New Grange to be paperless all of 2013

By Amanda Leigh Brozana |
National Grange Communications Director

Due to budgetary constraints, the National Grange has announced that it will not produce a printed edition of the New Grange in 2013.

The decision was made by the National Grange Board of Directors and approved by the delegate body as part of the passage of the 2013 National Grange Budget during the 146th Annual Convention in Boise, Idaho, held Nov. 11-17 for delegates.

National Grange Communications Director Amanda Leigh Brozana said the department is committed to providing information to all members through a regularly scheduled e-newsletter service, but said dissemination of that information will require the assistance of each member in this effort.

“If you know members who do not have email or the internet, please volunteer or find someone in your Grange who will print and distribute the e-newsletter editions to members,” Brozana said. “Every member who has an email address should be encouraged to sign up for our mailing list. Members can choose what products they want to receive, such as Grange news, benefits information and fraternal concerns.”

Brozana said about 9,000 people currently subscribe by email to the National Grange mailing list, while only about 8,500 were on the traditional printed New Grange mailing list.

“And a lot of those 8,500 copies weren’t going to members. They were going to old addresses that had never been updated by secretaries or members, some were going to members who had passed away and their families thought the Grange would know so they never canceled the subscription,” Brozana said.

Newsletters include many pieces of helpful information, including new programs, benefits, sales and legislative briefings.

“Members who are unable to receive this information miss out on much of what their dues were meant to cover,” Brozana said.

Brozana said the National Grange will adhere to the following publication schedule for 2013, producing e-newsletter editions during the following weeks:

Jan.  7 & 22
Feb. 4 & 25
March 11 & 25
April 8 & 22
May 6 & 20
June 3 & 17
July 1 & 22
Aug. 12 & 26
Sept. 9 &23
Oct. 7 & 21

November will include a convention round up featuring daily newsletters from the 147th Annual Convention Dec. 9

Brozana asked that all members receiving communications currently from the National Grange spread the word about  e-newsletters and encourage their Grange Brothers and Sisters to SUBSCRIBE in order to get on the mailing list.

Brozana also encouraged members to submit articles or story tips for the e-newsletter online at or by sending the information directly to

Today is kick-off to new Membership Campaign

By Amanda Leigh Brozana |
National Grange Communications Director

In the Grange, 13 is a special number. Each Grange must have 13 members, and every Grange has 13 officers, plus its executive committee.

With 2013 just around the corner, and a serious need to see membership growth in the ranks of every local Grange across the nation, the Membership Department is rolling out a new, time-sensitive campaign using social media to encourage membership.

Called the 13Second Campaign, the initiative encourages all members using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to post a personal status or tweet on the 13th of every month from December 2012 through December 2013 – a total of at least 13 posts – that tell a personal story of what the Grange means to you and encouraging non-members to ask for more information or to join.

Membership/Leadership Director Michael Martin said the campaign allows every member to show their commitment and take ownership in growing the Grange.

“Growing our membership must be a prior­ity of every Grange and every Grange member,” Martins said. “This grassroots campaign will draw attention to the positive personal impact the Grange has made on our members’ lives.”

Martin said the campaign modernizes and works from the concept Granges have learned and discussed for years: the elevator speech.

“I ask that members across the country, that means you personally, take time – about 13 seconds – on the 13th of each month, starting today to post to your social networks a kind of social media elevator post,” Martin said. “These posts should tell a brief anecdote about the Grange’s importance in your community and in your life, and they should encourage your social media friends to ask you more about our Order.”

Grangers who participate are encouraged to end each of their tweets or posts with #13Seconds so the National Grange can see how many messages were posted, shared and discussed, determine what stories and anecdotes seem to draw the most attention and assist in other areas of membership and recruitment.

“I challenge you to do your part by actively participating in this campaign. Actively tell people about your positive Grange experience and ask at least 13 people to join the Grange between now and December 13, 2013,” Martin said.

If you participate and have success, Martin asks that you share the information with him by email at Include in the email your name and name and number of your Grange. Include the post that prompted the new member to join and the new member’s name and Grange.

Martin said the National Grange will recognize everyone who reports success as part of this campaign during the 2013 Annual National Grange Convention.

“Over the next 13 months, if, together, we bring in 100 net new members each month, we will achieve a net gain in membership for the Grange as a whole. Together, in these next 13 months, we will grow the Grange,” Martin said.

New President of Delaware State Grange Elected

DOVER – Newark native Michael K. Lynch was elected the new Delaware State Grange President at the group’s annual convention Dec. 8.

Lynch, 60, has been a Grange member for more than 20 years, serving in most offices at his local Centre Grange No. 11 in Centreville where his wife, Helen, and her family have long been members.

Lynch called the Grange a “great organization that allows the entire family to be involved” and said he looks forward to inviting more families to become a part of the nearly 140-year-old State Grange.

Previously Lynch served as state Grange Vice President under immediate former President William “Chip” Narvel Jr., who was recently honored by the National FFA for his exceptional support and personal commitment in advancing agriculture education, and awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree.

After being elected President, Lynch said he looked forward to working with Granges across the state to modernize communication and electronic connection between local Grange and the State and National offices, to providing members the best possible support and preparing short and long-term plans for growth and continued success of the Grange in Delaware.

“I see a lot of opportunity here to expand into areas we have been before but are not now,” Lynch said. “I think we have the opportunity to grow in many ways, with connections to FFA and 4-H, and reconnecting with our communities.”

Lynch said the Grange serves as a very positive force in a state filled with agriculture production and a population that understands so little about the industry.

“So many think food comes from the grocery story,” Lynch said. “We have not only the opportunity but the burden of informing people about the importance and truth of agriculture.”

Membership Highlights

By Michael J. Martin |
National Grange Leadership/Membership Development Director

Last month, at the 146th annual session of the National Grange in Boise, Idaho, I shared membership highlights with the delegate body. I want to share this information with each of you in this newsletter.

Hearty thanks and kudos for the hard, steady work of our State Masters and Membership Directors. As a result of their efforts, nine states realized net gains in membership this year! Oklahoma topped the list with a net gain of 272 new members and a percentage growth of 15.9 percent. Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia also had net gains in membership.

We have 2,048 local Granges as of the second quarter of 2011. Of that total, 461 local Granges realized net gains in membership. Another 489 Granges held steady; that is, they neither gained nor lost members last year. Of our local Granges, 46 percent are holding steady or growing.

We have 75,320 Fraternal Members, 86,135 Supportive Members, 2,193 Associate Members and 45 E-members for a total membership of 163,693 as of the second quarter of 2012.

At the local level, kudos to Feather River No. 440 in California with the highest net gain in the nation of 85 new members. Their Grange grew from 48 to 133 members in the past year. Springfield Grange No. 523 in California had the highest percentage gain at 222 percent. They grew from 37 to 119 members. Chester Royal Grange No. 2181 in Iowa had a 218 percent percentage gain. They grew from 11 to 35 members. Nationally, 461 Granges had net gains in membership totaling 2,979 net new members, and we know many more members joined our 2,048 Community Granges.

The First Law of Grange Communications: You’re doin it even if you’re not

By Amanda Leigh Brozana |
National Grange Communications Director

Like gravity in physics, communication has laws.

An essential one that we all should remember is that “One cannot not communicate.” Double negative aside, the statement is poignant. No matter if we choose to create flyers, write articles, hang banners, publish newsletters, build websites, create social media profiles or give speeches or not, we are telling a broader public something about our organization.

If we choose not to in some way spread the message of the Grange, we are sending a message that the Grange is not worth our efforts.

Because of this, it is important that every Grange and every Grange member make communicating positively about our organization and your local Granges a priority as we look to 2013.

As of early 2012, every Grange was provided a free websites and email by the National Grange.  We have also worked to encourage Granges to take advantage of free social networking sites such as Facebook to create pages (not profiles or groups) that are public and share the images, stories and details about our Granges with the communities in which we are a part.

Taking advantage of these mediums tells the public that the Grange is a place where things happen, people enjoy their interactions and want others to be a part of the fun. Without embracing new technologies, we tell others they are not welcome in our clique.

All Granges should create a communications plan for 2013 as a way to spread your message, our message and as a result, potentially bring in new members. Part of that plan should include social media, and can include specifics like “being part of the 13Seconds Campaign.”

The Communications Department will offer many outreach sessions this year, in the form of communication weekend workshops in different areas of the country, monthly conference call meetings and more. We hope you will take the time to provide your ideas, suggestions and comments to the department including how we can best help your Grange.  Please send comments and suggestions to

The Department’s conference call schedule is as follows:

Jan 29: Facebook Pages
Feb 26: Optimizing your Grange website
March 26: Promoting Grange Month
April 30: Priming for Post-Grange Month Success
May 28: Telling the story of our American Values. Hometown Roots.
June 25: Recruiting and Managing Interns
July 30: Programming for Success
Aug 27: Creating Podcasts
Sept 24: Sustainable Coverage Strategies
Oct 29: Making Policy News
Nov 26: Recipes for Success
CANCELED IN DECEMBER (due to New Year’s Eve)

Every few weeks, the department will be rolling out new programs, services and supportive measures. We hope you’ll do your part and direct the message of the Grange in 2013.

National Grange seeks interns for legislative, communications, programs and historical research/preservation

By Amanda Leigh Brozana |
National Grange Communications Director

The National Grange is seeking interns at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., located just one block from the White House.

The Grange building is easily accessible from the Farragut North and Farragut West metro stations as well as a number of bus routes.

Communications Director Amanda Leigh Brozana said the National Grange is in the process of several large-scale projects and seek an organized, reliable, confident individual to become a part of the team for the spring, summer or fall.

“While there will be days of endless scanning, data entry and general organizational work, the intern will also help to produce material for our legislative, communications, events, trademark/brand management, membership and sales departments,” Brozana said. “The intern will get to interact with some of the best people in the country – our members – and learn more about the legislative and lobbying process, public relations, programs planning, fundraising, graphic communications, event planning and marketing.”

Internships are open to all student levels and all majors, interns must be at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the U.S. and willing to submit to a background check, as is the policy of our organization, Brozana said.

This is an unpaid internship, though MetroBenefits – compensation for commuting to and from work – may be available.  Additional scholarship opportunities may also be available for interns. Interns with a research interest may also submit ideas for projects that could garner support.

A specific interest is in candidates who have an interest in writing for media, historical preservation and research, legislative research and advocacy assistance or database administration.

Those interested should reply by email at with a resume and contact information as well as your prospective start and end date.  More information will be provided during a follow-up interview.

Apathy Not Allowed: New Youth Legislative Program Unveiled for 2013

By Grace Boatright |
National Grange Legislative Director

The National Grange Legislative Department already has several irons in the fire for 2013. Obviously, with the new Congress coming into town, I’ll spend quite a lot of time on the Hill getting to know the new legislators and their staff. I also plan to do quite a bit of fundraising in 2013 to help bring in some new money, which will also include writing a “fundraising guidebook” for the state and local Granges to use as well.

One of my top priorities for 2013 is to install a dedicated stream of communication between the National Grange and the state and local Granges. That includes writing more blogs, emails, newsletters and most of all- updating our Action Alert system. Grangers can’t advocate for themselves if they don’t know what’s going on, and it’s my job to see that they’re aware of what’s happening here in DC. Even more than that, I want to teach Grangers how to advocate for themselves and become involved members of their communities.

As part of my efforts to teach Grangers about advocacy, I’ve developed a program called Apathy Not Allowed that is aimed at teaching youth and young adults the vital importance of civic participation. Naturally, this includes teaching them the importance of voting, but I really want to show them how to influence public policy in other ways. Voter turnout for federal elections usually averages between 50 and 60% of eligible voters. I think that’s a horrible number and explains many of the problems we’re currently experiencing in this country. Democracy might be the best form of government, but it’s still government and we as citizens always need to be mindful of what our government is doing. Public apathy towards government, politics and public policy is how government oppression takes root and we can never allow that to happen.

Similarly, I’ve also started to develop a new “mission” of sorts for the Grange: trying to get agricultural education back into our public schools. Currently, most public school curriculum is completely void of any and all agricultural education. We are raising a generation of kids who have no concept of where their food comes from or the methods by which it is grown. This has led to a general public that is easily swayed by anti-agricultural groups and the untruths they spread. Educating them at a young age, showing them all of the ways in which agriculture and rural America impacts their lives is the only way to ensure that our youth will come to value agriculture and possibly even choose farming or ranching as their careers one day.

However, this new mission isn’t simply a business decision, but represents a higher calling necessary to the sustainment of an efficient and abundant food supply. The world population has doubled since 1960 and is expected to double again by 2050. Meanwhile, the number of people employed in agriculture has been cut in half since 1946 and now less than 1% of the population can claim farming as their occupation. In other words, the demand for food is rising at an alarming rate, and our ability to meet that demand has fallen by just as much. This absolutely cannot continue if we expect to enjoy the same safe and competent food supply we do now. As a community-based, nonpartisan organization, the Grange has a unique opportunity to begin this campaign and change the future for generations to come and I want to get started on that change right away.