Convention Crier – Day 2

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National Master reaffirms Grange’s ag policies in speech

BY JESSICA HORTON
Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email: jlhorton@ncgrange.com

crier_day2_pic2On Tuesday, November 12th during the Opening Session of the 147th Annual Convention National Grange Master, Ed Luttrell delivered his sixth annual address. For the first time the Master’s Annual Address was broadcast via Live-Stream to a world-wide audience and Grangers from around the country listened in. The speech was recorded and views continued to climb toward one thousand views as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lutrell’s greeting was passionate and his excitement about the National Grange returning to New Hampshire was evident.

“For the past 146 years, the Grange has focused on educating and teaching our members how to make their lives, and the communities they call home, better. We have helped generations of Americans to improve their lives through practical application of the lessons taught throughout the Order. In the Process, we have many times also changed America for the better.”

The Grange’s primary focus on agriculture was prominent in Master Luttrell’s speech. He mentioned the Farm Bill, GMO’s and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He demanded that elected officials “Pass a Farm Bill now!” and received a loud applause from the audience. He suggested that Congress separate the SNAP program from the Farm Bill or resolve the impasses they are facing. He lastly mentioned GMO’s and the National Grange’s policy to support all forms of agriculture.

Master Lutrell then passionately spoke about the country’s financial situation, he encouraged the government to handle the country’s money like an individual family and not spend more than they bring in. Master Lutrell then called on all Grangers to put aside partisanship and elect the most responsible officials possible, who will spend money wisely.

President’s Message

BY ED LUTTRELL
National Grange President | Email: eluttrell@nationalgrange.org

Ed LuttrellWhat a day Tuesday was! The officers felt a few butterflies as they prepared to open the 147th Session and proceeded to do a great job. The Annual Address and Internal Report were given and now the delegates will decide what to do with the information presented.

Don’t miss either the Heroes of the Grange luncheon or the Distinguished Grange Award reception this evening. One of the highlights of every Session is the recognition of members and Granges that have achieved success or whose efforts deserve special recognition.

This evening, we will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Junior Grange program. Be sure to be in Session for the evening activities for a great celebration in addition to the delegates getting a lot of work done.

Luttrell encouraged Americans and all Grangers to mobilize their local communities and help each other when tragedy strikes. “When two tornadoes tore through the communities outside Oklahoma City, Americans opened their wallets along with their hearts. When evil acts of murder and terrorism shocked our communities in Sandy Hook, Boston and other cities, Americans offered their support and prayers to comfort and aid those effected.”

Lutrell concluded that the revitalization of our country will happen first in the communities of our nation. The work each of us does will grow and spread across the country. “Take this invitation to be part of the solution, a solution that will ensure the American dream continues to enthrall the next generation.”

Those who missed the Annual Address may pick up a paper copy at the volunteer desk in the Currier Room or find it online at http://new.livestream.com//nationalgrange

New Grange Store goods create excitement

BY SAMANTHA JOHNSON
Sales, Benefits and Programs Director | Email: sjohnson@nationalgrange.org

crier_day2_pic1The Grange Store is excited to be back at the National Grange Convention.

It is always so good to see our members promoting Grange through the items at the store.

This year we are lucky to be able to add some new items and bring back some old items with new designs.

We have a brand new navy sweatshirt with a great design to keep you and your friends warm this winter.

Also, get ready for the summer with the brand new red star t-shirt with our tagline.

We also have our own Grange Sharpie in blue of course.

If you get business cards from the Communications Department then you need to buy the new Grange business card holder to show them off.

I am happy to finally bring back the Grange umbrella, coin purses, and lanyards with new designs. If you have been waiting you should stop by and pick one up before they’re all gone again. You can also get your new catalog at the Grange Store to see all the items, but the best way to stay current with available products is by going to www.grangestore.org that is open all year along. Before you leave Convention stop by the Starks Room and pick up your 2013 National Grange Convention Button.

Grange Youth begin busy week today

BY CASSIDY CHEDDAR
Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email: crcheddar@gmail.com

crier_day2_pic3In conjunction with the 147th Annual National Grange Convention, State Youth Ambassadors and Young Couples will be attending their own events. Throughout the week, Youth Ambassadors will be competing to become the National Youth Ambassadors.

Events will kick off when the Youth officially visit the session Wednesday evening. Later that night, a Get Acquainted Party will allow everyone to have fun and get to know each other. In addition, the Youth Tour will involve visits to the Anheuser-Busch Stables, the N.H. State House, and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, and a community service project at Easter Seals.

The Thrift Shop-themed Costume Party and Dance Thursday night is expected to be a hit.

The National Grange Youth Officer Team will be opening session on Friday morning. That evening, during the G.R.O.W. (Go Right On Working) Club banquet, the Youth Ambassadors, Officers and Legislative Experience Youth will have the opportunity to hear the New Hampshire Secretary of Agriculture speak.

Throughout the week, Youth will also have the opportunity to attend various workshops as well. The National Youth Ambassadors, Jimmy Smith and Courtney Gray, will be leading the Grange Jeopardy Contest and a Parli-Pro Fun workshop.

Michael Martin, National Membership Director, will be hosting one to encourage membership growth. In addition, one on “Cracking the Code to Deaf Interpretation” will be held on Thursday.

State Youth Ambassadors include: Ashlee Schif, Kansas; Erin Tully, Massachsetts; Montana Wrigley and Justin Leonard, North Carolina; Ashley Mohn and Benjamin Wadsworth, Pennsylvania; and Erica Cozad and Aaron Gwin, Washington. Nolan and Abby Strawder from Kansas and Josh and Camille Barfield from North Carolina are attending as State Young Couples.

Junior Alumni discuss value of program

BY MANDY BOSTWICK
Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email: mandybostwick@gmail.com

crier_day_1_pic5Five Junior Grange Alumni members took time out of their busy schedule to sit down and talk about their experiences in the Junior Grange.

The alumni include: Beth Merrill, New Hampshire; Nathan Strawder, Kansas; Kathy Yardley, New Hampshire; and Duane Scott, Wisconsin. They all joined the Junior Grange at the age of 5 and Roger Bostwick, Kansas, joined at the age of 8.

What did Junior Grange mean to you?
Duane: It meant camp, history lessons, and doing your part in the programs at the different holiday. It taught me to be a good citizen. I learned about flag etiquette, how to treat people, how to run a meeting and how to get along with your friends.

Kathy: It allowed me to be an officer and to be a part of a group of other kids learning the same values and being unified as a group.

Beth: It was good for me because I was quiet and shy and the structure that it offers is very supportive and encouraging.

Nathan: Junior Grange is where you learn everything about the Grange. It teaches you how to present the flag, where you learn to conduct a meeting, how to properly use parliamentary procedure, and how to get involved with community service at a young age and make it seem like a natural thing as you get older.

Roger: It was a chance for me to get together with friends, other than school friends, because I belonged to a Grange that wasn’t in my school district. It also means fun activities at camp and fellowship
with others.

Why is Junior Grange still relevant today?
Beth: The structure and having a Junior Grange meeting to go to helps give them an opportunity to learn social skills by distracting the isolation that technology can create.

Nathan: Junior Grange is where you learn everything about the Grange. You also learn to become a respectful citizen and the basic skills you need in society. It gives children a valuable place in the Grange. Every Grange member that was a Junior Granger should look back on those days and think about what it would mean today, with the friendships throughout your life and connecting with people across the state. Decisions and actions that we make today have a direct influence on the future of the Junior program and Junior Grangers.

Kathy: The values are the same as when I was a Junior and they are more relevant today than ever because kids need the life skills, structure and leadership.

Roger: It’s the building block for Youth activities and then activities at the upper levels of the Grange. Without Junior Grange, I would not be the Granger that I am today. It helped turn me into a well-rounded leader, and helped me be able to speak in front of a group of people.

Duane: It is relevant today because we still need to teach our young people how to be good citizens. It’s part of the lessons of the Grange; having respect for the flag, how to work as a team, doing things for your community, things that are still relevant that children aren’t getting today.

What is your fondest memory or memories in the Junior Grange?
Roger: Some of my fondest memories include midnight hikes with Warren “Nature Boy” Decker, working towards earning the merit badges and learning about the organization that came with it, and also meeting my wife, Melanie, even if at the time she hated me.

Beth: To go to Junior Grange meetings we had to go to another town to pick up friends and we got to ride in the bed of the pick-up. I also remember skits that I did with my friend Alice at meetings.  Also, the National  representative complimented me at our state session on my job as Master for the Junior degree.

Nathan: I was the Junior Grange Prince for my state and I remember how cool I thought I was to wear my Prince sash to the zoo along with my cousin, Nicole, who was the Junior Princess. I also really enjoyed going to Junior Camp. At camp there were multiple pranks between the boys and girls dorm that included articles of clothing that ended up on the flagpole or in the freezer and stories of the red-eyed albino lady. I also chipped a tooth, smashed a finger and had a severe ankle sprain at various Junior camps. It also made me feel really special to sit by State Officers when opening the Grange during the Junior Day at state session.

Kathy: Going to State Junior Grange Day and participating in baking and talent contest. I also remember the paper bag game and other activities at regular meetings.

Duane: My Junior Leader, Helen Carlson, always had fun learning activities for us Juniors. I still have all the merit badges on the sash and my Super JG pin.

Living the lessons of the Degrees

BY NOLAN AND ABBY STRAWDER
Kansas Young Couple of the Year

While reviewing the first four degrees in our Subordinate Grange Manual, we found the Second Degree to be most evident in our everyday lives, especially with its association with the youth leg of the Grange journey.

The First Degree lessons lay the foundation for life and the initial Grange journey. The First Degree teaches us about preparation in our lives, towards obtaining tools and resources to prepare us for the journey, then using Faith to guide us moving forward.

This degree is focused towards the beginning of the journey, childhood: The Second Degree lessons guide us through our youth, the most eventful time of our lives. The Second Degree teaches us to use our preparation in childhood and take a chance on life by “planting our seeds” into what interests us and cultivate these interests into a career or life path. This degree teaches us to nurture Hope in these interests/choices for our journey.
The Third Degree lessons focus on Charity, giving, and how to treat others.

In this degree, all of the hard work and life choices have rewarded us with excess and now we can focus on giving back to others through charity. This degree teaches us to treat other people with cheerfulness, respect and with love. This degree is focused towards adulthood.

The Fourth Degree lessons focus on Fidelity, family, and appreciation for our country and home. This degree appreciates all of the wisdom and lessons of the previous degrees and reinforces loyalty to our friends, family, the land and our home. Also, this degree suggests we teach others our lessons and encourage them to follow in our footsteps. This degree is focused towards old age.

The Second Degree’s primary lesson is Hope. Hope is when you invest your time and/or resources into an activity, object, or being with the expectation that there will be a reward for your efforts.

We have hope in our everyday lives in about everything we do. Both of us have invested our time and money to attend college in hopes that we would find a career that is perfect for us. In addition, we hope that our devotion to marriage will provide us long, happy lives and a loving family.

This degree has several other lessons that are associated with Hope.

The Chaplain teaches us to do good for others, hoping for nothing in return, knowing that our reward shall be great. We have made a commitment to donate money monthly to two charitable organizations
without any expectations to receive gifts in return.

We have gained satisfaction by knowing that we are helping these less fortunate people, specifically, our “adopted” children, Elmer in Guatemala and Zandile in South Africa, and that we get the opportunity to write letters to them and learn more about their culture and life. Furthermore, we participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization where we were paired up with our little sister, Kayla.

The Master emphasizes that once we have “planted our seeds” in life, we need to cultivate and nurture them to make sure they have a chance to reach to their full potential. In addition, we need to continue to aspire towards higher and broader knowledge.

After college, Nolan took the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam to prepare him to get his Professional Engineering License and Abby continues to take classes and research literature to broaden her knowledge in her interests, hoping to someday own a business. Every day, we are nurturing hope that our efforts in our education will bring us satisfaction when we aspire to achieve our career goals.

The tools of this degree, the hoe and the pruning knife, each teach us a different lesson in life that we use almost every day.

The hoe is emblematic of the cultivation of the mind that destroys error and keeps our thoughts ready to receive and apply new facts, as they appear to promote growth of knowledge and wisdom.

The pruning knife reminds us to get rid of idle thoughts and sinful suggestions, to maintain our life passage within our bounds, and to prevent us from getting caught up in vanities and vices of the world.

These lessons are beneficial in our everyday lives. We maintain a budget to make sure that we live within our means, in hopes to have a good home and solid nest for our future family. We both look for the positive in our lives, pruning out negative thoughts and habits that are not helpful towards a constructive future. We believe the figurative hoe and pruning knife are tools that we should keep in our tool belt all our lives, constantly changing and  evaluating on our way to being our best selves.

In conclusion, we are living out the Grange values unconsciously every day. We look to the future full of hope, in our infancy of young adulthood, trying to build ourselves up as responsible, morally ethical and Christian people. We realize the struggles we face today will build our character tomorrow, and that what we put in, we will also get out. As we use the figurative tools of the hoe and pruning knife, we are molding and shaping ourselves into something that we can take pride in, and we hope pass these values down to our future children and inspire those around us to take heart, have faith, and hope for the best.

Cookbook with focus on children’s recipes used as fundraiser

BY MANDY BOSTWICK
Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email: mandybostwick@gmail.com

The Hopewell Junior Grange disbanded many decades ago. Trisha Renken had fond memories of going to camp and meeting kids from other areas. She thought when her kids got old enough to rejuvenate it so they could have the same fun experiences.

Renken and Carrie Wade got together in December of 2011 and held a meet and greet at a local elementary school. At their first meeting they had several children because it was held right after school. The children shared a snack and they held a short meeting in the music room and then followed with a craft.

Throughout the year the Junior Grange grew and they were able to reinstate with 13 members.

In 2012, they were given a duplicate charter during the Illinois State Session, which shows that they were originally chartered in 1928 as Hopewell Junior Grange #16. The Junior program has been so successful that parents want to be a part of the Grange and they have had four new members join the Subordinate Grange.

Every year Hopewell Junior Grange does a fundraiser and this year Trisha asked the Juniors what they thought about the idea of putting together a cookbook and selling it. The kids loved the idea!

One of the Juniors asked if they could share the proceeds with another of their members who has juvenile arthritis. The Juniors voted, unanimously, to donate half the proceeds of the cookbook to the Arthritis Foundation to be used specifically for a juvenile patient like their Junior member.

A cookbook is no easy task to put together.  Renken shared that; in the beginning one of the hardest parts was the concept of the cookbook and getting the ideas. Since the cookbook was for kids they decided that their main focus needed to be just that; recipes for kids.

This cookbook has recipes divided into three different categories; recipes kids like to eat, recipes kids like to make and recipes kids can make and play with.

The Juniors came across an old Grange cookbook that was put together by the Women’s Activities committee in Illinois.

They got permission from the Illinois Executive committee to utilize the recipes and off they went.

Another problem that they faced was that they wanted to have recipes that kids could use and only need minimal adult supervision. These recipes might have help from an adult with cutting an item but then the kids can assemble the food themselves.  It was also difficult finding recipes that kids can use to play with. They used the Internet to find recipes for things such as play dough.

The current concern of Hopewell Junior Grange is selling enough cookbooks to meet their goal of 200. Each cookbook is $20 with $5.60 for shipping and handling to anywhere in the United States.

If you’re looking for a good Christmas gift and also want to help support two good causes you can order cookbooks in a variety of ways. You can mail a check written to Hopewell Junior Grange to Trisha Renken, 414 Holland Rd Apt 1, Germantown Hills, IL 61548 and she will send the cookbook right out. You can also email her at TrishaReed2002@yahoo.com.

How the first Grange was chartered in Georgia since 1885

BY MICHAEL MARTIN
Leadership/Membership Director | Email: membership@nationalgrange.org

crier_day_1_pic11For the past several years a dedicated team of Patrons, spear-headed by Randy and Linda Lewis, has worked to organize and support Subordinate Granges in Nevada.

As sometimes happens in Granges everywhere, a key person in one of our fledgling Granges in Pahrump, Nv., left and the organization was in turmoil.

This summer has witnessed the reinvigoration of Pahrump Grange.

We were able to identify and support new leadership. They have changed signatures on the bank account, caught up with their incorporation fees and elected new officers.

In August, they met jointly with Sandy Valley and Amargosa Valley Granges and selected Nevada’s honorary delegate to National Grange convention.

Please say hello to Wade Schneiderman, honorary delegate from Nevada, as you see him throughout the convention.

The three Granges will meet together again in December to discuss the potential for organizing a Pomona Grange.

Providing ongoing support to new Granges where there are no neighboring Granges takes coordination and persistence.

I thank Rusty Hunt from Washington for overseeing a team of dedicated Patrons who traveled to Nevada in small groups to provide a consistent and supportive presence to all three Nevada Granges during this past year.

Those who assisted by attending local Grange meetings in Nevada include Don & Jeannie Billmire of Idaho; Terry and Mary Hunt from Washington; and Scott & Marie Nicholson from Montana. Randy and Linda Lewis continue to be in close contact with the Nevada Granges, although Randy’s health has not allowed travel for face-to-face support. Many thanks to Duane Hamp and the Washington State Grange for allowing the flexibility for Rusty to travel repeatedly to Nevada.

The elements that make us

BY ASHLEY PEDERSON
Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email: adpeders@ncsu.edu

Passion.
We can all agree we have a huge passion for this organization. We can all pin point a specific moment that we were impacted by the Grange, whether it is fellowship with new people, a place for our children to go or advocating for rural America.

The positive influence Grange has had in our lives is story we need to share, to grow membership within our Granges.

Purpose.
The original founders of the Grange and the rural America who sought out a greater opportunity for their lives had a vision.

They saw themselves growing because of a common bond and took action to make that vision a reality. They had a purpose as to why they created the Grange. This week we continue their efforts and the purpose to serve our National Grange.

Opportunity.
Each individual Grange is similar, yet different. Realizing our potential for our members requires the right opportunities and resources.

If we want to see growth we must invest in the development of Granges. Michael Martin, Leadership/Membership Development Director, mentions, “States I’ve been invited to are partnering with state masters and membership directors and we have had success in recruiting new members and organizing new Granges.”

Utilizing the resources we have available in the Grange, allows us to seize opportunities.

Community.
Sudbury Grange in Massachusetts is seeing the efforts of growth in their Grange community and striving to see progress and revitalization of their Grange.

“The hope is that not only an existing Grange will grow in membership. A new leadership team will be coming to the forefront to enable the members who do not live in Sudbury to work towards the reorganization of a Grange in their hometown of Holliston,” said Janet Horne, a member of Sudbury Grange.

Think of the impact we have on our communities, from the mountains to the coast. How will you choose to grow your communities?

Success.
To encourage the continued growth we have seen in the Grange this year we must recognize the success we have had.

We have seen growth in several of our State Grange’s membership, including our host state, New Hampshire. This year, we have even had success by expanding into three States were there has not been a presence of the Grange in many years.

People who have a passion for spreading the purpose of this organization will be the ones who seek out the opportunities to cultivate our Grange communities. They will also be the ones who have success to Grow Our Grange!

51 Distinguished Granges named

BY SAMANTHA JOHNSON
Sales, Benefits and Programs Director | Email: sjohnson@nationalgrange.org

distinguished_grangeTonight we are excited to celebrate our Distinguished Granges at our third annual ice cream reception. This is our fourth year doing this program and I am thrilled this year because we had a huge rise in participation.
We are honoring 10 State Granges and I am happy to say that we doubled our Subordinate Grange applications to 51.

I am pleased to tell you that we had 30 new Community Granges that became Distinguished Granges for the 2012-13 year. I loved the fact that this year’s applicants came from some of our smallest states, it just goes to show that every Grange can become distinguished.

We are honoring two State Granges and seven Subordinate Granges for the fourth year in a row; one State Grange and four Subordinate Granges for the third year; and three State Granges and 10 Subordinate Granges for the second year in a row.

When you talk to members from these Granges ask them how they got started and what you might do to add your Grange’s name to the list of Distinguished Granges.

I hope these Granges encourage you and your Grange to apply for the 2013-14 Distinguished Grange Award.

If you didn’t receive an application in your registration packet you can pick one up at the Idea Fair or download one from www.nationalgrange.org.

National Pomona adds gold to collection

BY NICK OLIVER
Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email: nickmmoliver@gmail.com

crier_day2_pic4National Pomona Christine Hamp added some bling to her collection on Nov. 6 at the World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters World Championships in Reno, NV.

Hamp competed in the Law/Fire Division.

As the Captain of her fire department, Hamp felt that the job was not getting easier as the years went on, she also expressed that being a woman fire fighter has brought on its fair share of critics that question if she can do the same work as male fire fighters.

So, in the spirit of competition she decided to begin working out more to not just be as good as the male fire fighters, but to be stronger and better than them.

Soon after she began working out more she and her colleagues realized that she was lifting a lot of weight, and it had been proposed that she should lift weights competitively.

Hamp began to lift in competitions in 2011, she explained that competitive lifting is a lot like boxing or wrestling in the sense of how the classes of lifters are formed and divided. The divisions of lifters are based off of age, weight and height.

Hamp competed in two different divisions, one age specific and the other open to all ages.

Hamp competed in both the bench press and the dead lift. She was able to increase the Washington state record in the bench press from 181 lbs. to 203.7 lbs.

Also, she increased not only the Washington state but world record in the dead lift from 336 lbs. to 358 lbs.

This competition had lifters from around the world from all different age groups.

“It’s always fun to get to there and beat the young pups,” Hamp said.

She said that it’s the natural sense of competition within her that inspires her to be the best weight lifter she can be, the best fire fighter she can be and also the best Granger she can be.

Delegates enjoy breakfast, tour of brewery

BY DEBBIE GEGARE
Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email: debgegare@gmail.com

crier_day2_pic6No fancy tour buses for the delegates going out on tour Tuesday morning.

The group loaded up on two yellow school buses and headed over to the New Hampshire State Grange building for a filling breakfast served by the Manchester Community
Grange #359, which is one of the newest Granges in the State.

After viewing some historical Grange displays, they were off to the Anheuser-Busch for a brewery tour.

They learned some history of the company and then toured the factory.

Delegates got to see the actual process of making beer from the grain room to the final bottling area. A stop at the stables was next to see the World famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.

Besides seeing the horses, which were in the process of being fed and groomed for the day, there were two Dalmatians that captured everyone’s attention.

The group finished the tour by seeing a few of the Anheuser-Busch famous beer wagons and then back to the hotel for the opening session.

“It was a great tour. I found it to be very interesting with a lot of fascinating facts. It was the right amount of things to see in the time we were allowed,” said Scott Nicholson, Montana State Master.

Do you KNOW the Herd?

Alaska – Murray the Seal Ohio – Wade the Mallard
Colorado – Claudia the Skunk Oklahoma – Penelope (Penny) the Prairie Dog
Connecticut – Hank the Burro Oregon – Hannah the Black Bear
D.C. – Clark the Eagle Pennsylvania – Ralph the Groundhog
Delware – Eve the Fox Rhode Island – Allie the Llama
Florida – Otis the Armadillo South Carolina – Liz the Hedgehog
Idaho – Ernie the Mountain Goat Tennessee – Jolene the Possum
Illinois – Ace the Deer Texas – Lou the Longhorn
Indiana – Faye the Ferret Vermont – Gabriella (Gabby) the Lamb
Iowa – April the Pig Washington – Pierce the Elk
Kansas – Dusty the Bull West Virginia – Sid the Squirrel
Maine – Jefferson the Moose Wisconsin – Beatrice the Cow
Maryland – Skip the Horse Virignia – Scarlett the Cat
Massachusetts – Isaac the Owl Wyoming – Frederick the Brown Horse
Michigan – Chuck the Badger Arkansas – Lily the Barn Owl
Minnesota – Wendy the Wolf California – Tucker the Yorkie
Montana – Bruce the Buffalo Georgia – Becka the Border Collie
Nebraska – Bert the Baby Goat Louisana – Dalia the Alligator
Nevada – Moe the Tortoise Alabama – Abe the Hare
New Hampshire – Noel the Hamster South Dakota – Kimber the Coyote
New Jersey – Sal the Chipmunk Youth – Freeda the Mouse
New York – Grant the Beaver Membership – Lucy (Lucille) the Cattledog
North Carolina – Macy the Raccoon Legislative – June the Hog