Sep 222014
 

from Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Directory

Calling all Granges who have not sent in an Activity Sheet for Community Service.  Please, Please, Please send one in.  We need three more to meet our goal of 25%.  I have received 30 out of 130.  If you could please mail them directly to my home address of 162 Center Road Lebanon, ME 04027, to my attention: Christine Corliss it would be most appreciated.

Remember, the simple form you need can be found and printed from the 2013-2014 Community Service Book.

 

Sep 202014
 
Lawrence_Community Citizen

Jean Lawrence, right, was surprised and honored to be selected the 2014 recipient of Meenahga Grange’s Community Citizen Award. Lillian Dolloff made the presentation on Sept. 8. (LCN photo, D. Lobkowicz)

On Sept. 8 at a gathering of nearly 60 community members at Meenahga Grange hall in Waldoboro celebrating “Grange, Masons and the Museum: Sharing History,” Waldoborough Historical Society president Jean Lawrence was truly surprised when the grange presented her with its Community Citizen Award. (Not even her husband knew about it.)

This is a National Grange award which recognizes outstanding service of non-Grange members as they volunteer their time to the community.

In presenting the award to Lawrence, Lillian Dolloff briefly mentioned some of her contributions to the community. Jean is a retired teacher, chairing the Language Arts Department at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro where she served on numerous committees. Dolloff recalls when, after being asked when she was going to retire, Lawrence replied that she might as well keep on teaching since she got paid for that, and she would just do volunteer work when she retired. She knew she wasn’t going to sit around.

She is secretary and editor or the Waldoboro Friends of the Library; Literacy teacher; an active member of the retired teachers group; one of the leaders of the campaign for a new library building; a published author; Lay Leader, choir member, Bible study teacher and floral arranger at the Waldoboro United Methodist Church; Past President of the Waldoboro United Methodist Women; secretary of the Waldoboro Women’s Club and the German Church Auxiliary and leader of book club discussions. Her most recent undertaking is that as president of the historical society.

With all these credentials, and others, Jean Lawrence is most deserving to be recognized as a Community Citizen.

 

Sep 192014
 

Many are aware of the work of Chris Hadsel and Curtains Without Borders. Chris has spent lots of time and energy documenting and encouraging the preservation of the curtains found in Grange Halls and other public buildings throughout New England. As just one example, when the West Paris Grange Hall was sold to the American Legion, Chris helped save the curtains–even to the point of helping to load them into a U-Haul. They traveled to Wardsboro Vermont where they will be conserved and some will be permanently placed on stage. Ironically, there is another set of curtains by the same artist “just up the road.” When efforts are complete the artist’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren will come to see his work.

Chris is publishing a book “Suspended Worlds” that is a “visually brilliant celebration of historic state scenery from norther New England.” In appreciation of Chris’s work on behalf of these Grange Treasures, we have created a posted an information sheet with an advanced order form: Order Form — Suspended Worlds. You can also access this from the “Program Books and Information” tab–Look under Miscellaneous Documents.

Sep 182014
 

November may seem a long way off, but as nights get chilly it’s time to start thinking about your trip to Sandusky Ohio to attend National Grange Conference. National Grange has made  a paper registration form for this year’s convention available. They prefer that all attending register online but recognize the challenges this presents for some. Please note that the Youth MUST register online using the form designated for them.

The deadline for securing a room at the Convention Hotel is October 10, so you should start planning your trip soon.

For links to online registration forms, a link to the Seventh Degree application and a printable convention schedule please visit the National Grange website at: www.nationalgrange.org You may download the paper registration form from the Maine State Grange website:

148th National Grange Convention Registration Form

Note this information will remain posted on the Conference Page so you can find it easily! Just scroll down past State Convention information.

Sep 152014
 

Several dozen folks meet at state headquarters earlier this month and left with a better understanding of their leadership style as well as some very practical points regarding leadership and communication. Most also left clutching a lollipop.

The leadership style module was an appreciative module. State Master Vicki explained, “There really is no one right way to lead. We each have our own unique style, but it’s the combining of styles that makes things happen! Together Each Accomplishes More.”

In considering how communication and leadership are intertwined, attendees attempted to apply a communications formula to the announcement of a Grange event:

Facts minus jargon divided by relevance times passion equals understanding.

“Most organizations use a lot of jargon,” joked Communications Director Walter Boomsma. “But in the Grange we seem to thrive on it!” Leaders from around the state were encouraged to consider even simple terms because readers and listeners may hear things very differently. “A non-Granger once told me that if the event was listed as a meeting, she thought it was for members and not relevant to her. But when the event is a program, she thought that meant everybody. We don’t have to agree with her, but we need to appreciate her interpretation.”

As for the lollipops, they were distributed after the group enjoyed a short video featuring a TED Talk by Drew Dudley. (This video is available for viewing at the end of this post.) In this funny talk, Drew Dudley tells a story involving lollipops and calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. “…every single one of you, every single one of you has been the catalyst for a lollipop moment. You have made someone’s life better by something that you said or that you did… it is so scary to think of ourselves as that powerful…”

Plans are under consideration that will make these “Leadership Meetings” an ongoing program, potentially addressing a wide variety of topics but always with the same goal of providing opportunities for Grange leaders at all levels to grow as leaders.

 

Sep 142014
 

Enterprise Grange has qualified for the Distinguished Grange Award! As such, they receive two free tickets to the Distinguished Grange Award Reception that will be held during annual convention in Sandusky, Ohio on Wednesday, November 12th at 5:30 pm. Unfortunately, no one from Enterprise is available to attend. (Maine State Grange Master Vicki will accept the award on their behalf. This means there are two tickets available on a “first come, first served” basis. Please contact Marilyn Stinson right away! Congratulations to Enterprise Grange and thanks for the offer!

 

Sep 132014
 

WASHINGTON, D.C — The House of Representatives has passed H.R.5078 Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Act of 2014 with a bipartisan vote of 262-152. The legislation is an attempt to halt the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed “Waters of the United States” regulation.

“The proposed WOTUS regulation by EPA and the Corps is a thinly veiled land grab attempt by the federal government,” according to Ed Luttrell, President of the National Grange.  “Recently released maps by the EPA show that virtually every farmer, rancher and landowner would be adversely impacted by this regulation.”

The proposed rule has come under fire because of its breadth of jurisdiction.  Among other things, all perennial, intermittent and ephemeral streams would be part of the rule because they are considered tributaries that are “physically and chemically connected” downstream to traditional navigable waters.

“This Legislation is necessary because, in my view, the EPA does not seem to understand the real world effects these regulations will have on farmers across the country,” according to House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Colin Peterson, D-Minn.  The bill’s original sponsor, Representative Steve Southerland, R-FL, citing the proposed regulation as the very definition of regulatory creep, said “This (regulation) really facilitates a capture of private property using the Clean Water Act and this onerous authority as a tool for imminent domain.”

The Senate is not expected to consider a WOTUS bill until after the November elections. Over 30 senators have sponsored legislation similar to the House-passed version.  The White House has threatened a veto.  Grange members are encouraged to contact their senators during the upcoming October election cycle recess and ask them to vote for legislation to curtail the EPA and Corps regulatory overreach on water in the lame duck (November-December) session of Congress.

Sep 132014
 
NelsonRobert and Agnes Nelson, Agriculture Directors

This is a very busy time of year for everyone and we’re no exception. This has been a very good year with the garden. I have been preserving veggies. The corn is wonderful but the coons have discovered that also. We have not had any frost yet which is very unusual for us at this time of the year. We tied our tomatoes up off the ground this year and that really helped them.

Several of the apple orchards in our area are already open for pick your own apples. It looks like it will be a good year. The blueberry growers had a very successful year in our area also.

The farmers are getting equipment ready to start chopping corn. That will soon be going strong. We live in a beautiful area of Waldo County where all of these types of farms are very common.

Since the last bulletin we have attended Union Fair with three exhibits, Piscataquis Fair with one agriculture exhibit one Pomona and one subordinate display, Acton Fair had six domestic and four agriculture exhibits, Windsor Fair with three agriculture exhibits, Blue Hill with five agriculture exhibits and Clinton Lions Fair with one exhibit. A number of the fairs this year have had more grange exhibits than last year. We have been very impressed with all of the work that has gone in to the exhibits. Enterprise grange has had a display at four of the different fairs so far this year. Springfield Fair and Litchfield Fair each had one exhibit but we did not get notified in time to attend either fair. We attended Farm Days at Misty Meadow Farms in Clinton. We sold raffle tickets and baked goods. It was a very busy two days.

We have five fairs left to attend between Sept. 10 and Sept. 29.  Our Grange will also be having a roast beef Grange supper on Sept 20 and our Grange will be hosting a roast turkey supper on Sept. 27 for Waldo Pomona.

We still have Ag-Scholarship Raffle tickets available. If you haven’t bought any yet make sure to look us up at the State Grange Convention in Skowhegan. We will have a booth there and have a raffle with a number of different items.

Sep 122014
 

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

We are counting down to State Session… and building up your website to support it! This morning I’ve added several more features:

But wait, there’s more! This information is readily accessible from the Conference Tab, but we’ve also added a temporary small box in the side bar with direct links… check it out!

If we haven’t answered your question, let us know and we’ll do our best to get you an answer or point you in the right direction!

Sep 112014
 
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director
 

First, a reminder that the “Clip and Win” Contest entry deadlines are coming up soon. Eligible articles will have been published from. March 1, 2014 until September 15, 2014. Please review the entry guidelines and make sure your entry is mailed so it arrives no later than October 1, 2014 to be eligible. The entry guidelines include a short form to complete. Entries must be mailed to Walter Boomsma, 17 River Road, Abbot ME 04406. Do not mail to state headquarters!

The Leadership Meeting on September 6 featured some thoughts on how leaders communicate, including a communications “formula.” One of the key points of that formula was that effective communication eliminates jargon–something we have plenty of in our Grange! Participants were given a meeting announcement that included a considerable amount of jargon and were asked to eliminate it. (If you’d like a copy of the exercise, let me know  (walteratmainestategrangedotorg)  !)

We also considered a question: is there a difference between a “meeting” and a “program?” I once had a non-member explain to me that when she read an event listing in the newspaper she assumed “meetings” are for members; “programs” are for the public. It’s an interesting distinction and one we should consider. You may not agree with her, but we need to be sensitive to how other people think and feel when we are attempting to communicate.

Most have heard that old standby  “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” (Attributed to Robert McCloskey.) Some would suggest that “words don’t mean, people give meaning.”

Janice and I managed to visit a number of fairs this year and we of course try to check out Grange Exhibits. These exhibits are yet another form of communication and it’s great to see more and more exhibits including “handout” material that fair-goers can reach and take with them. We did, however, see some rather old material–including some membership applications that are clearly outdated. This “inspired” me to check on the application we have available on the website and I believe it would benefit from some updates! I’d like your help.

One major change I thought we’d made is to “downplay” the Maine State Grange parts. I’ve actually had several people hand me back this application with the comment, “I don’t want to join the State Grange, I want to join your Grange.” (They don’t understand that joining a local Grange means you are also joining state and national. This is really a question of emphasis. I think our priority is to get people to join local Granges.)

The obvious challenge is to create a brochure that is adaptable to local Granges–either with a rubber stamp or sticker, then have some state Grange contact information as back up. I’m also told that very few people join the Grange because of the “benefits” offered such as BJ Wholesale Club Membership and we might better include more “intrinsic” benefits.

What do you think? While it’s important to remember people do not join because of a brochure or application, we should be putting our best foot forward. Any thoughts or ideas you have will be appreciated. You can email me  (walteratmainestategrangedotorg)  ; comment on this post (click the top right corner of the post to open a comment window); send a note, or call. As a thought-starter, how would you finish this sentence: “They Grange is…?” What I’m looking for is a description of what the Grange means to you as a member.

Don’t forget to click the “submit” button at the bottom!