May 162015
 

As in the past, we will be happy to list Officer Installation Teams that are available throughout the state. If you are leading a team, please email your contact information and a short description of your availability and willingness to travel.

Vicki Huff’s Team will be available on a limited basis. Email Vicki  (Granger1atmainedotrrdotcom)   or phone 207-699-2830.

Christine Herbert’s Team is new this year, based in Oxford Pomona. Contact Christine at 207-743-5277.

Rolf Staples Team can be reached by emailing Rolf  (swederolfataoldotcom)   or calling him at 207-973-3976. The team is based in Bangor, Penobscot Pomona.


We will also briefly list planned installations below as well as on the MSG Event Calendar. Interested Granges should contact the appropriate person to explore the possibility of participating.

Saturday, August 15 Piscataquis Pomona Granges will install officers at Garland Grange. Paid supper at 6:00 p.m., installation at 7:00 p.m. Contact Pomona Master Bill Bemis at 924-4123 for more information.

Wednesday, September 2 Androscoggin Pomona Grange will install officers at Excelsior Grange. Paid supper at 6:30 p.m., installation at 7:30 p.m. Contact Steve Haycock  (granger04071ataoldotcom)   or Bob Smith at 778-3066 for more information.

Saturday, September 12 Lincoln Pomona Granges will install officers 7:30 p.m. at Huntoon Hill Grange in Wiscasset following a 6:30 p.m. potluck supper. Call Rick Grotton at 582-5915 for more information.

Jul 312015
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Just a reminder to encourage every Grange with a scheduled Officer Installation to submit the details for the Maine State Grange Event Calendar.We will also provide a brief list of these at the top of the website where Installation Team information is listed… we’ll do everything we can to provide information and make it possible for all Grange Officers to be installed, but need your help! If you have any information regarding installation teams or events, please email to the webmaster or use the “submitting” tab on the site. Note that newly scheduled installations will not be sent out to subscribers, you must check the website for the latest additions. Thanks!

Jul 282015
 

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Submitted by Christine Corliss, Community Service Director

The time is drawing very near to have your Community Service Books and/or Activity Sheets in for the contest.  The deadline is August 15 for them to be judged.  Please remember we are trying to meet a goal of 50% of Granges participating this year. That means we need to have approximately 65 Activity Sheets and/or Community Service Books submitted.  If you need a copy of the activity sheet you can print one from the Maine State Grange website.  Remember to think about your own Grange and not hope that some other Grange is going to send in their form so you don’t need to.  Even if your Grange has not done “any” community service please send in the form telling me that, that report counts.   Please feel free to mail them directly to me at my house.  162 Center Road Lebanon, ME 04027.  If you are only sending in an Activity Sheet you can scan it into your computer and email to me at christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (christinecorlissatymaildotcom)  .

Also, Officer/Educator of the Year forms also need to be into me by August 15.  Please feel free to nominate anyone you feel deserves to be considered for such an award.  Those forms can also be mailed or emailed to me using the information listed above.

Hope everyone has had a great summer thus far and hope to see everyone at State Session this year.

Jul 282015
 

Steve Haycock and Norma Meserve put together a display at the Ossipee Valley Fair that promoted membership in the Grange… check out these photos for some ideas you can use as part of your Grange’s Fair display…or, even better, consider a similar booth at your local fair. Fair-goers often have values and interests that align well with the Grange, so we should take advantage of the traffic and promote, promote, promote!

(Click the images to see a full-size version.)

 

Jul 282015
 
Share your ideas with other Granges!

Share your ideas with other Granges!

Submitted by Walter Boomsma

You may not want to be reminded, but it’s almost time for the kids to start school again! During a recent festival I “interviewed” kids and found about half are ready to return to school. Of course in about a month, it won’t matter whether we’re ready or not! For many Granges, this also means it’s time to start thinking about this year’s Dictionary Project. Some of the steps to consider:

How many dictionaries will you need? Remember, orders placed in the early fall may be delayed due to many organizations placing orders. Get your order in early!

How will you label them? There are some general templates available on the Dictionary Project website… If you’d like a copy of the one Valley Grange uses, let me know!

When will you schedule Dictionary Day? Valley Grange tends to make dictionary day into a big deal! At least two districts usually schedule a field trip to our Grange Hall… my experience with scheduling is that most teachers would prefer not scheduling special activities like this prior to mid-October. This gives them time to set routines and expectations with the kids.

There are, of course, many other considerations including how you’ll publicize your event. Because our project at Valley Grange involves four districts and typically a dozen classrooms, we find it helpful to create a timeline with deadlines. Communication with school administration and teachers is probably the most important aspect of this program. If you have any questions or would like some help with your project, please feel free to let me know! I’ll be happy to help!

Jul 272015
 

Submitted by Steve Haycock

The Maine State Grange Family Campout was a great success. More than 40 Grangers including three from New Hampshire gathered at Silver Springs Campground in Saco in July.  There was truly something for everyone during the weekend.  This event is a great example of what the Grange is all about, Food, Fun, and Fellowship.

On Friday, a group of 29 Grangers descended on Martel’s Ice Cream and Mini Golf.  The competition was fierce, but there was a lot laughing along the way.  In the end, Bill Small came out of top with his score of 50.  After mini golf the group of Grangers had ice cream for a treat.  Friday evening found many of the campers at the potluck.

Saturday was the big day, although a bit dreary in the morning, plans were amended to have a cribbage tournament in place of the traditional horseshoe tournament.  This was done right after the judges of the Junior Grange crafts finished their near impossible job selecting the winners of the crafts of the various contests.  While everyone was preparing for the cribbage tournament, the Chinese auction was in full swing along with the 50/50 raffle.  Those not playing cribbage played a round of Sherry’s Dice Game with C.J. Roy winning.  The cribbage tournament featured seven teams and was won by Roberta & James Meserve.  After the games were over Junior Director Laurie McBurnie announced the winners of the Jr. Grange crafts and the winners of the auction and raffle were drawn.  In the afternoon the weather improved and the vast majority of the Grangers participated in the Bocce Ball tournament, with Judy Meserve and Rick Grotton eventually coming out on top of the large field.

This was followed by a scaled-down Horseshoe tournament won by Mike Flagg and Jim Meserve.  Saturday evening featured a delicious ice cream social, with State Lecturer Sherry Harriman passing out awards for the day’s activities, followed by fellowship around the campfire.  Many thanks go to Wilbur and Jane Heath of the New Hampshire State Grange who hung out with us this weekend.  Wilbur and Jane even brought ice cream with many toppings to choose from.  Their son Chris Heath, Master of the New Hampshire State Grange visited with us on Saturday afternoon.  A great weekend was had by all, plans were made for the 2016 Maine State Grange Family Campout Weekend which will be held at the same campground July 15 – 17, 2016.

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Jul 262015
 

National Email HeaderThe following article is reprinted from a recent National Grange Policy Update email. For additional topics and legislative items of interest, visit the National Grange website. (Note this represents National Grange Policy and may not necessarily represent policy adopted by Maine State Grange.)

Farming is “en vogue”. Consumers are demonstrating their enthusiasm for all things “foodie” demanding fresh, local foods, the raw authenticity of farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants and celebrity chefs. Some are even taking their food culture passion a step further and exploring farming as a way of life as a means to positively impact the environment and climate change. Certainly there is a huge disconnect between the Norman Rockwell image of American farming and the reality of what agriculture is today. So we have a new public passion, particularly among millennials, for food and agriculture but that passion is embedded in a caricature of a bygone era. Then add the growing perception that “big is bad” and agriculture is controlled by huge corporate farms. Is there any hope for farmers and foodies to work together? We can start by telling folks that 97% of all U.S. farms are family-owned, 88% of all U.S. farms are small family farms, and 18% of principal operators on family farms started their business within the last 10 years. Most food on the table today have origins with multi-generational farm families who, over the decades, have grown their business in the spirit of the American dream. While they share the Rockwell heritage, they may look more like what’s been coined ‘big ag.” Most leading-edge family farmers are among the most sustainable stewards of the land, employing continuous improvement strategies to enhance the environment, save the soil, conserve water and treat animals humanely.

The Farmers and Ranchers Alliance has focused on some trust-building initiatives for those of us in production agriculture to remember when we’re dealing with our “public” which could include our friends and neighbors. These are worth noting:

  • Get engaged in the narrative stakeholders are having around you
  • Be transparent and build on shared values
  • Listen, acknowledge and respect public concerns; don’t be defensive
  • Demonstrate best practices already in place as well as your commitment to continuous improvement
  • Share what’s not possible and why
  • Commit to a long-term conversation

The end game is earning and sustaining trust and building relationships that cross both the consumer and political marketplace.

Jul 152015
 

Submitted by Rolf Staples

An absolutely awesome Degree Day was enjoyed by the 35 Grangers in attendance at Bangor Grange on Sunday, July 12. The Degrees were confirmed on twelve new members, five from Halcyon, two from Golden Harvest, one from Amadammast, and four from Bangor. We were also pleased to have Roslyn Heath, Treasurer of the Florida State Grange, and her sister, Mary Bordeaux, and members of surrounding Granges filling in as officers. We are already looking forward to next year!

Jul 132015
 

Flagg (640x640)By Karen Flagg, CWA Director

Hope everyone enjoyed the fourth of July and are aware of the danger of being in the sun too long. Right now I am working on getting some patterns to be available at the CWA Conference. I sincerely hope that you will consider attending.  Am also looking forward to seeing fellow Grangers at the Family Campout Weekend.

Certificates for CWA donations are being sent out the day after receiving the checks.

I recently spoke with former CWA Director Dolores Moore as to how she handled how non-member entries were awarded when they won. I will change the way I have been doing it. This year it will not matter whether the winner is a Grange member, they will receive a check and ribbon (except for the Baking and Woodworking categories).

I am asking for donations of either food or other items for the CWA table at State Session. They are always deeply appreciated. I look forward to seeing many of you in August.

Jul 132015
 
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

Fair season is in full swing and we are preparing for State Grange session.  This is also the time of year for planning the next Grange year. Does your Grange put together a schedule of meetings and programs in advance? How about sharing that information with other Granges by posting your schedule to the State Grange website? There is an events section on the website and people do go to the website looking for information.

We really should plan meetings and put together a schedule for our members and guests. Not only will this help others plan their attendance, it will also keep us focused on the future and where our Granges will be going and what we will be doing. Plan ahead, you will generate interest.

We are approaching the “Harvest Time” of year—it’s a great time to think about sowing and reaping and that should include your Grange. This needs to be about more than plants. Remember those new members? Have you been “cultivating” and nurturing them so they will “yield” even more members? We recognize the need to cultivate our plants. We also need to assist our members and prospective members with growth and development opportunities, looking ever hopeful to the future.

If you are planning degrees (whether it is a degree day or just one at a time) please share this information on the website. There are many Granges that need assistance with welcoming new members to the Grange. We are hearing many degree day success stories with as many as four or five Granges participating, but that won’t happen if no one knows about it! There are many Pomona Granges who confer the Fifth Degree just before State Grange. Please assist in getting this info to Walter so we can share with others.

Enjoy the remainder of summer. I hope to see many at an installation, degree day or State Grange convention. Let’s continue to “shine, shine, shine.”

Together Each Accomplishes More and we shine, shine, shine!

Jul 122015
 
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

 

An ambitious Granger recently inquired asking for information about creating brochures and a few other things. I’ve decided to use my reply to her as the basis for this month’s column.

Should your Grange have a brochure?

If you are trying to create a brochure that is specific to your Grange, there are several options available to you—depending on what software you have available on your computer and how you plan to print the brochure when it’s finished. If, for example, you have Microsoft Word, there are templates available for downloading—you can do that within the program itself. I am not aware of any freestanding templates that would allow you to create and print a brochure without having some software on your computer.

One option you could consider for your brochure is using a site like Vistaprint. They are fairly user-friendly and offer many templates for all sorts of printed products—brochures, business cards, etc. You actually design the brochure right on the site, then place your order. I use Vistaprint a lot—both for Grange things and in my own business. Their pricing is very competitive and the site makes things quite easy.

In either case, you have to be careful regarding content, making sure your information is correct, proofreading for errors, etc. Everything we do contributes to our image as an organization and amateurish material with spelling and grammar errors must be avoided. Also, given the trademark issues we continually face, it is important that you use the correct Grange logo and that includes the ® symbol.

There is a “Grange Brochure” available on the Maine State Grange website, but it is not a template and cannot be changed. It’s also out of date in terms of the benefits listed. I do have “on my list” a redesigned membership brochure—it will be fairly general, but have a space where an individual Grange can add contact information.

National Grange has a large “brochure” available, but it’s a bit pricey to print because of the size and the fact it requires full-color printing. If you think this is something you’re interested in, you should be able to find information on the National Grange website.

Another option is to check with local printers and see what sorts of services they provide. Although school is out now, there might be assistance available from local schools if there are students (this would probably be high school or a technical trade school) who are interested in “Graphic Arts.”

I hope these ideas will get “the wheels turning.” While time doesn’t permit me to design individual brochures for every Grange, I’m always willing to help if I can!

 “Let’s make some news, take some photos of it, and share it!”