Aug 172017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Hatch Gagne, Director

Summer is going by fast and the Maine Agricultural Fairs are in full swing.  Thank you to all the Granges who have taken the opportunity to exhibit at your local fairs.  I have seen some fantastic displays, many focused on the 150th year of the Grange.  The summer and fall season of fairs provides you with more opportunities to exhibit at fairs, please consider setting up a display.

I want to thank all the Granges and individuals who have sent in money in support of the Maine State Grange Agricultural Scholarship.  We are pleased to be awarding four post-secondary scholarships this year.

The Agricultural Committee is working on the Ag Luncheon at the Annual Maine State Grange Conference.  Our luncheon will be held on Thursday noon and the speaker will be  Ms. Amber Lambke, President and CEO of Maine Grains and co-founder of the Maine Grain Alliance located at the Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan.  More information about luncheon tickets and location will be available when Maine State Grange information is sent out.  Save the date and join us at the AG luncheon on October 19.

Our committee is also working on the luncheon in support of the Maine Ag in the Classroom Annual dinner meeting to be held in November at State Grange Headquarters.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Jul 232017
 

This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

Maine has some of the best agricultural fairs in New England.  If you want to know more about Maine’s great agricultural fairs, go to the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs Web site for the latest news and information.

For a listing of upcoming fairs, or if you wish to receive State fair news, click here.


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Jul 142017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Hatch Gagne, Director

Summer has arrived and it is a busy time for all.  Gardens are beginning to produce and the Agricultural Fairs have begun.  I encourage all Granges to think about putting together a Grange Exhibit at your local Agricultural Fair. I also want to thank all the Grange members who have volunteered to judge grange exhibits throughout the state this summer. The Grange rules/guidelines and judging sheets are available online if you need a copy.

The Agricultural Committee is disappointed we did not have a Farm Family application this year.  I would love to receive feedback from Granges on how to solicit applications for this award.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the Agricultural Fairs and then at State Grange.  Enjoy a safe and happy summer.

May 152017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Hatch Gagne, Director

The Agricultural Committee has been busy this spring.  Following the Agricultural Legislative Luncheon, the committee has judged Agricultural Scholarship applications and applicants are being notified by June 1, 2017.   We have finalized information and criteria for the Grange Exhibits at the 2017 Agricultural Fairs and letters to our Grange judges is being sent out momentarily.  Criteria for the Grange Educational Exhibits have been completed and will be posted online.  If you need a hardcopy please contact the State Grange Headquarters.

We are now working on arrangements for the Agricultural Luncheon at the State Grange Conference in October.  Once a speaker has been confirmed I will be sharing the information out to all.  Please plan to attend this luncheon we are pleased to have this opportunity to offer an Agricultural Luncheon again in conjunction with the State Grange Conference.

We are looking for donations to use in our silent auction to support our Grange Agricultural scholarship. Anyone who has items to donate please contact me so I can arrange for pick up.  Thank you!

Hope your month of May brings sunshine and warm soil and garden plants!

May 112017
 

by Vicki Huff

The Maine State Grange needs your help at the Big E. Maine is responsible for filling 18 work shifts in the New England Grange Building at this year’s fair. The dates Maine is responsible for are the first three days of the fair: September 15, 16, and 17. There are two shifts each day with three people required for each shift. The morning shift is 9:00 – 3:00 and the evening shift is 3:00 – 9:00. Two people are needed to work at check-out, one to run the cash register and one to bag the items. The third person will be at the quilt raffle table (here you are mostly sitting) asking shoppers if they would like to make a donation and receive a chance on the quilt. This year’s quilt is being made by Vermont and the funds raised will be donated to Dodge House in Rutland. Dodge House is a place that Veterans can go and get any kind of help they may need. That could be a meal, a place to stay, help filling out paperwork and help

This year’s quilt is being made by Vermont and the funds raised will be donated to Dodge House in Rutland. Dodge House is a place that Veterans can go and get any kind of help they may need. That could be a meal, a place to stay, help filling out paperwork and help getting assistance. They are there for the Veterans.

If you are interested in volunteering to work in the New England Grange Building please contact me at Granger1atmainedotrrdotcom  (Granger1atmainedotrrdotcom)   or 207-699-2830, I am coordinating the volunteers for Maine. Deadline is June 30, 2017, as information needs to be forwarded to the Store Managers. Please make your plans now and let me know A.S.A.P.

We also need volunteers to walk in the parade on Grange Day, Sunday, September 24, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. every day. If you are interested in walking in the parade please contact me and I will explain the process for getting reimbursed the ticket fee for that day only.

Those making items to be sold in the store please contact State Grange Headquarters for collection options.

All help is greatly appreciated!

Apr 142017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Hatch Gagne, Director

March was a challenging month as winter was clearly still here in Maine.  The snow is finally melting and we have had some delightfully warm weather these past few days.  Time to be getting ready for gardens (I still have snow on my garden though).  The Agricultural Committee was busy gathering Maine-made items for our scholarship basket and preparing for the agricultural luncheon for the State Legislators.  Special thanks to Agnes and Bob for heading up the food preparation, Sharon and Jim for purchasing what was not donated.  A special thank you to those who donated food for this annual event: UMaine/High Moor Farms donated apples; Maine Blueberry Commission donated placemats, magnets and Wyman’s blueberries; and the True North Salmon Company donated the salmon.

Thank you to all state officers and directors who made and delivered fudge for our statehouse table and pies for the agricultural luncheon.  A special thanks to Chef Heidi Parent, Director of the Culinary Arts Department for the Capital Area Technical Center and her students from the culinary program as they prepared all the salmon for lunch.

Currently, I am completing a score sheet for State Grange Educational Exhibits and will be contacting Grange members who have been willing to judge our Grange Exhibits at our Maine Agriculture Fairs.  The Agricultural Committee will be judging Agricultural Scholarships next month and gearing up for High School graduation and celebrating our scholarship recipients.

The Maine Agricultural Fair Season will be upon us soon, I encourage our Granges to plan to set up one Grange Exhibit at your local Agricultural Fair.  Let’s make our presence visible in our communities.  If you are unsure how to make the connection with your local fair you can look online or call me and I am very willing to assist you through this process.

The Agricultural Committee is also working on providing an agricultural luncheon and speaker during our State Grange Convention in October.  There will be more to come in the near future.

I welcome any questions or suggestions!  Call me at 207-592-6980, email Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu  (Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu)   or text me.

Mar 162017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Gagne, Director

We are all looking forward to spring and spring-like weather and the thoughts of green grass and rich soil. Looking at seed catalogs, ordering seeds and planning my garden is giving me hope as the wind blows and the snow keeps on coming.

The Ag Committee is gearing up for the Legislative Luncheon on April 5, 2017, talking with our state legislators and also promoting agriculture. We are in need of everyone’s help for this event. We are looking for fudge which will be on our display booth and would love to have more donated Maine made items to add to our basket we will be raffling off at the State Grange Convention in October.  The money raised from this basket goes toward Ag Scholarships for Maine youth.

If you are willing to make fudge or donate Maine made items for the basket and need transportation for these items to get to Augusta for April 5, 2017, please contact me and I will make sure we secure transportation for you.  My number is 207-592-6980 or email Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu  (Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu)  .

Maine Ag in the Classroom is always looking for volunteers to read Maine Ag books in schools during the month of March. (I have committed to reading to 5 classrooms.) If anyone might be interested let me know and I will connect you with Willie Grenier who coordinates this delightful way of engaging children in learning about agriculture in Maine. This year’s book focuses on gardens.

I have not heard from any Granges at this time but am still interested in connecting with Granges who may be interested in exhibiting an Educational display at your local Agricultural Fair. Many of the fairs have expressed great delight in having more grange displays but they need to know in advance that you plan to have a display. Let me know if you are thinking about setting up an educational display this year.  Let’s get the Grange displays front and center at our local Agricultural Fairs.

Happy Spring to one and all!

Feb 242017
 

By Vicki Huff

The NEGB trustees met on Saturday morning January 28, 2017, during Leaders Conference held in Rutland, VT. The store managers and the treasurer reported that we made $14,698.00 at this year’s fair after all expenses, including building maintenance prior to and during the fair.

For the protection of the items submitted for the craft contest, Plexiglas was put in place so fairgoers no longer have direct access to these items. The quality of the contest entries have made people want to take them (literally) and in the past, there have been items taken from the building.

We continue to maintain the building and that is where the profits from the store come into play. Last year we had the building painted. In doing so it made us realize that the wooden letters that spell out the name of the building need to be replaced. The fire escape door on the first floor needs to be replaced and the cement steps outside that door also need work. We need your help to keep this building in repair and continue to show all the visitors to the Big E that the Grange is alive and well.

The trustees voted to require each State Grange to fill fifteen shifts in the store and at the quilt raffle table. If an individual(s) works an afternoon/evening shift and then works the morning/early afternoon shift the next day the Store will pay for a hotel room at The Comfort Inn for the night you work. For those who work in the store, you will need to run a cash register and assist with stocking shelves, answering questions, if new items come in you could help with pricing the items. Those who work on the raffle table will ask shoppers if they would like to enter and that it is simply whatever they want to donate. You may need to explain where the money will be going and each year the state that donates the quilt decides which charity the money will be going to. Both areas require standing and the shifts are 9-3 (day shift) and 3-9 (evening shift). Arrangements for scheduling to work are made through Linda Sanderson, Store Manager, 802-999-3510. You will also receive a pass to get into the fair the days you work. If you are interested please contact Linda as soon as possible. We have to have a list of names of those working to the Big E by the end of June. Linda will let State Master Rick Grotton know if our 15 slot obligation is not met.

If you cannot or do not want to travel and work in the store there are other ways to contribute to the building. There is always a need for handmade items to sell in the craft part of the store.  Below is a list of items that are big sellers or that people make a request for.

  • Large and medium afghans
  • Baby afghans, sweater sets, headbands, slippers, anything baby
  • Quilted wall hangings
  • Corn or rice bags for the microwave
  • Dog toys, scarves, and knitted sweaters- Catnip toys
  • Long plastic canvas tissue boxes
  • Wool felted dryer balls. They help clothes dry faster.
  • Knitted, crocheted hanging kitchen towels
  • Full-size aprons
  • Draft stoppers
  • Scrubbies, scrubbies, scrubbies–these things are one of the biggest sellers
  • Adult slippers, hats, mittens, winter scarfs- colors for men too, but not black or brown
  • Bag holders for plastic bags
  • Women’s sweaters- if you make these please somehow attach a label including the size
  • Medium to large adult clothes protectors (bibs)
  • Embroidered pillow covers

Pretty much anything and if you make items that are not listed they accept anything that is homemade. The central location for item donation is State Grange Headquarters. If you or someone from your area is coming to an event at HQ please bring or ask them to bring the items. If items cannot be brought during an event then please call headquarters and make arrangements for someone to be there to meet you.

Dates for this year’s fair are September 15, 2017, through October 1, 2017. Grange Day is Sunday, September 24. New England Grangers will be having a float in the parade that day and we are also looking for folks to be in the parade on Saturday, September 16 as we will be showing support for FFA and 4-H. There is a challenge out there for all the states to see who can have the most Grangers walk in the parade on Grange Day (September 24). If you plan on getting a group of Grangers to go down on Grange Day and participate in the parade, State Master Rick Grotton needs you to contact him before June 1, 2017, so he can request the correct number of tickets for those attending. Let’s car pool and make the trip to the Big E and show them that Maine Grangers are up for any challenge.

Feb 142017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Gagne, Director

The Maine State Grange Agricultural Committee was busy at the Maine Ag Trade Show booth. There was a lot of activity and young people asking for support, resources and possibly starting a Grange! We raffled off a Valentine Basket to support the Grange Ag Scholarship and made $64.00 toward the scholarship.

I attended the Maine Fair Association Annual meeting in Portland and met with the Exhibition Hall Superintendents. All Maine Agricultural fairs in attendance were interested and willing to have Granges set up an educational exhibit at their fair provided they are informed. The Fair Exhibition Hall Superintendents asked that the Granges contact their local fair if they would like to set up an educational exhibit.  If you need the contact names and are unable to go onto the web to locate the contact for the fair call me (592-6980) and I will get the name for you.  Criteria will be available soon.

The Maine State Grange Scholarship and Farm Family Award criteria and application have been edited and will be posted shortly.

Note: The date for the Ag luncheon for Legislators has been changed to April 5, 2017. We will be looking for fudge for the day and pies for the luncheon.  Sharon will be working on donations of food for the luncheon. Agnes and Bob will head up the lunch preparation with the Ag Committee and arranging to have a group serve lunch. We are still looking for donations of Maine made items for the AG Scholarship basket. Rance will be selling raffles at the luncheon.

The Ag Committee will be working on setting up an Ag Luncheon at the Maine State Grange Convention in Skowhegan along with a speaker.  I will have more information to follow.

Next meeting of the Maine State Grange Agricultural committee will be reading the Ag Scholarships on May 9, 2017,  beginning at 10:00 A.M.  This will be a potluck luncheon at the State Grange Headquarters.

 

Jan 122017
 

karen-gagne-webBy Karen Gagne, Director

It is winter and we are focused on snow, ice and staying warm.  The Ag Committee and Grange members have been busy setting up the Grange exhibit and spending time talking with people at Maine’s Agricultural Trade Show in Augusta.  The Committee has begun selling raffles to acquire dollars to support State Grange Agricultural scholarships for Maine’s high school seniors attending college in agriculture.

Working with the AG Committee we will be meeting with Maine’s Agricultural Fair Hall Superintendents to propose a third choice for Grange Fair displays, one with an educational focus.  I will be sharing in my next message what that will look like after this Maine Fair Association meeting at the end of January. Stay tuned!

Shortly, the Maine State Grange Agricultural Scholarship application will be revised and posted online as well as sent to all Maine High Schools.

A bird’s eye view of the Mine State Grange Booth… “Lots of people picked up information and applications!”

Just a heads-up, the Maine Agricultural Legislative luncheon is traditionally in March, but this year it is scheduled for May 17 in Augusta.  More information will be sent out in March.

I want to personally thank Bill and Ann Rust for all the expertise and time they have given to the Maine State Grange Agricultural Committee.

Following the Maine State Fair Association meeting, I will be touching base with our list of Grange members who have been fair judges.  If there are any Grange members interested in becoming fair judges please contact me.

Our next Ag Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7 at 10:00 a.m. at the Maine State Grange Headquarters.