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…

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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!

Maine Grange Agricultural Scholarship

The Maine State Grange is looking for young men and women who are pursuing a career in agriculture or agriculturally related fields at the college level. One or more applicants who met the criteria will be awarded a $500. scholarship in June. Download the rules and application.

Questions about the scholarship may be addressed to Maine State Grange at 800 464-3421. Applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2010.

The Grange has a long history of promoting agriculture and this program is due to the generosity of Grangers throughout the state. You may continue to support this program with donations sent to Maine State Grange, 146 State Street, Augusta ME 04330. Please note “Ag Scholarship” on the check!

Central Hall Is Central

Central Hall Today

In 1893 the Maine State Grange conducted its Twentieth Annual Session on December 19, 20, 21 at Central Hall in Dover. In his opening address, then State Master M. B. Hunt said, “The present is but the result of a long succession of the ages.” Over one hundred years later the succession is certainly longer, but the present is still so defined—by the succession of the ages.

There were some 95 Subordinate Granges throughout the state at that time. By way of comparison there were 155 listed in the 2009 roster—an interesting statistic to those who think the “Grange is dying.” Reading the Journal of Proceedings (minutes) of the three day event is certainly interesting—many of the challenges were not much different than today.  We cannot deny that our history is part of us and we are part of our history.

Perhaps because of my involvement with the Grange, I find it somewhat easy to picture those delegates assembling… walking across the road from the Blethen House where no doubt many stayed. I can see them making decisions that would become important parts of the “succession of the ages” and create a new present. 

Thanks to the work of the “Friends of Central Hall” many folks are recollecting other events and occasions and perhaps discovering how appropriate the name “Central” is. For many years, Central Hall was “central” to the lives and times of many. If you’ve missed the opportunity to be nostalgic, visit Central Hall on Saturday, March 6 from 10 am until 2 pm. Organizers are promising  a slideshow with historic photos, a time-line of exhibits of activities from the 1880s through the present, speakers  sharing more recent memories, guided tours (including the basement), and lots more.

At the close of the session over one hundred years ago, the body adopted the following resolution:  “ Resolved, that the members of the State Grange, now about to close, tender their sincere thanks to the citizens of Dover and Foxcroft for their very generous hospitality and attention during this session. “

George Bernard Shaw said, “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past but by the responsibility for our future.”  So I can’t help but wonder. Will the Maine State Grange meet at Central Hall again in the future?