- Ed Luttrell answers an individual question
“You can’t have a grange meeting without food,” according to National Grange Master Ed Luttrell. “And I have brought food for thought.” Brother Luttrell introduced his informal and informational meeting with Maine Grangers in the Bangor area with the observation that the recently adopted theme “America Values – Hometown Roots” will be our theme for “many years to come” because it “captures the meaning of our organization.” This was the second meeting of his weekend visit to Maine.
Luttrell noted that the minimum requirements for a grange meeting are “seven people, an American Flag, and a Bible—how American is that?” He also reminded members that the grange lives in towns—not Augusta or Washington D.C.
Luttrell came to Maine to deliver a positive message around the financial condition of the National Grange, trademark protection and to share some thoughts regarding growth and public awareness. Noting that the Grange changed the face of America, Luttrell also pointed out that while agriculture is a very different topic that it was even forty years ago it remains a focus of the Grange. Studies have shown that words associated with the Grange include family, community, agriculture, and history.
Encouraging members to “look at the positives,” Luttrell reported that Maine is the seventh largest grange state in the country with 146 community granges and nearly 5,000 members. He also pointed out that 35 of those granges experienced net gains in membership last year. “You want to remember that everybody who says ‘no’ to an invitation to join the grange has at least become aware of our organization. We believe statistically one out of four people will say ‘yes,’ so getting those refusals moves you closer to gaining a member.”
- State Overseer Vicki Huff Promotes National Conference 2013 in N.H.
Emphasizing technology and social media, Luttrell pointed out that the National Grange Website is undergoing a major renovation that will include free web pages of individual granges. The member’s only side of the site is now active and includes a social media section—all members are invited to join in by using the annual password!
Brother Luttrell also highlighted plans for the 150th Birthday of the Grange in 2017 and a calendar of events that begins unfolding next year when the original four degrees (there were actually eight) will be conducted as a public event on July 13, 2013 at the Kelley Farm. He also mentioned the Quilt Block Contest and indicated that one challenge they are facing is “finding a conference location large enough to display all the quilts we hope to end up with…”
In his closing remarks, Luttrell asked those present to consider, “How many of you have seen rats swimming out to reach a sinking ship? We need to keep finding the positives and create a positive image for our organization.” Members present found our National Leader’s enthusiasm contagious and left inspired to meet his challenges.