National Grange President’s April 2015 Message

In this April message, National Grange President, Ed Luttrell, discusses the importance of Grange Month with a focus on using the event to invite new Grange members into your local Grange.

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2015 National Grange Legislative Fly-In

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Please join us for the

NATIONAL GRANGE LEGISLATIVE FLY-IN

May 17-20, 2015
Washington, D.C.

Come to Washington and help us promote the policy that was initiated by your local Grange offices back home.The National Grange Building downtown will be headquarters for meetings, briefings, networking and social time.

register


Legislative Fly-In Schedule

Sunday, May 17, 2015 – Arrive in Washington, D.C.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Hotel check-in
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Dutch treat dinner together downtown near the National Grange Building
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Mix and mingle dessert social at the Grange Building, 1616 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006


Monday, May 18, 2015 – Briefings and Speakers – Grange Building

8:30 AM Coffee and muffins at the Grange
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Dive into the issues, strategies, politics and discussions important to Grangers; guest speakers
Evening Dinner on your own


Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – Capitol Hill

All day Individual appointments with Representatives, Senators and Hill staff
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Feedback and discussion session with snacks at the Grange Building
Evening Dinner on your own


Wednesday, May 20, 2015 – Wrap up – Grange Building

8:30 AM Coffee and muffins at the Grange
9:30 PM – 3:00 PM Feedback, issues discussions, take-away from Fly-In
3:00 PM – Explore Washington
Return home


Travel and Registration

All travel and hotel costs will be personal expense for Fly-In attendees. Please make your own travel plans and book your hotel stay directly. If you plan to attend the Fly-In, please contact Stephanie Tiller by email [email protected], by phone 202-628-3507 x 113 to give her your arrival and departure details. Be sure to let us know of any dietary restrictions or other special needs during your stay in Washington. You can also REGISTER ONLINE NOW!

Housing

Our hotel is the Comfort Inn, 1587 Spring Hill Road, Vienna, Virginia 22182, phone 703-448-8020. Our group rate is $91.99 + 12% sales tax per night. The cut-off date to make a reservation is April 16, 2015. All rooms have one queen bed. The Comfort Inn is located just northwest of the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Vienna, VA. The hotel provides free parking and is just a block from the Metro’s Silver Line for travel to downtown Washington. The hotel also provides a complimentary full breakfast Monday- Friday 6:30am – 9:30am and 7:00am-10:00am on Saturday and Sunday. ** Please note the hotel is sold out over these dates. Please be sure to make your reservations by the cut-off date to ensure you have a room.

Metro Transit System

The Washington area Metro subway system operates the Silver Line directly between the Tysons Corner Spring Hill Station, one block from the hotel, and Washington’s Farragut West Station, just one block north of the Grange Building at 1616 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. Reagan National Airport travelers can take the Blue Line to the Rosslyn Station and change to the Silver Line. If you are running late, continue on the Blue Line to the Farragut West Station and to the National Grange Building.

Recommended Dress

We recommend business casual for Sunday and Monday. Business attire (coat and tie) would be best on Tuesday. Wednesday is comfort of your choice.

Washington at Its Finest

May is a beautiful time in our nation’s capital. Take some extra time to enjoy the flowers, monuments, and museums. The Grange building is located in the heart of Washington so you can use it as your sightseeing base.

National Youth Ambassadors Celebrate National Ag Day

youth_ambassadorWASHINGTON – The nation’s capital turned green for agriculture on March 18 for National Ag Day. National Grange Youth Ambassadors Cassidy Cheddar of Elizabethtown, Pa. and Derek Snyder of Boiling Springs, Pa. joined more than 100 college students to deliver a message for agriculture to their legislators.

“There is a growing divide between the farm and the consumer. And, for most high school students, unless they are enrolled in a vocational agricultural program, their exposure to farming practices is limited,” said Cheddar. She is a senior studying agricultural education at Penn State with plans to teach after graduation.

Ag Day is another way to raise awareness to the value of agriculture. An Elizabethtown Area Grange #2076 member, Cheddar has organized several agriculture awareness programs through her local Grange including a June Dairy Month coloring contest and past local Ag Day programs.

This year’s celebration theme selected by the Agriculture Council of America is “Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations.”

In addition to visiting with their congressmen and senators, Cheddar and Snyder participated in the Ag Day Mix and Mingle Luncheon at the capitol. The luncheon was emceed by agricultural broadcaster Orion Samuelson and featured the Outstanding Young Farmer honorees and members of Congress.

“Even if you do not farm, agriculture is important,” Snyder said. “He is a freshman at Penn State University, majoring in business and economics. He is a member of Valley Grange #1360. Food insecurity is a community service priority at his home Grange. They have organized food drives for local food banks. This past January, his Grange donated money for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s “Fill a Glass of Hope” milk drive. The funds were used to provide fresh milk to needy families. “I am always touched how something as simple as the gift of milk can have such a profound impact to those in need,” Snyder said.

Cheddar and Snyder met with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa. 16), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa. 11) and senate staff for Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). At the Mix and Mingle event, the ambassadors visited with House Agriculture Committee chair Rep. K. Michael Conaway of Texas.

National Ag Day was created to generate awareness to food and fiber production and the role agriculture plays in providing a safe, affordable food supply.

National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller and National Grange Youth Director Charlene Shupp Espenshade joined the ambassadors for their visits to Capitol Hill and National Ag Day activities.

The National Grange’s youth department encourages its youth and young adults to explore different aspects of agriculture. The William Saunders Agricultural Achievement Award program asks Grangers to explore and participate in an agricultural experience. This year, the National Grange formed a partnership with the National Junior Horticultural Association to raise awareness to the horticulture industry. The Apathy Not Allowed program is a grassroots advocacy program. More information about the Grange Youth program is available at www.nationalgrangeyouth.org.

By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade
National Grange Youth Development Director

National Grange President’s March 2015 Message

In this March message, National Grange President Ed Luttrell discusses the upcoming Grange Month in April with a focus on using the event to invite new Grange members into your local Grange.

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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National Grange President’s February 2015 Message

In this February message, National Grange President Ed Luttrell touches on the importance of President’s Day, Grange advocacy, the 2015 Master’s Conference, and local Grange outreach.

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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National Grange President’s January 2015 Message

Happy New Year from everyone at the National Grange! The new year is upon us and National Grange President Ed Luttrell hopes that you take the time to reflect on the things your Grange wants to accomplish in the coming year.

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Seasons Greetings from the National Grange

holiday_greetingAs 2014 comes to an end, we reflect on the past year and turn to those of you who have helped us accomplish various achievements.   We value your support and partnership, and we sincerely thank you.   We look forward to what lies ahead in the coming year and anticipate your continued support and dedication.

The National Grange would like to wish you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with peace and prosperity.­­­

Grange talent delights

2014_Convention_Day 6_FINALOn Friday night, more than 350 people gathered to enjoy the talent that abounds across the Grange at the Evening of Excellence.

It was a night to remember with vocal acts, variety acts, and Sign-S-Song performances as well as the announcements of new Junior and Youth Ambassadors.

National Grange Lecturer Jim Tetreault co-hosted the event with Illinois State Grange Lecturer Trisha Renken and Michigan State Grange Lecturer Sharon Poplar.

He said the Evening of Excellence was “a spectacular showcase of talent and passion in the Grange.”

2014_Convention_Day 6_FINAL“Every year this is a highlight of convention.  After all the stress from the week, we can sit together and enjoy entertainment
by young and old members who shine on stage,” Tetreault said.

National Grange Youth Development Director Charlene Espenshade led a portion of the program in which she introduced 11 youth ambassadors from seven different states.

“These young people are an incredible asset to their communities and our organizations,” Espenshade said. “I was impressed and amazed at some of the projects they have been part of or spearheaded…”

Highlights of the Event included musical acts, skits, Sign-A-Songs and speeches.

National Grange Junior Development Director Lillian Booth announced Morgan Browning of Washington as the 2014-15 Junior Ambassador.

Two elected to National Grange Executive Committee

excomarticleTwo Wisconsin Grangers will hold seats on the National Grange Executive Committee simultaneously after several rounds of balloting by delegates to the 148th Session Thursday for the two open positions.

Leroy Watson, a 42-year Grange member, who serves as Treasurer of Fox Valley Good Earth Grange #776 in Neenah, Wisc., and Overseer of Potomac Grange #1, D.C., picked up his first seat as an officer of the National Grange with Thursday’s vote.

“I’m deeply honored to receive the confidence of a majority of the delegates of the National Grange to serve them on their Executive Committee. I am looking forward to working with the fellow members of the executive committee, our state masters and Grange members across the nation to advance the interests, elevate the character and increase the influence of all Patrons of Husbandry.”

Watson replaces Betsy E. Huber, of Pennsylvania, who served on the board since 2006 and has been board chair since 2007.
Watson, a native of Vermont where he still owns and operates his family farm, has served as the Special Director for Trademark Protection and Brand Management since August 2007. He was also the Legislative Director from 1999 until 2010 and Legislative Assistant from 1985-95.

He also served as Legislative Director of the Vermont State Grange, and as legislative assistant for both the Vermont Farm Bureau and Vermont State Employees Association.

He has a degree in political science from the University of Vermont, and a law degree from George Mason University in Arlington, VA. He also studied administrative law at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, and is admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Watson and his wife, Cheri, and daughter, Rachel, 12, reside in Appleton, Wisc., but will soon relocate to Walpool, N.H.

He is Overseer for Potomac Grange #1 and serves on the National Grange Historical Committee.

Duane Scott, Master of the Wisconsin State Grange, returns to the Executive Committee for his third term.

Scott was National Grange Steward from 2001-07. He has served twice as Wisconsin State Master from 1997-2003 and reelected in 2009, serving through today.

Since he was 5, Scott has been affiliated with the same Grange, first as a Junior Granger with La Prairie Junior Grange #19, then as a subordinate member of La Prairie Grange #79. He has held nearly every office open to a man in the Grange.

Scott, of Fort Atkinson, Wisc., said upon re-election he plans to “continue working to build membership and encourage our members to gear up for the 150th Anniversary” as well as “re-forge our fraternal bonds and grow our family organization.”

He has been employed at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office since 1986 and currently holds the rank of Captain.

He and his wife, Kymm, have been married for 29 years and were members of the 1996 National Grange Youth Team.

They have a daughter, Amber, 23.

The executive committee members will meet after installation on Friday to vote for a new chairman.

Reception Honors Distinguished Granges

IMG_20141112_174155014_HDRWednesday night, more than 100 people gathered to celebrate with winners of the Distinguished Grange Award during its fifth year of the program.

The program honors Subordinate and State Granges that fulfill responsibilities while excelling in the areas of membership, fundraising and community service in their communities.

Two State Granges, Maryland and New York, and seven Subordinate Granges received plaques for their five continous years of being a Distinguished Grange.

“When the previous National Communications Director, Jen and I, along with the previous National Membership Director Rusty Hunt formulated this program six years ago, we didn’t know how popular it would become,” said National Grange Sales, Benefits, Programs and Membership Recognition Director Samantha Johnson. “Our Granges are proud to be honored for their commitment to their communities and our organization.”

In total, 11 State Granges and 51 Subordinate Granges received the honor this year. Johnson said this was the highest number of winners of any year.

The five year plaques were donated by former National Youth Director Wib Justi’s family, and his wife June and daughter Mary Justi Sheppard were in the audience.

“Wib was a fantastic supporter of the Grange, and he would be proud that these active Granges were recognized for their work,” National Master Ed Lutrell said.