Annis Receives Award

GUILFORD — An area Grange member who has been dedicated to the organization at the local and state levels, served the region in the Maine Legislature and in local government and has given back to the community in many other ways was honored by Piscataquis Pomona — the local Grange district — on June 4. Jim Annis of Dover-Foxcroft received the Piscataquis Pomona Award for Public Service as part of the monthly Piscataquis Pomona gathering held at the Valley Grange.

Piscataquis Pomona Overseer/Maine State Grange Communications Director Walter Boomsma said the honor is being bestowed upon Annis “for personal commitment and involvement as a servant to the public.” He added, “It is a real honor and pleasure to give you this Jim.”

Pomona Grange Overseer Walter Boomsma presents Public Service Award to Jim Annis

Annis was also presented with a Legislative from the area’s Augusta delegation, Rep. Norm Higgins, I-Dover-Foxcroft, Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford and Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville. 

“Jim we all know has been a dutiful public servant and has served in many, many rolls,” Stearns said. He said he worked with Annis on the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council board and Annis always “does the right thing, for the right reason.”

Higgins said he and his wife have sat behind Annis and his wife Mary (a fellow Grange member) at Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church services for many years. “Jim leads by example, he quietly demonstrates that. 

“For me it has always been your religious life that has always been the outstanding example for my wife and I,” Higgins said.

Davis said he and Annis campaigned together in years past and “I say we’re friends for life.” 

“Jim worked hard when he was in the Legislature, he was there every day,” Davis said. He said Annis is dedicated “not only to Grange, but to Dover-Foxcroft, Piscataquis County and the State of Maine.”

Annis, who first learned of the award during the pre-meeting supper, recently stepped down as legislative director of the Maine State Grange. Those present were reminded about some of Annis’ other community endeavors including the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society and serving as a Piscataquis County commissioner. 

Past Maine State Master Steve Verrill said he appointed Annis to the state legislative committee, where he served for about a decade. Verrill said Annis “was a big asset to the committee and if we had any resolutions we needed someone to sponsor them in the Legislature he always took care of that.”

“We want to thank you for all you have done for the Grange and you are not done,” Verrill said.

Mary Annis spoke next and she said, “I am very supportive in all he does going back to when we were first married and he gets involved in the board of education in Wallingford, Connecticut.” 

“It’s been fun and we have met a lot of wonderful people along the way,” she added.

“You have been a great master for the Valley Grange and what you have heard tonight is true,” Boomsma said.

“I started off as a PTA president and cub master at the same time and from there it’s just blossomed,” Annis said.

He said after his family moved to Dover-Foxcroft he was asked to run for the Legislature. Following his time in Augusta, Annis said he was asked to serve on the town selectboard and later encouraged to run for a seat on the county commissioners. Annis mentioned he would be 83 by the time his current term as a commissioner comes to an end at the conclusion of the year and had planned to step down from the government seat.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Annis said. “My father said when you take on a problem you give it 100 percent, you don’t slow down.”

Valley Grange Places Second in Maine State Grange Community Service Contest!

During the recent Maine State Grange Convention, Valley Grange was awarded a certificate for second place in the Grange’s Community Service Program in Maine. Judging was based on a book prepared and submitted by Mary Annis, Community Service Chairman for Valley Grange.

National Grange Master to Visit!

Betsy Huber

National Master Betsy Huber

National Grange Master Betsy Huber will attend the Piscataquis Pomona Grange Meeting to be held at Valley Grange on April 6, 2017. We will share a “Chicken Pie Supper” prepared by Pomona Master and Chef Extraordinaire Bill Bemis starting at 6:00 pm. Our meeting and program will begin at 7:00 pm and include a “town hall style visit” with our National and State Master Rick Grotton. This is a great opportunity for Grangers from near and far to hear and be heard about Grange on a National scope.

Huber will be in Maine from April 5 until April 8. Details of her visit and planned events will be available on the Maine State Grange website.

While an RSVP is not required, it will help immensely if we have some idea of how many people are attending, particularly with planning the dinner. Please fill out the form below. Don’t forget to click the “submit” button at the bottom!

For additional information, please contact either Bill Bemis, Piscataquis Pomona Master (207 924-4123) or Walter Boomsma, Piscataquis Pomona Overseer (207 343-1842) and Publicity Director. (Media inquiries should be addressed to Walter.)

Directions and a map to the Valley Grange Hall can be found on this site. Our GPS address is 272 Guilford Center Road, Guilford ME 04443.

Carpools and a caravan are being arranged from Bangor Grange–contact Brenda Gammon or Rolf Staples.

Your RSVP…

Fudgemakers Needed!

capital_building_symbol_400_clr_9447Wednesday, March 13th is the Maine State Grange’s annual Legislative Luncheon… a day when Grangers from around the state flock to Augusta to meet informally with legislators to discuss and promote agriculture and our rural communities. One highlight of the day is the “Fudge Fest” that Grangers provide–apparently our legislators can’t resist sweets! If you’d like to help “sweeten up” our legislators, make some fudge and contact Valley Grange members Jim and Mary Annis who will be representing us in Augusta that day. Give them a call at 564-0820 to arrange for them to get your fudge or for more information.

Resolution Passes Unanimously

Just received word from State Conference (thanks, Mary Annis!) that our resolution regarding children’s photographs has passed unanimously. This means it will be considered for National Conference in November. Many thanks to all who supported and helped!

Regarding the Resolution…

Post moved from the top of the blog while we await the results from State Sesion!

Update, 10/1–Resolution has been assigned to the “Good of the Order” Committee for discussion and recommendation.

Update, 9/12–Resolution has been supported unanimously by Valley Grange and Piscataquis Pomona and has been officially submitted to Maine State Grange Headquarters.

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Valley Grange is sponsoring a resolution within the Grange organization to “Protect the photographs of and information about children.” This post will remain at the “top” of our site through state conference in late October and include occasional updates and information regarding both the resolution and the issue.

One reaction that’s been interesting is how many people have not given much thought to the issue, perhaps because we do not like (or fully understand) the impact of technology on the world we are living in. The unfortunate fact is, for a number of different reasons, an increasing number of parents are not anxious to have photos or information regarding their children posted on the Internet where it is instantly available to billions of people. This resolution effectively asks our organization to consider how we might accommodate those preferences. Note this resolution is not Grange Policy–it asks our organization to create one.

Equally interesting is how, once sensitized, many people agree this is an area of concern. We are seeing interest in this resolution developing from outside Maine and, while we may bemoan the need we can laud the concern.

The following links will offer at least an introduction… As the author of the resolution, I would strongly urge parents to consider reading the book “Talking Back to Facebook” by James P. Steyer. It will help you understand and think through how you will help, protect, and teach your child about some of the impacts of technology. Another good source of information is Common Sense Media.

Read the resolution here.

Some additional resources: (more…)

Piscataquis Pomona Supports Resolution

Piscataquis Pomona members voted unanimously at their September 6th meeting to support the resolution written and submitted by Walter Boomsma, program and publicity director for Valley Grange. Valley Grange members voted unanimously to support the resolution at their August meeting.

The resolution encourages National Grange to develop a policy, procedures, and an awareness campaign regarding the publication of photos and information about children who attend and are involved in Grange activities and events. Boomsma emphasized “there really is no issue or question when we are working with the local schools–policies are very clear and we work together well. This resolution is truly about children who may become involved in a Grange activity not connected to school events or programs.”

Valley Grange Master Jim Annis said he was confident there would be lot of support for a policy “once Grangers are sensitized to the problems and risks associated with publishing information and photos of children.”

The resolution will now be presented to Maine State Grange leaders for consideration by delegates to the State Conference in October. If supported at the state level, the resolution then moves on to the national level for consideration at National Conference in November. Boomsma acknowledged “we might be a long way from having an actual policy, but the very fact the resolution is generating interest and wide support means we are already creating some awareness of the potential problems and liabilities.”

Read the original post explaining this resolution and some resources for further information and consideration.

Read the actual resolution.

 

Agricultural Scholarship 2011

Last year the Agricultural Scholarship information generated a huge amount of interest (and traffic) to the Valley Grange website. It’s that time of year again! Information, criteria, and an application have all been posted on the Maine State Grange website. Help get the word out!

Resolutions Posted

For those who might not know, the early Grange was much about “lobbying”–primarily for the benefit of the rural/farming community. This heritage continues, and every year at State Grange Conference resolutions are considered. We’re posting the results for this year for your information… Resolutions 2010.

As you may know, I recently assumed the position of webmaster for the Maine State Grange website. Once the redesign is complete most of this state-related information will be readily available there and I’ll save Valley’s space and bandwidth (which is free but limited) by not duplicating it here.

Grange Adopts Platoon

The Youth and Junior Departments of the Maine State Grange have adopted a platoon of approximately thirty soldiers stationed overseas… the responsibilities with this include writing each soldier letters and sending care packages once per month. They are asking for help from the Grange Family (or anyone!) with this and Valley Grange is participating. So members, man your pencils!

Specific information including a list of items needed is available for download by clicking the link in the right-hand column. Our community service chairperson Mary Annis will be handling things locally or you can address specific questions to Sue Hacket (State Youth/Junior Director) at 666-8849 or by email to jennsue@suscom-maine.net. What a great opportunity!