of our State Grange annual sessions and encourages you to attend your State’s session as well as the National Session this year in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As always, we hope you like and subscribe to these videos. It’s our way of sharing important information with each and all of you.

As always, we hope you like and subscribe to these videos. It’s our way of sharing important information with each and all of you.

Close caption for this and other videos can be displayed by clicking on the closed caption icon in the bottom of the video window. (see below)

close caption