Mar 192017
 

Betsy Huber, National Grange Master

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Master Betsy will arrive from Massachusetts.

  • Event: Legislative Luncheon at 12:00 p.m. at Maine State Grange Headquarters. Legislators are invited.
  • Event: Androscoggin Pomona Meeting.  There will be a 6:30 p.m. $5.00 supper with a 7:30 p.m. meeting.  Members of Oxford and Cumberland Pomona have been invited to attend as well.  The meeting will be held at Danville Junction Grange.

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Master Betsy will travel north and be available for media interviews in the Bangor area.

  • Event: Piscataquis Pomona Potluck Supper at 6:00 p.m. and Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Meeting is being hosted by Valley Grange, 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford. The public is invited. Click for more information about this event.

Friday, April 7, 2017
Master Betsy will be available for media interviews in the Augusta area.

  • Event: Potluck supper will be held at 5:00 p.m. at Maine State Grange Headquarters. A Grange “town hall forum” will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and include questions and answers as well as discussion of ideas and challenges facing the Grange at the national and local levels. The public is invited.

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Master Betsy spends the day at Maine State Grange Headquarters

  • Event: Morning reception from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Maine State Grange Headquarters. Officers, Deputies, and Directors are invited.
  • Event: Junior Grange sponsored contests from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • Event: Lincoln Pomona Potluck Supper at 6:30 p.m. and Meeting at 7:30 p.m. Meeting is being hosted by Meenahga Grange, 860 Main Street, Waldoboro. The public is invited.

Maine State Grange Headquarters is located at
146 State Street
Augusta, Maine

Media Inquiries should be directed to

Walter Boomsma  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  , Maine State Grange Communications Director
207 343-1842

Amanda Leigh Brozana  (communicationsatnationalgrangedotorg)  , National Grange Communications Director
(202) 628-3507 • ext 102

Feb 162017
 

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

April is Grange Month! For those Granges who use the Community Citizen of the Year Award or Pomona Grange Award for Public Service, you should order soon. Most of the other documents you might need are available on the Maine State Grange Website:

  • 2017 Grange Month Awards Order Form--Use this form to order your Grange Month (Community Citizen) Awards. Since you should allow four weeks for delivery, this would be a good time!
  • 2017 Grange Month Poster–This can be a poster or flyer… just fill in specific information about your Grange!
  • 2017 Grange Month Letter–The letter from National Master Betsy Huber announcing Grange Month 2017.
  • 2017 Grange Month Proclamation–The National Grange Resolution proclaiming April as Grange Month… should be posted and could be sent to local media outlets.
  • How to use hashtags–For those who wonder what those #’s you’re seeing all over the Internet mean. (Hint, they are not Grange numbers!)
  • I’m a DO-er Program Description–This is a complete description of the “DO-er” Program announced in conjunction with Grange Month, but running all year long.

Download and print what you need–and share with other Granges in your area! Why not share your plans at your next Pomona Meeting? (You can find all these documents in the National Grange Section of the Program Books and Information Page.

Read the February 2017 Issue of The Patrons Chain National Grange Newsletter. Print a copy to share with others!

Jan 142017
 

A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

One of my ongoing goals as MSG Communications Director goes beyond keeping members informed to providing you with resources—both internal (Grange “stuff”) and external (resources from other organizations and individuals that may have value to Grangers.

Grange month is coming! For several years now, National Grange has not mailed information packets but has rather made material available on the National Grange website. This year, I have added that Grange month material to our Maine State Grange website to make it readily available. It really is time to start planning your Grange Month celebration!

Officers and directors are certainly encouraged to submit information and documents we can make accessible. Visit the “Program Books and Information” section of the site and check out what’s there! You’ll be amazed!

In terms of “external” information, I am always on the prowl for articles, information, websites, etc. that may hold interest and have value for our members and site visitors. Recent examples of this include a wish list from the VA with community service opportunities in Maine and a link to a free fifty-page book regarding personal finance (lecturer’s program? Family health and hearing material?).

This was an extremely busy month for our “In search of…” feature. Not only have there been several requests for Grange information ranging from cookbooks to history, we’ve also had a number of requests for information regarding using Grange Halls for personal and community events. One that is particularly rewarding involved some volunteers who wanted to sponsor a benefit for a young family whose unborn child has a severe medical issue. In short, we were able to facilitate an exciting connection to Fairview Grange #342 that is resulting in an informal partnership an opportunity for the folks at Fairview to support the family and the community. The Communications Department even got involved, helping with promotion.

Shared events like this are just plain awesome. Not only do they increase the likelihood of success, they also introduce new people to the Grange, increase the visibility of the Grange in the community, and demonstrate what the Grange is all about. Just make sure your hall looks good and your Bulletin Board is current—filled with lots of positive information about your Grange, your members, and your needs.

While we were on vacation this past summer, we attended a concert in a rather large church. Their foyer area was truly amazing—it communicated a sense of welcome and demonstrated opportunities and needs. They freely used small, topic-specific bulletin boards, clipboards with sign-up sheets and small tables with brochures and flyers. There was one corner with several comfortable chairs where one could sit and review material. For someone interested in communication, it was close to nirvana! Admittedly, they had a large area to work with, but the ideas can certainly be adapted.

Find someone in your Grange and offer him or her an opportunity to create at least one “communications area” and see what he or she can come up with! When it’s finished, take a photo and send it! If you’re not feeling particularly creative, you could start with a welcome mat at the front door!


Grange Month Clarification

If you find Grange Month information a bit confusing at first, the idea is to base the celebration on the National Grange Program called “I’m a doer.” The Grange Month material appears to follow a line of,  “When the do-ers are gone…”  Unfortunately, (in my opinion) that sounds like a prediction unless you read the details explaining that Grange Month celebrates “do-ers.” This could make a great link to the community citizen award many Granges present during Grange Month. Your headline for a press release might be “Local Grange Honors a Do-er…

Jan 092017
 

Communication is the real work of leadership. (Nitin Nohria)

By Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

Check out the Program Books and Information Page! We’re adding resources including:

  • In the National Grange Section, you’ll find Grange Month 2017 resources such as this year’s proclamation, cover letter from National Master Betsy Huber, flyer/poster… all downloadable and ready for your use! It’s not too early to start planning! We’ll have more information, details, and ideas for you, coming soon!
  • Preliminary information about the Distinguished Grange Program has also been added to the National Grange Section.
  • In the Community Service Section, we’ve added the VA’s January Wish List, replacing December’s.
  • In the Ag Committee Section, we’ve added the minutes from the committee’s December meeting and information/agenda for their February meeting.

But wait, there’s more! Have you checked the “Searching for…” Page recently? There’s a successful find and a request for information regarding Grange Cookbooks…

Dec 202016
 

By Kim Stefanick
National Grange Intern

Grange Radio has returned to the web-airwaves with a face-lift.

In November, just before the National Convention, the station re-launched with new voices and music. A greater diversity of music and programming is expected after the new year.

Found online at www.grangeradio.org, the station Grangers now have a place where they can go to listen to family and farmer-friendly music while staying up to date on the latest Grange news and events. The station also has an active Facebook page at www. facebook.com/GrangeRadio.

The goal of the station is not only to serve the Grange community but to be used as a way to reach potential members and diversify the Grange’s audience, National Grange Communications Director Amanda Leigh Brozana said.

Brozana, who has been tasked with heading the project said, “It’s important for us to make sure we are communicating with folks outside our membership. We cannot expect to draw new members unless they know we are lively and fun. We hope Grange Radio becomes a touch point in their lives.”

During the holiday season, you’ll hear the first episodes of a weekly hour of fun music and talk by Connecticut State Grange’s Bob Charbonneau. The show will continue in the new year. Charbonneau also produced a short radio play, Santa’s New Suit that will air twice a day starting Dec. 15 through Christmas. Be sure to tune in!

You can add your voice to Grange Radio by recording a short “bumper” or becoming a contributor. To learn more, go to the website.


This article is reprinted from the December Issue of The Patrons Chain.

Dec 192016
 

By Loretta Washington
Sales, Benefits & Programs Director

In our 150th Anniversary celebration year, it is so important to promote the Grange and be part of our next member gain!

For only $12 plus shipping, you can receive the new Grange Promotion kit (COM 117) with everything you need to grow your Grange. Brochures, comic book, and rip cards are all part of this affordably priced kit.

Ask your community what the Grange means to them, invite them to be DO·ers with you and the other Grange members across the nation, and provide them the printed material to apply for membership.

Kit comes with:

  • 25 Declaration of Purpose brochures
  • 15 Junior brochures
  • 10 Youth brochures
  • 25 Adult Members brochures
  • 10 E member brochures
  • 25 Recruiting brochures
  • 25 Rip Card
  • 25 A Grange Story Comic book

All for the price of $12.00 plus shipping.


This article is reprinted from the December 2016 issue of The Patrons Chain… since there are no ordering instructions, I’d suggest you contact Loretta via email: salesatnationalgrangedotorg  (salesatnationalgrangedotorg)  .

Follow up… another email from National Grange provides this link for ordering.

Dec 142016
 

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Just a quick “bullet” to let you know that the “Lecturers Programs in  Box” on the National Grange Website are now accessible. In addition to this post, the link is now included on our “Program Books and Information Page.” During the National Grange Website makeover, several programs have been added including one yummy one about A & W Root Beer that includes recipes! There are currently ten programs to choose from, so even if you’re not “stuck” for a lecturer’s program visiting the site makes sense!

Dec 142016
 

by Rick Grotton, State Master

This month is flying by. The last three months have been extremely busy. With State Grange, National Grange, Deputy School and a State Officer’s meeting behind us it looks like January and February will be equally busy. Northeast Leader’s Conference and Master’s Conference are on the horizon as well as the Agricultural Trade Show and Fair Association meeting.

National Grange this year was the 150th National Convention in Washington, DC. We enjoyed our tour of DC going to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying and changing of the guard, a tour of the National Grange Building, the War Memorials and the Lincoln Memorial. It was a great session and our National Master, Betsy Huber, did a great job.  We now have a new National Lecturer, Christine Hamp, from Washington State. Many of you remember Sister Chris . She attended our State Session a couple years ago as our National Representative with her husband Duane. Also, Brenda Rousselle, Vermont State Master, was elected as National Lady Assistant Steward.

Congratulations to Riverside #475 as they received the 2016 Distinguished Grange Award for the third year in a row and to Maple Grove #148 for receiving  Honorable Mention for their Community Service Book. Great job!!! A beautiful Memorial Service was done by Sister Barbara Bordereaux, National Chaplain. A tribute to our own Nancy Clark  as well as other deceased past delegates and National dignitaries were part of the service. National membership had a net gain this year! Our state needs to have all 120 Granges bring in 2 members apiece and we will be at that same level.

One of our convention speakers elaborated on a great point. The Grange was formed at the time our nation was divided . It helped tremendously to bring people back together. Today, our nation is divided again and the Grange is needed more than ever to help bring this country back together. Let’s work our magic and do what great Grangers do. Be there to help others, provide a place for them to meet and socialize, and to support our communities. Whether you are a small Grange or a large one, let everyone know you are still the Grange and the Grange is here for all. This is our time to shine and to grow. All the tools are at our disposal and the mix of current events occurring nationally and statewide is where Grangers prosper. Let us not miss out on this opportunity. Our communities need us!

December 4 was the 149th birthday of the Grange meaning 2017 will be the 150th, meaning:  You got it! Celebrations! I would suggest every Grange do a program or celebration next year. Let your communities know we are 150 years old and proud of it! Invite the public, provide  visitors with a copy of the history of your Grange for all to enjoy  and/or put on a meal or refreshments. Be creative, be proud, and most of all, smile! State Grange will be hosting a celebration the first weekend of December so planning has to start soon! Whatever type of event you hold, make sure to take pictures and send a write-up for the website. Share with your Brother and Sister Grangers throughout the state! After all, it is a milestone and we must show that we made it and will continue to grow!

We had a good time at Deputy school and a very productive State Officer’s meeting.  I would encourage all Directors to attend Northeast Leaders Conference in Rutland, VT on Jan 27-29. Information will be on the website. This is a great opportunity if you are on a State Committee as there will be breakout sessions for most committees. Our National Master will be in attendance.

By the way, whenever your Grange is considering changing your by-laws, there are certain steps which must be done. Ensure that all members know that this meeting is happening; each member should be allowed the chance to attend this meeting. A two/thirds vote is necessary for passage. By-law changes are not to conflict with National and State by-laws. Then, the new by-laws must be approved by the State Master. Refer to the National Digest and State By-Laws if changes are forthcoming.

Have your Grange make some New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Write down some goals at or by your first meeting of the year and strive to make them reality. Have fun doing it. Make resolutions for your own consideration and make them come true. Make it a competition. Have members write down five (or whatever you choose) goals each member vows to do for Grange. At the end of the year, see who has completed their list. Make your goals challenging; bring in two members next year, chair a supper or event involving the community, set a fundraising goal of whatever number of dollars. Imagine if just five members could complete such a list then your Grange would have at least  ten new members, there would be five suppers/community events held and a good sum of fundraising money. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It sounds easy because it is. Each example is highly attainable. You will be so caught up in the hype and not want to be outdone by others that you won’t even think about reaching your goals; they will just happen.

I wish all a happy holiday season, May all your Christmas wishes come true and your New Year be a happy and healthy one!!!

Dec 102016
 

The shortest month of the year will bring about one of the biggest new things in our Grange communications arsenal. Good Day, a hard-copy quarterly publication will hit mailboxes this February. A subscription only based magazine costing $14 per year will include great features, the latest information about the Grange, contests, programs, benefits and more. This publication is being made possible by “grant money that has been obtained to provide the start-up funding,” stated National Grange President Betsy Huber in her Master’s Address at the 150th Annual Session of the National Grange.

At the Virginia State Grange Session, they voted that for the first year to provide a subscription for each subordinate Grange, “the hope is that each Grange will see what it is like, enjoy it and order it for themselves next year,” said Jimmy Taylor, Virginia State Grange President. “We’ve got to get it in people’s hands for them to know they want it,” Taylor said.

In addition to the magazine being a communication and advertising tool for Granges, Huber hopes, “you will use it as a membership tool to show all the great things Granges are doing and the various opportunities people have as a member of the organization.”

The Good Day magazine will be self-supporting through advertising and subscriptions. Granges can submit stories for approval and pay for advertising in the magazine.

Don’t forget to fill out your Good Day Magazine subscription cards and get them submitted before the first issue. You don’t want to miss a copy. (Additional cards are available from your Deputy and the Maine State Grange website on the Program Books and Information Page under the “National” heading. Please print a copy and post on your Bulletin Board!)

Dec 052016
 
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

The missing edition of the Patrons Chain from day one of National Conference has been found and added! You can download it here: Patrons Chain Day 1 or visit the original post for all five editions.

Also, with thanks to Agriculture Director Karen Gagne, we’ve posted the agenda for the Agriculture Committee Meeting scheduled for December 8, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at MSG Headquarters: MSG Ag Committee Meeting Agenda 12-8-2016.