Jul 142014

Matt Dunn

by Matt Dunn, Youth Director

Summer is here and I hope you all are having a great one. Please get to me with any scores for bowling or golf so we can make sure that all are recognized.

I am literally just back from the Northeast Youth Conference–an excellent gathering. I first want to congratulate and thank the New Hampshire Youth Committee for their hospitality and running of the conference. It was an extremely fun event with all the speeches, both prepared and impromptu, the sign-a-song, the radio spot and the drill competition. Also we had a very insightful talk from the National Youth Director on “Yes in the world of No” which I will explain more in the coming months. Please remember that the summer camping is next weekend the 19th and 20th in Saco. I hope to see many there.

Have a great July and please remember the assistants’ competition.

Jul 102014
by Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director based on information provided by National Grange

Check out this learning opportunity!

National Grange recently announced that a generous donation from DCI will again allow the use of “fellows” in conjunction with National Conference. (DCI is a worldwide public affairs firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Houston and Brussels, Belgium, that has been a fantastic partner of the Grange for many years related to advocacy and coalition services.)

Is it news if no one knows it?

Is it news if no one knows it?

These fellows learn about basic and advanced communication practices, and put those skills to work by covering many aspects of convention, creating stories, providing assistance with the daily newsletter and much more. When they return home, they will have a better sense of how to provide their local and state Grange with assistance in the fields of newsletter writing/creation and public relations.

This is a great learning opportunity for the right person. Maine State Grange has been given the opportunity to nominate an individual for consideration. The successful candidate will receive lodging and food assistance from National Grange and some travel assistance from Maine State Grange.

Candidates must have a strong work ethic and plan to be available for work in Ohio from November 7 through November 16. While this is a learning opportunity, fellows are expected to work hard. In fact, National Grange has specifically requested candidates not have officer or other responsibilities during the conference. National Grange will supply equipment such as iPads, audio recorders and video/photo equipment.  Any fellow able to provide their own laptop, camera or recording device is highly encouraged to do so.

Please note: If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, you must contact Master Vicki immediately. Do NOT contact National Grange. Candidates must be nominated by their state Grange. Nomination does not guarantee acceptance. The deadline for Maine to submit nominations is August 1, 2014, so you must complete the application process well in advance.

Jul 032014

By State Master Vicki

It is time to mark your calendars for State Grange Session. The dates this year are Thursday, October 16th through Saturday, October 18th. We will once again be at the Skowhegan Community Center. The banquet will be on Wednesday evening October 15th. I am proud to announce that our National Rep this year will be Christine Hamp, Lady Assistant Steward of the National Grange. Sister Christine will be accompanied by her husband Brother Duane Hamp, Master of the Washington State Grange. Lincoln Pomona will confer the fifth degree on Thursday evening and members of Excelsior Pomona will be performing the Rose Drill.

There will be more information coming with the cost of the agriculture luncheon, the banquet and hotel information.

Enjoy the wonderful summer weather.

Jul 032014
Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

Well, fellow Grangers, the time has come when all good Grangers must voice their concerns. Grange has a format for such activities. It’s called a Resolution.

To be on the safe side, you should submit your resolutions by the first of August. In that way you’ll be assured they’ll be in the program at the state conference in October. Keeping in mind that various committees will be examining the submitted resolutions for clarification and meaning and what they’ll do for our respective communities.

In my experience as legislative director there have been some very meaningful resolution acted upon.

So don’t think that your thoughts can’t be a concern of other Grangers. How often have we said to ourselves, “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

So get to work. There’s not much time left and before you know it it’ll be too late. We need your help to let the State of Maine Legislature, National Grange as well as fellow Grangers know what concerns you. Maybe they’re thinking the same thing.

Good luck and God speed.

Jun 092014
Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

Through a series of communications to our monthly newsletter, I plan to outline the various resolutions approved at State Grange conferences. The resolutions date from 2011 to 2013.

Through a lack of understanding between my legislators and me, the resolutions for 2011 were submitted, but not written to be presented to the Maine legislature. I will endeavor to keep a closer eye on their activities after I submit them to my legislators.

In 2011 there were seven resolutions handled by the State Grange Legislative Committee. They were “Fluoride in the Municipal Water Systems” submitted by Penobscot Pomona # 8; “Bicycle Traffic Laws” submitted by Cumberland Pomona # 15; “Early and Absentee Voting” submitted by Green Mountain Pomona # 26; “Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients” submitted by Androscoggin Pomona #1; “Balanced Federal Budget” submitted by Androscoggin Pomona #1; “150th Anniversary Stamp” submitted by Sabbathday Lake # 365 and “Secondary Roads” submitted by Lincoln Pomona # 19.

Through a State Representative, I found that “Fluoride in the Municipal Water Systems” is purely a local matter, but supported by state law. The only part the state can play is supervising the fluoridation of local waters.

“Early and Absentee Voting” was voted ought not to pass by the State Grange Conference. As I remember, it was felt that early and absentee voting is being continually visited by the Maine legislature as it is.

“Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients” has been bantered about the legislature for many years. I felt that submitting a bill to the legislature would be voted ought not to pass purely because it’s repetitive. However, while keeping a close eye on bills of this type, I’ll voice the Grange’s support through our representatives and senators.

The “Balanced Federal Budget” and the “150th Anniversary Stamp” resolutions were sent to national Grange.

Talking to a state representative while attempting to submit a bill to the legislature, I was informed that our resolution “Secondary Roads” requesting yellow lines to mark the center of the road was purely a local responsibility. I confirmed this with our town manager here in Dover-Foxcroft.

As soon as the elections in November are over (have to find out who our reps and senator are going to be!) I’ll be asking them to submit a bill for “Bicycle Traffic Laws.”


Apr 132014

by Harriet

Carroll JGAs you have asked me for some memories of Junior Grange for its celebration year, I will try to bring back memories of 60 yrs. ago for me! Now in my 88th year, much escapes me.

In 1950 we were known as the Juvenile Grange. I was deputy from 1950 to 1955. It was around 1950 that my older sister, Mildred Burns, and I organized the Juvenile Grange at Seven Tree #176. Our Grange agreed to purchase the regalia and supplies to accomplish this organization. My sister and I stayed with this for 15 years.

At that time I visited an active Juvenile Grange at White Oak Grange in No. Warren led by Ruth Wiley, also Pioneer Grange in E. Union led by Agnes Worthley and Frances Guyette. Later Dot Sainio began one at Evening Star in Washington. It kept me busy installing all the officers each year with my degree team.

I remember at Seven Tree Grange in Union we had several years with Ron Barker or Bobby Austin as Masters. They were outstanding young leaders! My job also was to play the piano and keep them all informed with State Grange programs. We held picnics at Highfield Campground in the summer. Attendance was usually around 25 or 30 youngsters. I used to fill my car with No. Union children to deliver home. Before the days of seatbelts! The Upham and Noyes children, now older, remember me for this.

Grangers felt at this time that the youngsters would eventually join the Subordinate Grange. A few did but the majority were taken up by high school sports and the invention of television. After graduation they left Union for college or jobs elsewhere. Times changed and they still do! I am sure many have fond memories of Junior Grange.

signed "Carroll & Grace Bean" on the back

signed “Carroll & Grace Bean” on the back

Apr 092014
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

I am truly keeping my fingers crossed and praying that by the time you read this Spring really will have sprung.  This is truly an inspirational time of year as the flowers spring from the ground, the trees bud and leaf out and we can put those heavy jackets in the closet.

We are on the right track with communication and I am hoping for some feedback on this next topic. At the recent State Officers’ meeting we had a very lively discussion on the topic of Area Meetings. We are looking for input on the reasons Grangers do not attend. Are Saturday’s bad days to hold them? Would late Sunday afternoon be better? Is there a feeling of intimidation? Would it be better if Granges felt they could contribute more instead of being “talked at?” Are these types of meetings pertinent and useful? Is the length of time set aside for these meetings too long?

Some of the ideas that came from the meeting were to ask each Grange in that area to send at least one representative with that Grange’s ideas for topics of discussion. The ideas would be placed in a “suggestion box” pulled out randomly and discussed. The ideas could be done one at a time or those present could be broken up into small groups and each assigned a topic and after discussion in the groups the topics be presented to all. It was thought that these meetings should be called “Information Sharing” meetings and not what they have been in the past.

I am really hoping for your responses to these questions. For communication to work it needs to go in both directions. I am also hoping that some of you will share ideas of topics you would like to see covered in this column. I am here for you.



Together Each Accomplishes More

Jan 042014

At the time the program booklets were put together the dates for Leader’s Conference were unknown. Due to the conflict the Youth meetings scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 11th & 12th will be canceled. Brother Matthew Dunn is working on his committee and as soon as possible a meeting will be scheduled. Please pass this info along to your Youth chairman and any Youth or Young at Heart that may have been planning to attend. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Dec 222013

posted by Walter Boomsma

Get Real Get MaineThis always sneaks up on me! I decided to create a post as well as add this to the event calendar because it truly is a state-wide event. I try to attend every year and usually bump into a number of Grangers!

The 73nd annual Agricultural Trades Show will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 7-9, 2014.  Admission is FREE!  Show hours:

  • Tuesday, January 7         9am-5pm
  • Wednesday, January 8    9am-8pm
  • Thursday, January 9        9am-3pm

This show provides an atmosphere to walk through, observe, and educate the public about different areas of agriculture. Great exhibits and lots of educational opportunities! Visit the website for more information, a brochure and detailed information.

Dec 102013
Folks at the afternoon session assemble for the obligatory group photo

Folks at the afternoon session assemble for a group photo

State Webmaster Walter Boomsma explained to the assembled group of deputies that was one of the many questions third graders asked during a dictionary presentation when they learned the Grange has “deputies.” The kids also wanted to know whether or not our deputies can put people in jail.

Well, our deputies may not have badges or powers of arrest, but thanks to a meeting on December 7 for officers, directors, and deputies, they now have many more tools and information to assist local and Pomona Granges!

One of the new tools in attendees’ information packets is a “Maine State Grange Website Handbook” which includes a number of “how to” instructions and explanations of the site’s layout and purpose. You can download your personal copy from the site’s “Program Books” page.

"We've got towork as a team and try new things," State Master Vicki reminded.

“We’ve got to work as a team and try new things,” State Master Vicki reminded.

An emphasis of the day long meeting was “communication” in all forms and Grangers should see and hear lots of exciting and helpful news and information as we move forward. A number of ideas are being discussed and implemented that will make us more efficient, more knowledgeable, and even more exciting.

There was lots of singing and smiling throughout the day. We’ll have more reports and announcements in the near future. Just remember we are a volunteer organization and sometimes things move a little slower than we’d like simply because many of the people involved are “squeezing” Grange work into an already crammed schedule.

If you have questions or concerns, please ask! The deputy for your area is a good place to start… but if your question is about something that all Granges might want to know, send it to the website and we’ll see what we can do! For example, we recently had a question about the non-profit status of Granges. Thanks to several folks “in the know,” there is now summary information on this topic on our site. We’re currently researching a question regarding the seal many Granges have (and some have lost) and should be posting answers in the next day or two.

We are gradually updating the officer contact information on the site… if you are an officer, director, or deputy, please check the About our officers page to see if your information is correct. Also, directors are especially asked to check the Program Books page to make certain any books, documents, etc. listed there are current. We are not, of course, relying solely on the website as a way of providing information, but the site can become a good resource for other methods of communication.

State Master Vicki emphasized the importance of teamwork, communication, and trying new ideas throughout the day long conference.  Business leader David Zanuck once observed “If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless.” Somewhere in the middle we can find a balance where we all support each other but also challenge each other to honor our American Values, Hometown Roots and grow our Grange and our communities. Programs like this are one important part.