The Order of Patrons of Husbandry, commonly known as the Grange, is a great, family-oriented fraternity. The lessons of its ritual are expressed by use of symbols drawn from the field and farm home. The axe, the plow, the harrow and the spade are used in the preparation of the soil in spring, and teach us the lesson of faith. The hoe and the pruning knife teach us to keep our minds and thoughts on the pure and honorable. The sickle is used to gather the good crop, so that we might, from our abundance, dispense charity to the needy. The agate is hard and firm, a lasting example of faithfulness, and fidelity.
Some of the officer positions and titles are drawn from the old-time English estate: Master, Overseer, Stewards; some from mythology: Ceres, Pomona and Flora; and some from the world of business: Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Committee or Board of Directors. The following information was gleaned from a program developed by the National Grange. Officers listed are for the Grange Year 2010-2011.
Master, Jim Annis
The Master of the estate assigned work and maintained order. The Master of the Grange presides at meetings, represents the Grange at community functions, and facilitates the work of the officers, committees and action teams. The gavel is the symbol of the Master’s office.
Overseer, Kevin Annis
The duty of the Overseer on the estate was to see that the orders of the Master were faithfully transmitted to the laborers. In the Grange the Overseer, or Vice President, assists with the opening and closing ceremony, and takes the Master’s place when he or she is absent. I also help the Master in appointing committees. My symbol of office is also the gavel.
Lecturer, Walter Boomsma
The Lecturer directs the entertainment and educational work of the Grange. It is my challenge to present a program that makes every meeting inspirational and meaningful for all who attend. As we share our talents, our interests, and our knowledge with each other, we all grow into better individuals and more informed citizens of this community. The symbol of my office is the scroll.
Steward, Bob Carroll
The Steward had charge of the tools and supplies on the estate. Similarly, it is my duty to keep the property of the Grange safe and in proper order. My emblem is the spud, an ancient implement used by Stewards in passing through the fields on the estate to eradicate weeds that might have escaped the notice of the laborers. May it remind all of us to remove dissention and strife in our Order and in our lives.
Assistant Steward, Roger Ricker
As the name implies the duty of the Assistant Steward is to assist the Steward in his labors. My duties include the opening of the Bible on our Altar, presenting the flag, and escorting visitors and dignitaries. My emblem is the pruning hook. The spear, beaten into the pruning hook, is emblematic of peace. May it remind each of us to assist in preserving peace in our Order.
L.A. Steward, Judy Ricker
My duties also include opening of the Bible on our altar, presenting the flag, and escorting visitors and dignitaries when recognized by the Master. My emblem is the Shepherd’s Crook, a symbol of caring for those who might be in distress or need.
Chaplain, Janice Boomsma
The Chaplain provided spiritual leadership for the families living on the estate. The Chaplain of the Grange participates in the opening and closing of the Grange with prayers, prepares an annual memorial service, and if asked to do so, conducts services to honor our Brothers and Sisters as they are laid to their final rest.
Treasurer, Walter Boomsma
Keys symbolize the trust placed in me as the Treasurer of this Grange. My responsibility is to accept the funds paid, deposit them in a timely manner, and disburse them according to the direction of the membership.
Secretary, Mary Annis
In addition to taking the minutes of each meeting to ensure a record of the history of this Grange, I communicate with community organizations and others as directed by the membership. My duties also include the collection of annual dues from each member, and the reporting accurately of the membership to the State Grange each calendar quarter. You can assist me with my work by reporting all address changes in a timely manner.
Gate Keeper, Brian Woodworth
On the estate the Gatekeeper’s position was at the main entrance, to prevent enemies from entering. In today’s Grange my responsibility is that of the official greeter for members and guests alike. Some Granges have changed my office title to Greeter. My symbol of office is the owl.
Pomona, Linda Erwin
It was believed by some in Roman mythology that Pomona presided over the production of fruits, and so growers appealed to her for protection of their trees and bushes for an abundant yield. No tree bears fruit unless it blossoms. May this fruit remind you that the good fruits of life, wisdom and usefulness, result from the blossoms of observation and study.
Flora, Amy Larrabee
My office title is Flora, and it is my duty to remind you that the beauty and fragrance of flowers make life pleasant and teach us that there is another and better world where everlasting spring abides and never-fading flowers.
Ceres, Pat Engstrom
In ancient times it was believed by some that Ceres presented to mankind the great gift of grain upon which we depend to such a large extent for our daily living. The symbols of my office are the bundled wheat and the sickle, both are a reminder of God’s bounty, and our duty to gather that bounty, carefully and gratefully.
Musician, vacant… we miss Merna!
Music touches the mood of people, increasing joy and happiness in good times, and providing solace in times of trouble and despair. It is said that God hears music above all else. As Grange musician I assist the Lecturer by presenting musical portions of the programs, play for the opening and closing ceremonies, and use my talents to create a warm and cheerful atmosphere for each meeting.
Exec. Committee: Bob Carroll, Pat Engstrom, Walter Boomsma
The Executive Committee is responsible for the custody of the invested funds of the Grange, and in conjunction with the Master, is authorized between regular meetings, in time of emergency or need, to act for and in the name of the Grange itself.
Agriculture Chairperson, Roger Ricker
The Agricultural Committee furthers the cause of agricultural pursuits and provides information to increase our understanding.
CWA Chairperson, Judy Ricker
The Committee for Womens’ Activities focuses on domestic skills such as cooking, sewing, handcrafts. These are skills not just for women!
Community Service Chairperson, Mary Annis
The Community Service Committee plans, organizes and promotes our service to the community.
FH&H Chairperson, Linda Erwin
The Family Health and Hearing Committee promotes healthy lifestyles and practices and provides information and education to our members and the community.
Legislative Chairperson, Jim Annis
The Legislative Committee is challenged to keep the membership aware of legislative issues at all levels of our government. While the Grange is not partisan, our heritage includes political involvement and grassroots efforts to promote our communities and agriculture.
Membership Chairperson, Janice Boomsma
The Membership Committee coordinates efforts to increase our membership through programs and individual efforts.
Publicity Director, Walter Boomsma
The Publicity Director is responsible for working with the media and community organizations to ensure the Grange receives recognition for its work and is viewed favorably. He or she also promotes internal communication within his Grange and with other Granges.
Youth Chairperson, open
The Youth Committee promotes activities for and with youth aged (13 and up) members and non-members.