Convention Crier – Day 4


5 take new positions in national officer corps

Communications Manager | Email:

crier_day4_pic1Over the past few days, the National Grange delegate body has spent much of its time deliberating the election of the new National Grange Officers. A total of 15 positions were up for grabs this year. Four brand new Officers were elected with one Officer returning to a new post.

Delegates re-elected 11 other Officers to seats they previously held. National Master Edward Luttrell won, securing the needed majority on the first ballot.

Christine Hamp, of Washington, who served as National Pomona, is the new Assistant Lady Steward of the National Grange. Before the election of the position, former Lady Assistant Steward Beth Merrill announced that she preferred if the delegates did not put forth her own name for re-election. Hamp has been a National Officer since 2011.

The National Assistant Steward election was highly contentious, taking four rounds of balloting to be decided. John Plank, the State Master of Indiana, narrowly edged out former Assistant Steward Roger Bostwick of Montana. This is Plank’s first time as a National Officer.

Pete Pompper, who has been National Lecturer since 2009, also stated that he would be stepping down from his position in favor of someone else. New Hampshire State Master Jim Tetreault became the new National Grange Lecturer on the first vote. Tetreault thanked all in attendance saying he would be honored to accept the position.

The Graces showed the highest amount of turnover during the election.  With Christine Hamp being elected Lady Assistant Steward, the Pomona position was left vacant. Susan Noah, Master of the state of Oregon, was elected on the first ballot. Linda Chase, National Ceres since 2009, asked that delegates to refrain from re-electing her. In a vote that took two ballots, Claire Logan, of Massachusetts, was elected to the National Ceres position. Marie Nicholson, from the state of Montana, was elected to the National Flora position, ousting former Flora Patti Lee in three ballots.

The remaining National Officers elected were as follows: Jimmy Gentry, Overseer; Phill Prelli, Executive Committee; Joe Fryman, Executive Commit-tee; William “Chip” Narvel, Steward; Barbara Borderieux, Chaplain; Dwight Baldwin, Treasurer; Judy Sherrod, Secretary; Chris Johnston, Gatekeeper.

These Officers will hold their positions for a guaranteed two years.

President’s Message

National Grange President | Email:

Ed LuttrellSession has been filled with discussion and debate. Differing opinions have been presented and votes have been taken. Yet the spirit of fraternalism has been the order of the day. Smiles, friendships, and laughter have been shown to be more important than whether a vote of was up or down.

Thank you to the Chairs and Secretaries of each of the Session committees for your outstanding work. The work of the delegates is made much easier by the committees and those committees new the leader-ship of a chair and secretary.

On Friday, the work of the Session finished. The officers will be installed at the beginning of the after-noon and when the last resolution is worked, the Grange will be closed until next year.

The delegates have worked hard, discussed the topics of the day, and made many decisions during the past week. Now that Session has closed, today will be spent in workshops and ritualistic work.

Enjoy the sixth degree in the morning and the seventh in the afternoon.  While there is far more to the Grange than ritualism, the teachings of our degree work are especially relevant in today’s society. Listen to the different charges and reflect on the lessons they contain.

This evening will end with the celebration banquet. We will be ending this Session on a high note and hope that all are present to join in recognizing the multitude of successes our Order has experienced this year. The new National Grange year begins tonight and each member will be challenged to be part of the achieving new heights for the Grange.

Have safe travels home and a prosperous Grange year!

1 elected, 2 re-elected to Assembly

PA State Grange Public Relations/Membership Director | Email:

Elections for the three National Grange positions of the Assembly of Demeter were made this year at the 147th National Grange Convention in Manchester, NH.  This year, the seats that were up for reelection were Priest Archon, Priest Analyst, and the High Priest of Demeter.

Bruce Croucher, of New York was re-elected for his second term as High Priest of Demeter.  Bruce is currently the Secretary and Treasurer of the Clifton Springs Grange #1042 in New York, the Master of the Ontario County Pomona #11, and an Executive Committee member of the New York State Grange.  Croucher was a middle school math teacher at Phelps-Clifton Springs School in New York for 30 years before retiring.

 James Owen, of Maine was re-elected for his second term as Priest Analyst.  James is currently the Treasurer of the Bingham Grange #237, the Pianist of the Somerset Pomona Grange #6, and the Treasurer of the Maine State Grange.  He is also a past Master of each of those Granges.  James was employed by the Maine Department of Human Services for 25 years and is currently the Administrative Coordinator for the Maine State Grange.

Roger Bostwick, of Kansas was newly elected to the position Priest Archon.  He is member of the Pleas-ant View Grange #1459, a member of the Jefferson County Pomona #10, and the Legislative Director and Parliamentarian of the Kansas State Grange.  Bostwick is also a past Master of each of those Granges.  Roger has been employed as a printer for 30 years.  “I am deeply honored to be in this position,” Roger said.  “I will do my best to hold up the tradition of my predecessors.”

National Youth Ambassador shares knowledge, love of public speaking

Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email:

crier_day4_pic2As part of Youth activities during the week, Youth attended a workshop on public speaking hosted by Courtney Gray.

More than 40 people visited the workshop held by Gray, one of this year’s National Grange Youth Ambassadors.

Gray used the acronym GEMS (Gestures, Eye/Facial Expressions, Movement, Speech/Sound) to remind Youth of important aspects to consider when giving a speech.

During the presentation, she changed the way she talked in order to give examples of what she meant. “It’s super annoying, and you feel like they need to be in a musical,” said Gray as she changed her pitch with every word.

After the informative part of the workshop, Gray led an activity that allowed Youth to practice their public speaking skills. Each took an item out of a bag and had to give a sales pitch for it to the rest of the group.

The catch was that they could not actually be pitching what they were holding. Benjamin Wadsworth pitched an invisibility cloak as he held a lace table-runner. The activity was a fun way for participants to practice, while in the comfort of their peers.  “Now that you are all peers, I hope to see you giving speeches in your state and competing at Nationals next year,” encouraged Gray.

Courtney Gray is an accomplished public speaker. When she was 12 years old, she began to compete in National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) public speaking contests. She also participated in contests through the National Forensic League (NFL). Her mother was the club director and coach for their local chapters of the organization. As a teenager, Gray began helping her with the speech, debate, and mock trial contests. She has been to four National Conventions so far, but found it a good experience to be presenting a workshop. She hopes “it was fun and that everyone learned a lot.”

Korean Vets next to be honored

Programs, Benefits and Sales Director | Email:

During the 2012 National Grange Convention, Delegates passed a resolution to honor our veterans. In 2013, we honored our WWII veterans and learned more about this war through three different CDs used by Lecturers throughout the year.

In 2014, we will be honoring our Korean veterans.

This program will include information about the Korean War and certificates to honor those veterans.

There is no cost to you or your Grange for program material or the certificates.

This program is sponsored by Potomac Grange #1.

If you missed out on our program information for WWII, it is still available.

All you need to do is contact the National Grange Programs, Sales and Benefits Director Samantha Johnson, at or call 888-4Grange ext. 109.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email or call.

Juniors arrive in time to celebrate 125 years of organization

Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email:

crier_day_1_pic5Yesterday and today, we have seen many bright, young faces around convention as the Junior Grangers have arrived. Junior Grangers are coming from all over to partake in many different activities that have been planned for them.

They started off on a walking ad-venture to the SEE Science Center.

The SEE Science Center is an interactive learning center established to promote the understanding, enjoyment and achievements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Juniors enjoyed hands-on exhibits covering topics such as forces, light, sound, electricity and simple machines. They also saw the LEGO® Millyard Project that is on permanent display there. When they arrived back at the hotel, they joined in some fun activities and games.

Today the fun continued for the Juniors, starting with the Junior Grange Breakfast.

The Juniors participated in other activities while adults who work with the Juniors attended a Leadership Work-shop. To conclude their fun, they had a swim party.

“There have been positive changes in the Junior Grange that we are all looking forward to,” said National Junior Director, Lillian Booth.

“As your National Director, I’ll be working on a 2014 program that will fully utilize the opportunities that these changes will provide. What this means is that all of our young people, ages 5 to 14 will have an opportunity to participate in all of the Junior Grange programs.”

One of the biggest changes will be to the Merit Badge Program. Each badge will have a set of learning objectives (age appropriate) and a set of skills/accomplishments that will need to be met in order to earn the merit badge.

“So get your red running shoes on and get ready. In the meantime, I’ll be calling members involved in the program, asking for help, ideas and sup-port as we get ready for the second 125 years of the Junior Grange,” said Booth.

Youth Directors positive about new branding

Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email:

Every year at the National Convention, State Youth Directors gather to dis-cuss new programming and changes to the Youth and Young Adults programs. This year, Directors instead attended the soft revealing of the department’s new logo and rebranding scheme.

Mandy Heth from Ad Farm led attendees through the decision making process of the new brand. The company, an international agricultural marketing firm, conducted surveys amongst Youth members across the nation. They wanted to figure out why youth join, participate and how they want to be communicated with.

The surveys found that youth participate in Grange because of the ties they create with other members. The familial association and meeting other people are aspects that hold a lot of significance. Camps were found to be the activity that most resonated with youth. They say they are able to get a lot of personal rewards out of it. Finally, the significance of the State Youth Programs were stressed. These are the places where many youth connect with others, develop leadership skills, and feel like they make an impact.

After an overview of the survey results, Heth displayed the new visuals. The logo is a green and yellow seven sided emblem to keep the traditional aspects of the organization. Lines in the middle of the emblem harken to agricultural roots. A new font was also developed, with a GY is in place of the middle of the logo. The line “Grange Youth” is also available in the new font. The badge and line combination allow the designs to be utilized in a variety of situations.

The new visuals were intended to be fun, vibrant, and reflect growth in the organization. They have a high school/college athletic feel, and incorporate bright, engaging colors and design. One of the goals for the project was to connect to current Youth members, while having an image that would engage non-members as well.

Now what?  Putting policy into action

Legislative Director | Email:

Every year, the National Grange publishes the Journal of Proceedings to provide Grange members with a thorough account of what Grange policy currently contains and what changes have occurred since the previous edition.

Nonetheless, it never ceases to amaze me how little the average Grange member knows about Grange policy and where we stand on certain issues.

Therefore, it’s very important that you share with your local and State Grange members the policy changes made during National Session.

Each and every Grange member must be informed and up-to-date on National Grange policy so they can better represent the Grange in their daily lives.

This works backwards as well; we must reassure members that their values and ideals are being exemplified in Grange policy and that the Grange is still an organization to which they would like to belong.

Because most Grange members do not have the time or patience to fully reread the Journal of Proceedings every year, it is more realistic that you, as National Grange Delegates attending Session, brief them upon your return home.

To assist you with this, in the weeks following Convention, I will put together a brief outline of the major policy changes made during Session; including the adoption of new policy and the elimination of old policy.

Please take this outline and send it to your local Grange Presidents so that they can share it with their members at the next local Grange function.

If policy changes occur that they do not care for, then encourage them to write a resolution to be considered at the following year’s Convention.

One of the best things about Grange is the democratic process by which we make decisions and formulate our policy. Each and every member has the opportunity to speak their peace and advocate for the policies they feel best represent their Grange.

To best accomplish this, each member needs to first become familiar with current policy and then seek amendments from there.

Together, with our different perspectives and beliefs, we can adopt meaningful policy that will help us grow the Grange and improve life in our local communities.

Washington, North Carolina youth do it again

Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email:

crier_day4_pic5Throughout the 147th Annual National Grange Convention, 12 Youth members have been competing to become the 2013 National Grange Youth Ambassadors. Friday night during the Evening of Excellence, Aaron Gwin of Washington and Montana Wrigley of NC were honored with this title.

“It was a humbling experience and a lot went into it. I was very nervous during the interview and stressed to the max. Yet, when I actually got to the interview the judges were very calm and really listened to what I had to say,” remarked Gwin.

Wrigley stated, “It’s an honor to be selected as the National Ambassador and I couldn’t be more thankful for the people who got me here.”

Montana Wrigley, daughter of James Doroshenko, represented North Carolina as State Grange Female Youth Ambassador. She is a member of Southern Wake Grange #1295 and resides in Fuquay-Varina, NC.  Wrigley serves in a variety of leadership and participation roles in Grange and her community. She is a sophomore pursing a degree in elementary education at Eastern Carolina University.

Aaron Gwin, Washington State Grange Male Youth Ambassador, is a fifth generation member of Humptulips Grange #730.  Gwin is the Lecturer of his Subordinate Grange and Assistant Steward of the Grays Harbor/Pacific Pomona Grange. He is a sophomore at Grays Harbor College, where he studies chemistry.  Gwin is the son of Jerry Gwin and Tammy Gwin-Cork and lives in Humptulips, Wash.

This year’s Horizon Leadership Class consisted of eight State Youth Ambassadors and two Young Couples. The Youth Ambassadors include Ashlee Schif of Kan., Erin Tully of Mass., Montana Wrigley and Justin Leonard of NC, Ashley Mohn and Benjamin Wadsworth of Penn., and Erica Cozad and Aaron Gwin of Was. Mohn and Leonard were named as First Runner-Ups for the title of National Youth Ambassador. Nolan and Abby Strawder of Kansas and Josh and Camille Barfield of North Carolina represented their states as Young Couples.

Grangers entertain with various acts at Evening of Excellence

Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email:

crier_day4_pic3On Friday, Grangers gathered in The Armory to enjoy the Evening of Excellence. Twenty members from all across the United States showcased their talents in songs, instruments, speeches and sign language. Pete Pompper, former Lecturer, hosted the evening. Of course, he was sporting the shimmer jackets, but he wasn’t alone. Sharing the traditions of the jacket he was joined by Chris Szkutak, former Youth Mentor, Jimmy Smith, 2012-2013 Youth Ambassador and Jim Tetrault, newly elected Lecturer.

The evening began with the some special talent from, Joe Wrabek (OR) who sang “One gas station.” The show continued on with Bill Ahlberg (PA) who performed a Saxophone meledy, Judy Milburn (OH) who sang “A living prayer” and Gracie Schell (NY) who presented the Chinese Ribbon Dance.

Taking a break from talents a variety of captivating speeches were per-formed. This years presenters were Josh Barfield from North Carolina, Davi Penny from New Hampshire, Erica Cozard from Washington, Arden Fitch from Ohio and Erica Peterson from Nebraska.

We had some amazing Grange Youth talent this year at the evening of the excellence. Bailey Shufeldt (OK) sang the famous cup song, Caitlyn McConnell (WA) belted out the “Art is calling for me,” Brett Johnson (MA) performed Les Miserables On my Own, Jordan (NH) sang Halleluja and Maddie Griifin (NC) played the guitar performing Grenade by Bruno Mars.

In order to encourage Deaf Awareness, National Grange includes a Sign-a-Song competition. This year Marie Hall from New Hampshire, Suzy Ramm from Oregon, Jennifer Lanstrum from Ohio, and a group from North Carolina, Haley Neer and Montana Wrigley. Each of these ladies displayed their knowledge for the sign language by signing songs they selected.

The night ended with the presentation of State Young Couples and State Youth Ambassadors.

Volunteering part of Grange process

Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email:

Volunteering was instilled in me at an early age. Whether it was working in the soup kitchen, writing Christmas cards for wounded soldiers or assisting at Red Cross Disaster Relief centers, I have always seized the opportunity to serve. It is one of the many reasons I fell in love with the Grange: the strong value placed on community service.

Volunteering allows us as Grange members to serve our community. We can make connections and gain new skills. There is a chance to always promote worthwhile activities and meet new people.

On Friday, Nov. 15th I found myself joining many fellow Grangers to serve, yet again at the 147th National Grange Convention. The New Hampshire State Grange hosted a blood drive through the American Red Cross. Grange members flowed in from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to give blood.

The thing that struck me the most was not that everyone gave blood, but rather that those working were interested in the Grange. It reminded me that we should be willing to serve and always eager to share about the Grange.

While I was in the midst of giving blood, I struck up a conversation with my nurse, Sharon. She mentioned that she was from a community that had a Grange, but that she never knew what the organization was.

I chose to share with her my personal story of why I joined the Grange, the opportunity the Grange has given me to be here as a Pfizer Communication Fellow and the influence that Grange has a local communities.

Hearing my personal story, Sharon was more interested in learning about the Grange. I encouraged her to visit the National Grange website and also Grange Radio to learn more.

By taking 10 minutes to share about my experience in the Grange, I made one more person aware of our amazing organization.

‘Food for Thought’ program free for use by all Granges

Programs, Benefits and Sales Director | Email:

I am happy to announce a new program to the Grange “Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget” was created by Sesame Workshop with material produced with United Healthcare and Merck Company Foundation.

The program includes a packet with a CD/DVD, recipe cards, and a mini comic book. All of this material is available in English and Spanish.

The booklet and other material is a way to show kids how to eat nutrionaly on a budget to get them to try new foods.The DVD, also has a presentation on a local farmers’ market, so kids can understand where food comes from. These packets are available to all Grange members and Granges which would like to distribute these to their community. This is a great way to get the Grange name out and to help people in your community to make the best meals out of the food they have in their kitchen. You can pick up your free copy at the National Grange Idea Fair in Manchester. If you have any questions or would like more information do not hesitate to contact me at or 202-628-3507 ext. 109.

Mass. State Grange commits $108K to ag ed

Pfizer Communication Fellow | Email:

crier_day4_pic4Matthew Johnson, the Massachusetts State Grange Master arrived at a struggling Grange expecting them to vote to close. As he entered the hall, he discovered that there were community members there who wanted to find out about the Grange. He discussed the new Grange Roots project that had just been enacted at State Session. The struggling Grange now has several new members and will stay open. What is this new Grange Roots program and where did it come from?

As the 2012 Massachusetts State Grange Session was drawing to a close, the Executive Committee met to discuss the future. They noted a lack of common goals shared by all the Granges in the state. From this meeting grew a process that led to the new Grange Roots program. Shortly after the 2012 session ended, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau asked for the Grange’s help in moving a horse barn on the campus of The University of Massachusetts Amherst. This gave the Executive Committee the idea to pursue a project at UMass sponsored by the Grange. Doctor Stephen Herbert, Director of the Center for Agriculture at the UMass Agricultural Learning Center, shared his goals for the future of their programs. Following a tour of the facilities the Committee discussed the State Grange’s current projects with the 4H, FFA, and Agriculture in the Classroom. A focus on Agricultural Education for the Massachusetts State Grange began to take shape.

As Master Matthew Johnson puts it, “We made this decision by not only discussing the proposal from UMass, but by remembering the principles our Order was founded upon. To go back to our Grange Roots.” He was reminded of part of the Installation Charge for Grange Masters. “We trust that it will be an important part of your duty, both in and out of the Grange, to encourage the education of the children within the limits of your jurisdiction.”

After the new direction was chosen, the Executive Committee called together the Lecturer and other state committees. The committees met and helped to give shape to the new initiative by tailoring their contests and programs around the new theme. The State Grange also committed funds to help each Junior, Community, and Pomona Grange with resources to advocate for agricultural education in their local communities.

At the 2013 State Session in October, the delegate body was introduced to Dr. Herbert. He shared with the Grange his vision for a Massachusetts State Grange Pollinator and Herb Garden. This project will study the crucial role that bees and other pollinators play in food production. The other part of the project is Food Security through Urban Community/Gardens and Home Garden Revival. Dr. Herbert spoke about the need to increase the area for growing food in the future. Students who take part in this project will study ways to grow food in places where the soil is contaminated. The State Grange will commit $100,000 for the first year of the program.

Following the presentation, an idea fair was held to introduce organizations providing help to Community and Pomona Granges to introduce the new agricultural education theme. These organizations included: MA Department of Agricultural Resources, MA Agriculture in the Classroom, MA Agricultural Commissions, MA Farm Bureau, MA Agricultural High Schools, MA Dairy Promotion Board, MA Fairs Association, MA FFA, MA 4-H, and UMass Amherst. The delegate body at the 2013 State Session voted to support the Grange Roots initiative. The project includes:

• Appointing an agricultural education coordinator.

• Establish an Agriculture and Education Grant program to help Granges initiate new projects.

• Continuing our partnership with MA Agriculture in the Classroom, 4H, FFA, state agricultural schools, and seek partnerships with more agricultural organizations.

• Partnering with UMass Amherst’s Agricultural Learning Center.

The Executive Committee report on the program notes, “The Massachusetts State Grange’s new focus brings it back to its roots and centers on the promotion of agricultural education at all levels of the Grange. The new initiative promotes agriculture, greater community involvement by the Grange, more community visibility and publicity.” The Grange Roots will help to nourish the State Grange as it grows into the future. Ask any member from Massachusetts.

For more information on this program, speak to any Grange member from Massachusetts or the State Master, Matthew Johnson.

PSU Grange hosts talk about philanthropy

Pfizer Communications Fellow | Email:

crier_day4_pic7On Thursday, Nov. 7, Penn State Collegiate Grange #2105 hosted Mrs. Sue Paterno as she spoke with Grange members and other guests.

Mrs. Paterno, a devoted philanthropist, discussed the importance of being involved and helping the local community. “Always remember, things don’t matter, people do,” Paterno urged attendees.

During her speech, Mrs. Paterno recounted how she learned the significance of community service as a child and why it is still a special part of her life.

One of Paterno’s projects has been the Special Olympics program. She has been involved for over 20 years and on the Board for 15 years. In addition, the Paterno family has donated over $7.5 million to Penn State University and other charitable causes. This donations include funds towards the library, the Catholic Student Center, and to cover staffing costs.

Mrs. Paterno’s speech was the highlight of the “Penn State Grange Fair.” The event, held in the Agriculture Sciences and Industries building on cam-pus, included seven community Granges from across Pennsylvania who came to interact with students at Penn State. Sarabeth Royer, a Penn State Collegiate Grange member, “loved having the opportunity to walk around and talk to representatives from Granges across the state. I was impressed and appreciative of them taking time out of their busy schedules to come to our inaugural PSU Grange Fair!” Visiting members were able to discuss the unique activities their Granges do while hosting fun activities for the students. The activities ranged from playing Jeopardy to planting sunflowers.

Derek Snyder, Pennsylvania State Youth Ambassador, gave a short address as well and Ruth Vonada Walters won the cooking contest amongst the Grangers.

The event demonstrated the connection most students make between the Grange and the local Centre County Grange Fair and Encampment and show them about the opportunities within the organization.

Penn State Collegiate Grange #2105 is the first and only collegiate chapter of the National Grange at the Pennsylvania State University.