Feb 072016

by Rick Grotton, State Master

Thank you to those from Maine who attended the Northeast Leader’s Conference in Massachusetts in January. We had a great time, talked to one another about helping our Granges grow, attended workshops and visited with our National Master, Betsy Huber. Many ideas were shared with others from different states. It left me inspired and eager to share that inspiration with all of you. This conference is a definite for those with leadership positions and a recommendation to all to GO TO a Leadership Conference. Another of the 20 GO TO’s I need to fulfill my obligations as I presented to you last month.

I attended the Fair Association meeting on January 30 as guest speaker. Many directors from a number of fairs were present to share ideas and to work together to find a way to satisfy each organization’s needs. A number of great questions were asked and suggestions made. They need more Granges to exhibit at fairs throughout the state. Very good publicity for your Grange, an activity for all Grangers in your Grange to participate and a good way to raise funds for your Grange. Please at least think about this and try it! If you are interested in more information, please don’t hesitate to ask.

How are plans going for Grange month in April? It is great to know how many Granges are busy making plans. A number of Community Service Awards will be awarded to deserving citizens throughout the State of Maine. That is Grange in action. This is a great time for membership drives, open houses, inviting State Officers, Pomona members and other Granges to GO TO your meeting, planning sessions, and community events. Let’s have fun gettin’ things done. Also, a hint for your GOTO list.

Ideas are not flowing in for the Idea of the Year contest. Maybe because you all are busy thinking long and hard for the best idea to submit? Yeah, that’s it! Can’t wait to read them! The deadline will be extended to July 1.

We have recently lost two very dedicated, prestigious leaders who were State Officers. Their advice, opinions, leadership and most of all, their love will be sorely missed. However, Sister Nancy Randall Clark and Brother Ron Dolloff would want us to move on, to grow, to be proud. Their years of dedication, hard work, and passion for Grange will inspire us to continue the journey. In their honor and in the honor of all the hardworking, loyal, dedicated Grangers who have passed, we must move Grange forward, be active, show our passions of Grange when talking to others and recruit our successors.

Come visit headquarters in Augusta, (146 State Street) on March 13 at 1:00 p.m. for a celebration of their lives. Come meet others and even go for a tour of the headquarters building. Bring a tasty goodie to share. Let us unite as a family as we should be doing!

Again…leadership training is available for those interested being a deputy or a director. If enough are interested, we could have a group session. Otherwise, we can train you individually. Also, there are committee positions to fill where we need help. Please let me know. It’s a great opportunity to meet new members, to be involved and to have fun!

A reminder about the Legislative luncheon on March 17 at noon. Volunteers to be there by 10:00 a.m. and state officers are to bring two pies. Don’t forget the fudge!


Feb 062016
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

State Master Rick Grotton recently announced that the celebration planned at state headquarters on March 13 will honor “Sister Nancy Randall Clark and Brother Ron Dolloff and all the hardworking, loyal, dedicated Grangers who have passed.” The celebration begins at 1:00 p.m. Those attending are invited to bring finger foods to share in the spirit as we celebrate our Grange family.

Maine State Grange Headquarters is located at 146 State Street in Augusta.

Feb 052016


By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Spring is fast approaching, not that we would realize it today, though we have not had much of one.  I truly hope everyone is preparing for Grange Month.  Grange Month is the perfect opportunity to hold a great open meeting event.  Set up tables invite local community service organizations, Red Cross, Cancer Centers, etc. Have them bring pamphlets, brochures, and information on how to get involved and what people can do to help.  Make sure to ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE the event, the more people who know about it the better.  Make sure to have a Grange table or two.  Include membership applications, community service items (Words for Thirds, Local Food Banks, etc.), Junior information, CWA packets, Community Service Packets.  We need to let people know  who we are and what we do! And that we are still here and going strong.

Family, Health & Hearing

The Family Health & Hearing contest is still going strong.  Have you been mentioning some of the awareness items our committee has been posting monthly? Writing it up can be easy.  Send to me for a chance for your Grange to win $50.00.  Also, remember to contact the Iris Network – John Shattuck. This is our new signature project for Family, Health & Hearing.  Mr. Shattuck is willing to travel around the state and visit Granges to get the word out.  He is currently scheduled to visit Riverside Grange #475 on April 16, 2016 for a 5:00 p.m. supper and 6:30 p.m. meeting.  If you would like to set up a time for John Shattuck to visit your Grange you may email him at johndotgdotshattuckatgmaildotcom  (johndotgdotshattuckatgmaildotcom)   and tell him what Grange you are from.  John is great at responding quickly.

Please make sure to be aware of April’s awareness items:  National Library Month, National Poetry Month, Stress Awareness Health Month, National Autism Awareness Month, Sexual Assault & Prevention Month–just to name a few.  Make sure no matter what you do you always have fun!

Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!!!!!

Feb 052016

by Christine Hebert, Junior DirectorChristine Hebert1

Juniors, GREAT information coming your way! After speaking with our Maine State Lecturer, Kathy Lorraine, she has informed me that all Juniors may participate in the 2x2x2 contest. What is the 2x2x2 Contest?

Use your imagination and make something from whatever material you would like to use. Your project must be no larger than 2 feet high by 2 feet wide by 2 feet long. Make sure you attach a label that includes the name of your project, your name, address, phone #, age, and Grange name & number.  This project must be at the State Headquarters no later than 10:00 a.m. on September 17, 2016. Let’s show people how creative we Juniors really are.

Maine State Junior Grange # 17 will meet on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until noon at State Grange Headquarters. Craft time will be from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and Juniors will get a chance to work on their plastic canvas entries. The Junior meeting including the obligation ceremony will start at 10:00 a.m.

All youngsters ages 5-14 are welcome to attend. Those who are not members and those who have not yet been obligated will have the chance to become official members. Parents, guardians, grandparents (whether Grange members or not) are welcome to attend. Lunch (Macaroni and Cheese with Octopus shaped hot dog) will be served following the meeting at no charge for Juniors and a donation from adults. Looking forward to seeing you.

Feb 022016

by Glenys Ryder
Community Service Chair

The Dictionary Project has wrapped up for another year at Danville Junction Grange #65, and what a fun time we have had with it!!!  We have visited five schools in Auburn and New Gloucester and distributed about 420 dictionaries to third graders!  It is so rewarding to see those enthusiastic and excited faces as they scan their new dictionaries!  One of my friends whose grandson received his dictionary called me up  and said, “You made my grandson so happy today!  He came through the door, saying, ‘Nana, see my new dictionary!  And you know, Nana, it isn’t just a plain dictionary.  It has planets and presidents and a lot of other stuff in the back!'”

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Jan 272016

It becomes our sad duty to inform you of the passing of Ronald E. Dolloff, Maine State Grange Musician and Educational Aid Chairperson. Ron began his Grange membership by joining the then Deering Juvenile Grange at the age five and most recently was a member of Meenahga Grange where he has served as secretary for over twenty years.

Visiting hours will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, January 31 at the Ronald E. Dolloff Auditorium, Medomak Valley High School, 320 Manktown Road, Waldoboro, Maine followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 PM. A reception will follow in the MVHS cafeteria hosted by the Skowhegan Federated Church Women’s Fellowship and members of the Waldoboro United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ronald E. Dolloff Auditorium Fund, Medomak Valley High School, 320 Manktown Road, Waldoboro, Maine 04572.

View the complete obituary here.

Jan 272016

by Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Maine Rural PartnersDuring the January Ag Expo, I always manage to find a few resources and make a friend or two. This year was no exception! I was especially pleased to find an organization called Maine Rural Partners whose mission is “to strengthen the capacity of rural communities to secure a sustainable high quality of life.” Since that has a familiar ring to it, I ended up spending quite a bit of time visiting with Executive Director Robin Beck. We definitely have some mutual interests!

MRP has some ambitious plans to become a resource and advocate for rural communities in Maine. We discussed some ways Granges might not only help but also benefit. A good start seemed to be sharing some information.

A current MRP Project involves the study of actual Internet speeds versus advertised–certainly a subject near and dear to my heart as it is my daily struggle. The project is currently in the data gathering stage. If you’d like to help, you’ll find a very user-friendly survey on the Maine Rural Partners Website.  While you’re there, you’ll want to poke around the site some to learn more about this organization.

Jan 272016

stick_figure_singing_music_notes_flow_300_clr_2442DEXTER- The Wayside Grange/Theatre announces its 2016 concert schedule.  From April through October, Maine bands will perform rockabilly, blues, bluegrass, classic country, fiddle hymns, Americana and folk.

The season begins on Sat. April 30 with singer/songwriters Anni Clark and Jim Gallant.  These two friends and talented guitarists play folk, blues and rockabilly, all blended with a hearty dash of Maine hue-mah.

Blues fans will appreciate the Old Blues Kats on Sat. May 28.  Harpman DW Gill and guitarist Doug Wainoris play delta, ragtime, Louisiana, zydeco, Cajun, Texas and country blues.

June 25 marks the return of the Misty Mountaineers, a five-piece traditional bluegrass band.  July 25 is our annual Variety Show which showcases our incredibly talented local musicians as well as the Grange’s warped, humorous skits.

Aug. 27 is Brooks and Kennedy.  Ken and Jane Brooks share the stage with Joe and Nellie Kennedy, playing classic country and Americana.

Sept. 10 is Susan Ramsey with the North Country Strings.  Hear “Fiddlehymns,” traditional hymns interpreted “North Country” style with fiddles & flute, drums & guitars, cello & bass, and beautiful vocals.

Local favorite Evergreen reunites on our stage on Sept. 17.  Together for 25+ years and sorely missed for the last three, this quartet will delight you with their American roots.

Our season finale is the Gawler Family band on Oct. 29.  This six-member family plays new and old folk while interweaving incredible family harmonies with fiddles, banjo, cello, guitar, ukulele and piano.

All shows begin at 7 pm.  Doors open at 6:30.  No reservations.  Except for the Variety Show ($7) and Evergreen ($12), tickets are $10.  Fine desserts and pretty good coffee are sold at intermission.

The Wayside Grange/Theatre is located at 851 North Dexter Rd (Rt. 23), Dexter.  FMI on the Wayside Theatre/Grange concerts contact Chester Bekier 924-5711, Joe Kennedy 277-3733 or Facebook Wayside Grange.

Jan 252016
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Here are some important March notes!

First a reminder that Agriculture Day at the Legislature will be on Thursday, March 17, 2016. As has been traditional, there will be a Grange Booth at the State House and members are being asked to contribute fudge. Please have your fudge at State Headquarters prior to 8:00 a.m. on that day. If you plan to drop off fudge prior to that day, please call to make sure someone will be in the office!

Second, Master Rick Grotton has announced a Celebration of the Life of Nancy R. Clark, Executive Committee Member of the Maine State Grange who passed away in December 2016. This celebration will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at State Grange Headquarters. Attendees are invited to bring finger foods to share.


Jan 232016

The Maine Farm Bureau has partnered with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to assess the educational needs of farmers, growers, and farm employees in Maine.  A short survey has been developed to determine these needs across the state.  Your input is appreciated.

It will likely take 5 minutes or less to complete this survey.  Please complete the survey as soon as possible and by February 29, 2016.

Feel free to invite other individuals on your farm to complete the survey, including employees.


If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, please call the Maine Farm Bureau Office at 207-622-4111.


Reprinted from Central Maine Farming Newsletter published by UMaine Cooperative Extension. You can sign up to receive the newsletter through your email or view the archived issues anytime at  http://bit.ly/PPfarming.