Apr 272017

Front row: Mary Street of Chelsea Grange # 215, Susan Farrington of Maple Grove Grange # 148.
Back row: Bert Welch of Maple Grove Grange # 148, Charley Hayford of Winthrop Grange # 209.

On Sunday afternoon, April 23, 2017, thirty-six people attended the Degree Day at Danville Junction Grange, sponsored by Androscoggin Pomona.

Special guests were MSG Master Rick Grotton, MSG Overseer Sherry Harriman, and members of the MSG Executive Committee James Meserve and Victoria Huff.

The four degrees were conducted by the following officers:  Master Wayne Sherman, Overseer Greg Johnson, Lecturer Glenys Ryder, Steward Norma Meserve, Assistant Steward Steven Verrill, Lady Assistant Steward Roberta Meserve, Chaplain Kenneth Footer, Treasurer Wes Ryder, Secretary Linda Sherman, Gate Keeper William Hatch, Pomona Kathy Lorrain, Ceres Cynthia Maxwell, Flora Ruby Bryant, and Pianist Louise Roberts.

Taking part in the Harvest March were Gladys and Maynard Chapman, Tracey and Bill Small, and Judy and Jim Meserve.

A light luncheon was served between the second and third degrees.

Apr 152017

A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

During National Grange Master Betsy Huber’s visit, it was my distinct honor to facilitate the “town hall” discussion during the Piscataquis Pomona Meeting. There were nearly a dozen Granges represented and over thirty Grangers and guests. The conversations were spirited and encouraging throughout the entire evening starting with our supper. This was a rare opportunity for Grangers at all levels of the Order to communicate: National, State, Pomona, and local.

When the evening ended, one of the comments made was how helpful it was for so many different Granges to talk about their accomplishments and challenges. “We thought we were the only ones who…” While not all challenges were resolved, a sense of reassurance developed, in part because if we all have similar challenges, the odds of overcoming them increases. Chances are, someone solved that problem or challenge you are having. This became obvious as Granges reported their successes. The meeting truly was one of sharing with an eye towards solving problems and growing our Granges.

I later found myself thinking we had perhaps witnessed a meeting the way Pomona meetings are meant to be. While surely Pomona meetings were social events in the early days, I suspect those meetings including a lot of discussion—both formal and informal—on topics ranging from the best time to plant to what is working in your Grange.

While I’m admittedly biased by my position as communication director, I think the purpose of every meeting is communication in some way, shape, or form. A little thought and structure should go into why we are meeting and what we are communicating. Let me share two examples.

The Pomona Meeting includes a roll call of Granges that often means a brief report from those Granges attending. Many times these reports begin, “We are meeting regularly…” which I suppose is an accomplishment. (In some cases, it’s “We are trying to meet regularly…”) Why not make an effort to find at least one exciting thing about your Grange to report? Or, for that matter, why not report on a challenge your Grange is facing and ask your fellow Grangers for help and ideas? One of the points of Pomona Grange is communication and sharing resources. We should structure our meetings to do just that.

My second example is committee reports during meetings. If we see an important purpose of meetings as communication, we should be sad when it’s announced, “Nothing to report.” Yes, the original purpose of committee reports was to share what the committee is doing—but if it’s doing nothing, there still could something to report. A couple of sentences regarding what is happening in the world we live in will at least suggest we aren’t totally disconnected and out of business! Even a brief reminder of something important could qualify as a report.

I’ve attended Grange meetings where it seems like the purpose of the meeting is to get it over as quickly as possible! I’m not suggesting we turn meetings into long, drawn out affairs. I am suggesting that the purpose of every Grange meeting is not simply to have a meeting. When attendance at our meetings is poor, we might allow ourselves to wonder why. If the only reason we’re meeting is because it’s scheduled, that’s not much incentive for people to make the effort.

When I am responsible for leading a meeting, I always create an agenda with time estimates and outcomes. If at all possible, I share it with participants so we share the responsibility for getting “the labors of the day” completed in a timely and effective manner. Why not do the same for a Grange meeting? Let’s communicate with purpose and energy!

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

Jan 222017

I started my Grange Journey at the age of five as a Junior Granger. At the age of 14, I joined Mousam Lake Grange, working my way up thru the offices to Master, prior to attending Casco Bay College.

Upon graduation from college, I held several office jobs, including Getty Petroleum, Konica Photo, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. I am currently working at Maine Medical Center as a Payment Poster.

I am currently Master of Mousam Lake Grange and Steward for York Pomona. I am looking forward to serving many years as a Deputy and living up to the standards set by my parents (Joe and Lorraine Goodness) while they were Deputies.

Welcome, Melissa! Note that contact information for Melissa (and all Officers, Deputies and Directors is available  in the “ODD Directory” published by the Communications Department. Get your copy here: ODD Directory!

Nov 122016
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

This is exciting! I’m pleased to advise that a new, up-to-date ODD (Officers, Directors, Deputies) is now available! The directory reflects elections at our recent State Convention, realignment of Pomona Granges, and appointments of deputies and others. It all fits on one page (two sides) so print some copies–there’s even a line showing how to fold it into thirds so it fits in a pocket or purse. You can visit the “Program Books and Information Page” or click this link for direct access: ODD-Directory.  In the unlikely event you find an email address or phone number that doesn’t work, please let me know   (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  and I’ll try to get it taken care of quickly!

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve also recently uploaded A Guide To Lecturer Basics 2016. Thanks to Master Rick and some recently technology I’ve acquired , this is a partial reprint of a booklet Master Rick assembled while he was State Lecturer a few years ago. It’s filled with some of the basics regarding a lecturer’s responsibilities, where to find program ideas, etc. This will be especially helpful to recently elected lecturers, but may also be useful to experienced lecturers looking for ideas and information. Enjoy and benefit!

And even more!

Just as an FYI, I’ve posted the dates (January 10 – 12)  and a clickable link for the Ag Trade Show on the Conferences Page.

Nov 062016

By Rick Grotton, Master

I would like to introduce the new Deputy of Hancock Pomona, Thomas Cooper.

Tom is a member of Arbutus Grange #450 in Surry, where he has served as Master for the fourth year. Since he has been Master, after a steady decline in attendance and members, the Grange has been turned around, meets weekly and has good attendance.

He took all four degrees at Rosier Grange #558 on December 1, 1971 (one day before his 14th Birthday ) He joined Hancock Pomona#13 the next week at East Bluehill Grange and his sixth degree in 1972. From 1973 thru !977 he was Steward in the Subordinate and Pomona Degree teams. Tom joined the army in 1978 spending four years in Germany, returning in 1983 all the while keeping his dues paid up. In 1984 he left Rosier Grange and joined Rainbow Grange #203. In July, 1989 he became a single parent and guided his son through Grange life. In 1994 as Master, he consolidated Rainbow and Rosier Granges, becoming Rosier-Rainbow #203.  In 2007 he joined Arbutus.

In his 45 years in Grange. he has served 26 years in the Master’s chair. He also has been Gatekeeper, Steward, Overseer, Lecturer, Chaplain and Executive Committee member.

Please assist me in giving him a warm welcome.  He has been assisting State Grange by organizing a team to clean out the closed Rosier-Rainbow Grange and showing the property to prospective buyers. With his Grange leadership skills and passion for the Grange, I believe he will be a great leader in his area and am looking forward to working with him.

Sep 092015
Back Row Standing left to right, Don Verrill, Wayne Sherman, Louise Roberts, Millie Parsons, Shirley Hatch, Maynard Chapman, Gladys Chapman & Kim Verrill.  Seated left to right, Betty Young, Cynthia Maxwell, Norma Meserve, Kathy Lorrain, Steven Haycock, Linda Sherman, Sue Verrill & Glenys Ryder

Back Row Standing left to right, Don Verrill, Wayne Sherman, Louise Roberts, Millie Parsons, Shirley Hatch, Maynard Chapman, Gladys Chapman & Kim Verrill. Seated left to right, Betty Young, Cynthia Maxwell, Norma Meserve, Kathy Lorrain, Steven Haycock, Linda Sherman, Sue Verrill & Glenys Ryder

Poland, Maine – At the most recent meeting of Androscoggin Pomona Grange #1 the new Officers for the year were installed.  The installing officer was Deputy Master of the Maine State Grange: Robert Smith of Farmington Grange and his team.

Officers installed for 2015-2016 were:

  • Master (President): Steven Haycock of Danville Junction
  • Lecturer: Kathy Lorrain
  • Steward: Norma Meserve
  • Assistant Steward: Maynard Chapman
  • Lady Assistant Steward: Gladys Chapman
  • Chaplain: Betty Young
  • Treasurer: Shirley Hatch
  • Secretary: Sue Verrill
  • Gatekeeper: Kim Verrill
  • Ceres: Linda Sherman
  • Pomona: Cynthia Maxwell
  • Flora: Glenys Ryder
  • Executive Committee: Millie Parsons
  • Executive Committee: Wayne Sherman
  • Pianist: Louise Roberts

Overseer (Vice-President) Sharon Castonguay was unable to be with us this evening and will be installed in October.  Don Verrill, Chairman of the Executive Committee was installed at the beginning of his term two years ago.  The other members of the installing team were: Melissa Knowles, Jim & Karen Locke of Chesterville Grange, Mavis Lane of North Jay Grange, and Vincent Nelson of Farmington.  Pomona Pianist Louise Roberts also assisted with the installation.  Following the installation, Master Steven Haycock presented immediate Past Master Betty Young with her Past Pomona Master pin and thanked her for her four years of service to the Pomona.  Master Haycock also announced to the members his goal for the next year was to assist the Subordinate (Community) Granges in the area.  As part of this goal members voted to visit Androscoggin Grange in Greene on September 17 for a Green Sash night.

The next meeting of Androscoggin Pomona Grange will be on Wednesday October 7 at West Minot Grange.  There will be a 6:30 pm paid supper with a 7:30 meeting.  The Officers will confer the fifth Degree.

The Grange is America’s oldest agriculturally orientated family fraternal organization.  The Pomona Grange is the county level and consists of the members of the local Granges in their jurisdiction.  Androscoggin Pomona consists of Androscoggin, Danville Junction, Excelsior, New Norland, Turner, Wales & West Minot Granges.  For more information please visit www.mainestategrange.org or find us on Facebook.

Aug 122015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

If you have not already, you will soon be receiving credentials and information regarding sending delegates to State Grange Conference in October. This is a very important part of our Grange work. There are plans in the works to have some guest speakers, including David Neal, the publisher of Maine Seniors Magazine. He will be speaking on “Senior Power” and how important this generation is.

There are lots of reasons to attend Conference this year. This is also an election year for State Officers. As usual, we will be discussing resolutions–those submitted will be sent to Granges in September. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the resolutions, see if there is something important to you and share that with your delegates. Delegates always take this task seriously and offer thoughtful discussion. Ask your delegates for a report on what took place after Conference.

Back home, planning meetings are important and keep us future focused. When you make these plans, stick to them as much as possible. Share them with your fellow Grangers, especially those who may not be able to attend meetings but will contribute in other ways. There is a place in our organization for every member.

I have had the pleasure to attend a couple of mini-golf outings. If you or Grange decides to participate in one, please send in your scorecards to State Headquarters. This can be a fun activity for your Grange. You can invite a prospective Granger or two to join in the fun. Sometimes we need to get them participating in events before trying to convince them to join.

I know of at least two degree days coming up. One on September 20 at Danville Junction starting at 4:00 PM. The other at Harraseeket on October 3 starting at 4:00 PM. This is a great opportunity for folks to observe and participate. This is also the time of year when the Fifth Degree is being offered by many Pomonas. Check with your local Pomona and also check the website calendar. The Fifth Degree will NOT be offered at State session this year.

I hope many of you are participating in or attending the agricultural fairs. Wear your Grange t-shirt or hat if you have one! It is a great way to promote our organization. Whenever you represent the Grange, be sure to “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”!

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

Aug 112015
Piscataquis Pomona recently conferred the fifth degree and added two new members to the Pomona Roster: Jaqueline Brammer from Dover Foxcroft (l) and Violet Noyes from Garland (r), both of Garland Grange. Special guest Clyde Berry represented Maine State Grange at the evening of fellowship and fun.

Piscataquis Pomona recently conferred the fifth degree and added two new members to the Pomona Roster: Jaqueline Brammer from Dover Foxcroft (l) and Violet Noyes from Garland (r), both of Garland Grange. Special guest Clyde Berry represented Maine State Grange at the evening of fellowship and fun.

Jun 262015

thermometer_blank_banner_400_clr_6651By Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Thought you’d like to know we are currently up to three Degree Days scheduled in July! Details for each of these is available on the MSG Website Events Calendar.

July 7 at Huntoon Hill Grange conducted by Lincoln Pomona. Lincoln is seeking some help: Master for the First, Second, and Fourth Degrees and a Steward for all four. If you are interested or know of anyone who would like to help, please contact Rick Grotton at 582-5915 or rictiataoldotcom.

July 12 at Bangor Grange conducted by Bangor Grange. Contact Rolf Staples at 973-3976.

July 26 at Union Harvest Grange conducted by Union Harvest. Contact Lois Zezima at 382 3315. Lois is looking for some Harvest Marchers.

As state session approaches so does the demand for Fifth Degree opportunities. (You will need Fifth Degree credentials prior to receiving Sixth Degree instruction during state session.) Conferral of the Fifth Degree is currently scheduled on August 6 at Garland Grange conducted by Piscataquis Pomona. Contact Bill Bemis at 934-5357 for more information.

Degree conferrals are an important part of our rich heritage, in part because they are traditionally shared events and an opportunity to celebrate Grange growth. If you are an obligated member who has not received your degree instruction, by all means consider attending one of these events. Subordinate Granges who have obligated members should consider organizing a “field trip” to participate in one of these events. Let’s increase the degrees!