Convention Crier – Day 3

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125 years of Junior Grange Celebrated

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

crier_day2_pic11125 years is quite the milestone for any organization. Having 125 years of Junior members in the Grange is an accomplish­ment we should all be proud of. During the Wednesday evening session, Master Ed Luttrell asked the delegate body and all visiting Grange members what year it was. The crowd responded with “2013.” Executive Committee Mem­ber Phil Prelli an­nounced that it was the 125th birthday of the Junior Grange.

Master Ed Luttrell asked all Junior Grange alumni to stand and a large number of Grange members stood. He then asked Junior Grange Leaders past and present to stand, followed by supporters the Junior Grange Program. Not a single person was seated at that point. Several rounds of ap­plause were given to these groups as they stood to represent their time spent as a Ju­nior or supporter of the Junior Program.

First Lady Celia Luttrell was asked by Master Ed Luttrell to reflect on what be­ing a Junior Granger meant to her. Celia Luttrell has raised three children in the Junior Grange and is encouraging them to include the Junior Grange in the lives of her grandchildren. She said, “Junior Grange is something we all should be proud of.” Celia Luttrell, who is one of six children, said she was quiet when she started out as a Junior Granger but grow­ing up in the Junior Grange changed that. She went on to become a Junior Leader.

A young man come up to her long after he had grown out of Junior Grange and said, “Mrs. Luttrell, you have no idea how much of a difference you made in my life because of the Junior Grange.”

Following Celia Luttrell’s refletion, a few minutes were given to Grange members to share their memories of Ju­nior Grange. Nine Junior Grange Alumni shared their stories from their time spent as Junior Grangers. They told stories of fun times they had at camp and stories about friendships that started in the Ju­nior Grange. There were laughs and teary eyes, and every member of the alumni understood exactly what those who shared their stories were describing.

Master Ed Luttrell directed one final remark to the delegate body, “For the work that you did this year and last year to keep the Junior Grange program vital and growing, I thank you.”

To end the 125th year celebration of the Junior Grange, cake was served to all in attendance, starting with the current Junior Grangers.

President’s Message

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

Ed LuttrellThe best topping for the ice cream sundaes last night was the recognition of the Community and State Granges who earned the Distinguished Grange Award. The reception was followed by the celebration of 125 years of Junior Grange, or Juvenile Grange as many of our older members remember it.

Today, the delegates will select the leaders of the National Grange for the next two years. The National Grange began this method of election in 1873 and it has helped keep our process free of blatant campaigning. In the afternoon, the impressive memorial service will be held.

This evening will be the business meeting of the Assembly of Demeter. The current and past voting members of the National Grange are the Voting Members of the Assembly. Come and find out what the Assembly does and see the three officers elected.

18 officers up for election

BY COREY SPENCE
Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email: corey.spence@ymail.com

This year the National Grange will elect fifteen officers to fill the stations and three officers for the Assembly of Demeter.

Granges hold elections in many dif­ferent ways. At National Grange the delegates gather in the session room. The ballet box is opened for one of the positions without nominations and voting begins. As soon as all delegates who wish have voted, the ballot box is closed.

After balloting is complete, one of the Assistant Stewards will open the ballots one at a time and hand the bal­lot to the other Assistant who reads out the name. The Secretary repeats the name and then announces the num­ber of votes the person has received to that point. If no one is selected in that round of voting, the ballot box is opened again and the Assistant Stewards reverse roles for the ballot counting. This process continues until someone has a majority of the votes, half plus one.

Stephen Coye, Master of the New York State Grange says, “There is no more democratic way to have an elec­tion than the way the National Grange does it.”

New Grange Youth brand unveiled

BY CASSIDY CHEDDAR
Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email: crcheddar@gmail.comcrier_day2_pic10

For decades, the National Grange Youth Department has used a key chain logo to represent the depart­ment. Thursday morning, the Youth and Young Adults program will be re­ceiving a new look. Ad Farm, an ag­ricultural marketing company agreed to revamp the design in order to better match the needs and wants of today’s Grange Youth.

The new logo and design was un­veiled first at the State Youth Directors’ meeting. The rebranded items were then put on sale. The official reveal of the new logo will occur during the Youth workshop Saturday morning.Ad Farm conducted a survey of youth and young adult members to determine what values were most im­portant to them. They realized the cur­rent key chain design was not resonat­ing with the youth as it had in the past.

Ad Farm incorporated aspects that ap­pealed specifically to the youth, while still reflecting the history and values of the organization. The result is a mod­ern, appealing look that can better con­nect with youth members.

Former Ag Commissioner speaks at breakfast

BY BRYAN MARCHEFSKY
PA State Grange Public Relations & Membership Director | Email: publicrelations@pagrange.org

crier_day2_pic9On Wednesday, former New Hamp­shire Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets, & Foods, Stephen Taylor was the speaker at the Salute to Agriculture Breakfast. He talked about the past influ­ence of the Grange in local New Hamp­shire communities as well as in New Hampshire state politics.

Taylor owns and operates a dairy and maple farm near Plainfield, N.H. He has been a local daily newspaper reporter and editor and is the founding executive direc­tor of the N.H. Humanities Council. Tay­lor served for twenty-five years as New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Agricul­ture and for 31 years as Plainfield’s Town Moderator.

Taylor highlighted the impact the Granges of New Hampshire had on rural education in the state. The Grange sup­ported legislation that shifted tax dollars from wealthy, industry-heavy communi­ties to rural areas for use in public educa­tion.

Taylor discussed the important role that the Grange played in building in­frastructure in the state. During the first half of the 20th century, the State Grange lobbied and supported the introduction of the Rural Electrification (REA) Program as well as the organizing of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. These programs helped to bring electricity to rural communities in the state.

Rural Free Delivery (RFD), a service that delivers mail directly to rural commu­nities, was also made possible by the influ­ence by the National Grange. The National Grange was the driving force behind bring­ing this service to fruition nationwide in the late 19th century.

“There was once a time,” Taylor said, “When it was almost impossible to get elected [to public office] in New Hamp­shire unless you were a Grange Mem­ber. That is how influential The National Grange has been in the past.”

John Trimble Legislative Youth Participant excited to serve

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

crier_day2_pic8Heidi Henderson of Baldwinsville Grange #1251, New York, is serving as this year’s John Trimble Legislative Youth Experience recipient at the 147th Annual National Grange Convention.

“This has been a great experience. I have always wanted to be part of this pro­gram. I am excited to learn the final step a resolution takes to become a National Grange policy,” stated Henderson.

She is looking forward to learning from the other delegates and is finding that everyone has been helpful to her. “They have been great and made me feel right at home, “Henderson commented. She is serving on the Ag Committee for this ses­sion, which interests her since her back­ground is not in farming. Currently, Heidi is a dietician technician knows more about health and education.

She has been learning about the dif­ferent parts of the Farm Bill and some of the issues why Congress has not passed it. The Ag Committee has also been discuss­ing the pros and cons of GMO’s (geneti­cally modified organisms).

Henderson has also been excited to see the regalia and tradition of the opening session. “I learned a lot during the open­ing. I have never seen the opening in the seventh degree, it was interesting to see how it is done.”

Henderson is only an honorary del­egate to this session, so she has a voice and vote in committee work, but no vote on the floor. “I enjoyed seeing resolutions that were created back home come to the National Session for debate and voting.”

“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the Grange for allowing me to have this opportunity and for believing in the youth of our organization. I look for­ward to a great week and I am excited to see where this adventure will take me.”

7 honored as Heroes of the Grange

BY T.J. MALASKEE
Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email: tj.malaskee@mnhs.org

crier_day2_pic7On Wednesday, November 13th, seven Grange members were honored at the annual Heroes of the Grange Lun­cheon. “These distinguished Grangers nominated by National staff or officers,” began National Master Ed Luttrell in his introduction, “have been nominated for exemplary service at regional and national levels.” The recipients of the award were presented with two stalks of wheat made from artisan-glass.

Though unable to attend this year’s National Session, Robert Barrow joined the luncheon via phone and said that he was sorry that he and his wife Dolores—also receiving the award—couldn’t at­tend this year’s National Convention. Robert served as National Secretary and Lecturer before being elected National Master in 1987. He was honored for his dedicated work in seeking and securing a location for a Grange library and mu­seum to house the Massachusetts State Grange’s records and memorabilia. In 1983 the Grange acquired a building in Rutland, Massachusetts for that purpose under Robert’s leadership.

“I don’t know what a hero of the Grange is,” Barrow stated to the attend­ees, “I do know anyone who has been in the Grange fifty years or more is a hero for keeping this great organization alive.”

Bob and Dolores are honored for al­ways taking time to thank members for their service to the Order, and encourag­ing and supporting members at Subordi­nate, Pomona, and National levels.

Receiving her award, Sharon Croucher said, “The Grange is part of my DNA. I don’t know anything else. I was born into the Grange.”

Croucher is the New York State Grange Lecturer and has been an invalu­able resource in sharing her opinions, giving advice and presenting critiques as an ex-officio assistant to the nation­al Lecturer over the last several years. Noted for her honest opinions and ideas, Croucher is never afraid to be honest and provide positive solutions to poten­tial flaws.

Edwin Hadlock has been a lifelong member of Hamond Grange #677 in New York State. Hadlock was a Na­tional Staff Member in 1963 when he served as the Grange coordinator of the Grange/Peace Corp program in Guate­mala. Five years later he was appointed National Grange Youth Director, grow­ing the program through dedicated leadership. While in Washington, D.C. Hadock served as Master of Potomac Grange #1.

“I was born into a Grange family. I can’t say enough good about the Grange and what it has done for me and my family,” Hadock said.

Accepting his award, David H. How­ard said, “My grandparents were active in the Grange right across the street from their farm in Oregon in the 1880s. Grange has always been a part of my life and always will be.”

Howard is the author of “People, Pride and Progress: 125 Years of Grange in America.” He has been involved in the Washington State Grange for two decades.

Members of Ravena Grange #1457 for over 25 years, Alfred and Vincenne Kirmss have been active in Subordi­nate, Pomona, and the New York State Grange as Master and Lecturer respec­tively and holding a multitude of other positions at all levels.

Both Kirmss’ have also provided valuable assistance to the National Grange Leadership/Membership Devel­opment department.

“When we got the letter telling us we had received the award,” said Al Kir­mss, “you could have picked our jaws up off the floor. Grange is not in our blood. I was actually born in Brooklyn, New York. This moment brings back memories of when I was elected Master. I feel as if I had a piece of dried cod in my mouth.”

Broaden outlook to find ways to grow the Grange

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

In a period of just a few weeks, Grange growth was rampant in Pennsylvania.

I’ll share two examples that are emblematic of Grange growth across the nation.

In one case, an existing Grange was willing to vote in new members, but was less willing to adopt the ideas of these new members.

As a result, a group of new Patrons opted to form a new Grange nearby. Hawk Mountain Grange No. 2109 was organized in Orwigsburg joining Jefferson Grange No. 1384 and Lewistown Valley Grange No. 1639 as part of the  Schuylkill County Pomona Grange.

At the same time, State Master Carl Meiss, and former State Membership/Public Relations Director, Lizzie Bailey, were exploring options to sell the Green Grove Grange Hall in northeast Pennsylvania.

As they were seeking assistance to appraise the hall, a few folks stepped forward to indicate their desire to reorganize the Grange.

So, if you think growth is not possible, I encourage you to broaden your outlook. You never know when, or how, positive actions can occur.

Newest member of the Herd welcomed

crier_day2_pic12The Grangers from New York have acquired a stuffed animal for High Priest Bruce Croucher and he has been accepted into the Grange Herd.

He is a T-Rex that Bruce has named Rex.

“Remember that the T-Rex had a large body and large teeth as well as an enormous appetite. Probably not a good idea to have him in near proximity with the rest of the Herd,” Croucher said. “I am not sure if there is any rationale behind getting me this particular animal.”

Croucher said he has created a Facebook page for Rex and encourages everyone to “like” him.

New Grange Youth items available for limited sale

crier_day2_pic13Hawk Mountain Grange #2109, Orwigsburg, Pa., is selling Grange Youth items as a fundraiser at the GrangeCONNECT booth. Items include three-quarter length long sleeve gray t-shirts, lime green long sleeve t-shirts, short sleeve orange t-shirts, black relaxed cotton pants, lime and orange duffle bags, khaki and green hats and decals.  Stop in Friday or Saturday.  All items are limited stock and available until sold out.