President Joan Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at 9:10 a.m. Also present via telephone were Steward Amanda Brozana and Assistant Steward Austin Miller. Present in the 10th floor Saunders Library of the National Grange Building in Washington, DC were Lady Assistant Steward Jessie Cope, Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Chaplain Grace Boatright, Secretary Richard Weiss, National Grange Controller Andrew Sampson and National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller.
The minutes from the July 17, 2014 meeting were read and approved as corrected to reflect that T-shirts for the Youth Drill Team will be given by June and Mary Justi, not to them.
While the current operating account balance is not available at this time, Andrew Sampson did report the following:
$85.00 in new member dues has been deposited to the Operating Account.
$87.00 for 2nd quarter dues has been paid to the National Grange.
$10.25 is owed to the National Grange store and will be paid the week of September 22.
As of 8/31/2014 the Kile Fund balance at PNC Bank was $40,388.91.
There seems to be some confusion regarding the Kile Fund 2013 990 as we have two letters from the IRS, the first stating that a filing extension has been granted and a later one denying it. Andrew will meet with our new CPA on September 24 to straighten things out.
The National Arboretum has notified Samantha Johnson that an alternative naming opportunity exists for the $3,500.00 Potomac Grange contributed in 2012 for a “Solar Demonstration Kiosk” that the Arboretum later decided not to build. Potomac Grange has asked for suitable alternatives or the money back. This issue will be taken up at the next meeting when Samantha is back.
There still is no formal estimate for the Grange Building kitchen renovation. It was decided to defer this issue to February, as the status of the Grange Building is uncertain at this time.
Before moving to old business, there was discussion regarding Potomac Grange representation at the National Convention. There was consensus that Dick Weiss be the Potomac representative with Grace Boatright as a possible co-representative. Weiss expressed some concern about being cast into the role of 2016 convention coordinator. After some discussion, it was decided that Dick, Joan and Jessie will work together on the coordination task. Accordingly the following will take place:
Jessie will figure out a time and place at the convention to hold the 2016 convention committee meeting.
Weiss will notify the State Masters of the sponsoring states of the meeting and ask that they have representatives present.
The three of us will meet to determine what tasks need to be performed and what each state might do.
We will check with Leroy to determine if the Potomac Grange Operating Account or the Kile Fund pays representatives expenses.
It was decided that Potomac Grange’s convention holiday gift would be a candy bar with a Potomac Grange message labeled on it, perhaps something about the 2016 convention. Amanda Brozana will be asked to work up a design.
Other New Business
There was consensus to hold the Potomac Grange holiday event on Tuesday, January 13, 2013 and have it catered in the Grange Building. President Smith will arrange an educational presentation by One Country Connected, an organization supporting the extension of broad band communication throughout rural America.
Jessie Cope informed us that the Maryland State Grange invited Potomac Grange members to join them on a tour of Gettysburg on Saturday, September 19.
The National Grange sent a letter to all Granges asking members to contribute $10.00 each to National to defray legal costs arising from trade mark issues and the California situation.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.
The next meeting will be October 21, 2014.
Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1
Secretary Richard Weiss called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. in the 10th floor Saunders Library of the National Grange building in Washington, DC. Also present were Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Lecturer Samantha Johnson, Steward Amanda Brozana, Assistant Steward Austin Miller, National Grange Controller Andrew Sampson and new member Allison Archambault. President Joan Smith joined the meeting at 9:15 a.m.
The minutes of the June 17, 2014 meeting were approved as read.
Lecturer Johnson presented the following financials.
Kile Fund – As of June 30, 2014 the Kile Fund balance at PNC Bank was $41,664.93. A transfer of $2,229.71 was made during June and several checks written in June have yet to clear.
Potomac Grange still owes National Grange $477.02 for costs relate to the World War ll Patriot Program. Kile Fund check number 1750 was cut at the end of the meeting.
There was no report on the Operating Account as the electronic data was not accessible at the time due to password problems.
Lecturer Johnson received a response from the National Arboretum regarding construction status of a Solar Demonstration Kiosk towards which Potomac Grange contributed $3,500.00 in 2012. Apparently because any extra energy would not be returned to the grid due to the fact that the garden does not have electrical access, the US National Arboretum Partnership changed its mind on assisting in the installation of the solar panels.
Charla Wanta of the Arboretum asked if Potomac Grange would consider contributing the $3,500.00 towards youth programs. Lecturer Johnson will ask for more details on the youth programs and a decision will be made at the next meeting in September.
Andrew Sampson reported that he has received approval for extension of Potomac Grange’s 2013 form 990.
Lady Assistant Steward Jessie Cope has the estimate for upgrading the National Grange kitchen. She was absent due to illness in her family and the matter will be taken up at the next meeting.
Amanda Brozana presented two designs for the Youth Program T-shirts in honor of Wib Justi. Consensus was for a voice bubble containing Wib’s famous “I’d be delighted.” quote. It was decided that Potomac Grange will purchase an initial 20 T-shirts so that the supplier can go into full production. Thus shirts will be available for sale at the November convention. The 20 shirts will be given to the youth drill team by June and Mary Justi. The purchase will be made from the Kile Fund.
Allison Archambault suggested Potomac Grange consider planting a garden on the National Grange building roof or painting the roof white to save energy. We will look into that with building engineer Sandor Szima.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 10:05 a.m.
The next meeting will be September 16, 2014.
Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1
President Joan Smith called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. in the 10th floor Saunders Library of the National Grange Building in Washington, DC. Also present in the building were Lecturer Samantha Johnson, Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Steward Amanda Brozana, Lady Assistant Steward Jessie Cope, Secretary Richard Weiss and potential new member guests Mar Kelly and Allison Archambault. Present via telephone was Overseer Leroy Watson.
The April 22, 2014 meeting minutes were approved as amended, the amendment being to note that the Youth Conference Sign a Song judges were from Gallaudet University.
In the absence of Treasurer Bobbi Rencevicz, Lecturer Johnson supplied the following financial information.
Value of Bank of America trust as of 3/31/2014 $316,360.00
PNC Checking Account balance as of 3/31/2014 $34,836.08
Check #1746 to American Express – 923.37
Check # 1747 to National Grange – 621.93
Check # 1748 to Joan Smith -27.56
Check #1749 to National Grange for Metro Cards and Store -799.00
Deposit Registration money + 780.00
Deposit Grange Store Sales + 308.00
Balance as of 5/20/2014 $33,552.22
Balance at BB&T Bank as of 4/30/2014 $941.62
President Smith raised a question about the status of the Solar Demonstration Kiosk at the National Arboretum towards the construction of which Potomac Grange contributed $3,500.00 in 2012. Samantha Johnson will call the Arboretum and inquire as to the construction status. If there is no definitive date, it is felt Potomac Grange should ask for the return of its money.
The Eastern Regional Youth Conference hosted by Potomac Grange April 4through 6 went well with 45 attendees participating in several activities including a tour of Ford’s Theater and Museum. Workshops were held on communications, advocacy and other Grange functions. Competitions included public speaking, Sign-a-Song, and drills. For their community service project Grangers made dog toys and treats for the Washington Humane Society, for which a “thank you” letter was recently received.
Discussion turned to the possibility of Potomac Grange financing improvements to the Goss Conference room kitchen in the National Grange Building. After some discussion, it was determined that the improvements could be paid out of the Kile Fund as a contribution to the National Grange.
Building Engineer Sandor Szima joined the meeting and described what improvements could be made and the approximate cost, which came to $6,000.00. Sandor will do a formal cost estimate.
Amanda Brozana will look into a T-shirt program to raise funds for the Youth Foundation in memory of Wib Justi. She will work on a logo incorporating Wib’s famous “I’d be delighted.”
The Potomac Grange book and bake sale will be held June 18 and 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Goss Conference Room.
President Smith explained Grange structure and ritual to our visiting guests.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m. Next meeting will be Tuesday, July 15 at 9:00 a.m. in the 10th floor Saunders Library of the National Grange Building in Washington, DC.
Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1
June 11, 2014 – Plumsteadville Grange
Monthly Meeting – 7:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall
– Madison Ochoco, will describe her experiences during her year as Middletown Grange Fair Queen. Sydney Ochoco will present “Strawberry Fields Forever” her entry in the 4-H demonstration contest during A-Day.
June 28, 2014 – Bucks Co. Pomona Grange
Saturday Luncheon Meeting – 12:00 noon
Presentation of Donations to local service organizations from Pizza Booth Proceeds
Memorial Service in memory of members who have passed away during the year
ALL Grangers are welcome and encouraged to attend.
July 9, 2014 – Plumsteadville Grange
Monthly Meeting – 7:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall
– Presentation of 2014 Ellen Elaine Crooke Scholarships
Plumsteadville Grange Farm Market
May 31 – Opening Day – First Saturday there will be a tree planting demo by Bedminster Land Conservancy. Tree to be planted in memory of Ellen Elaine Crooke.
June 7 – Carol Stranahan -singer/ guitarist
June 14 – Alyssa Neiman – singer/ guitarist
For the latest news on demos, entertainment, vendors and special events Visit our Face book page
Keystone Grange Fair – June 27-28
“Keystone Grange #2 in Trappe would like to invite everyone to their 42nd annual fair. This year’s fair will be held at the Montgomery County 4H Center on Route 113 in Creamery. The dates will be Friday June 27 from 3 pm until dusk and Saturday June 28 from 9 am till dusk. Friday will feature a pet show, a pageant to select the Grange Fair Queen, bar-be-que from Bigg Dutts and many more activities. Saturday will feature opening ceremonies at 11 am, music, children’s activities, commercial exhibitors, antique tractors, plenty of food and various groups from 4H showcasing their talents. Please stop by the Keystone Grange booth and say hello from Plumsteadville Grange! For additional information call Keystone Grange at 484-948-6916, by email at [email protected]. They also have a Face book page and website http://www.keystonegrange2.org.”
Middletown Grange Fair – Snack Bar
Save the date to help us for our major fundraiser of the year – August 13-17, 3014. More details next month.
From the Desk of Marguerite Quinn
State Representative, 143rd Legislative District
Harrisburg Agriculture Update
One of the most brutal winters on record is finally behind us; spring has sprung, and with it comes hope and optimism for a bountiful growing season in Pennsylvania. In Harrisburg, law makers and state officials are working on updates to existing laws, and introducing other legislation and programs that will hopefully make it easier for those of you working the soil to make the most out of our Commonwealth’s agricultural resources. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture puts out an informative email each month and I would like to share the latest edition with you. It includes a message from Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture, discussions of how to take more of our products into global markets and other tips to help you thrive this spring and summer. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to my district office at call (215) 489-2126 for further assistance or questions regarding agriculture related legislation and issues, and you can always find me at RepQuinn.net.
Message from George Greig Secretary of Agriculture. Teamwork moves our state forward. I’ve mentioned the importance of partnering with our ag orgs, but as I head for China this afternoon, I’d like to highlight the importance of working with our sister agencies. Whether it’s working with DCED to open new markets for our agribusinesses or DEP to strike the right balance for ag and the environment, teamwork ensures PDA, and the rest of state gov’t, is putting its best foot forward. It also saves taxpayer dollars. On Tuesday our Bureau of Food Safety staff joined Gov. Corbett as he announced $650 million in cost-saving efforts that also improve services and eliminate inefficiencies. Last year our staff partnered with the PA State Police for Operation Code R.E.D., which made it easier to inspect refrigerated food trucks. State Police flagged down the trucks and learned from our food sanitarians as they identified food code violations and helped ensure the safety of our food supply. From electronic filing of paper work to field computers that save staff time and boost productivity, PDA and other state agencies are serving Pennsylvanians more efficiently than ever.
Sec. Greig Embarks to China to Expand PA Markets. Through a trade mission to China, Sec. Greig hopes to help develop and encourage new export markets for PA ag products. Today through Monday, May 12, he will meet with Chinese buyers and gov’t leaders to establish connections and determine potential trade partnerships with PA companies. Yesterday he met with the CEO of China’s Stanley Fertilizer Company at the PDA office in Harrisburg, ahead of his visit to their Chinese operations next week.
Sec. Vilsack Announces Farm Bill Initiatives in Adams County. Applications for two new NRCS conservation initiatives created in the 2014 Farm Bill are now being accepted. During a visit to Kuhn Orchards in Orrtanna, Adams Co., USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack announced the Ag Conservation Easements Program and the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program. The programs will provide up to $386 million to help farmers restore wetlands, protect working ag lands and support outdoor rec activities.
Chester Co. Business Leaders Host Ag Roundtable. Sec. Greig and DEP Sec. Abruzzo were guests Tuesday at the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry’s ag roundtable discussion. Local ag industry professionals had the opportunity to discuss with the secretaries about PDA and DEP and their work with ag and businesses in the county.
Farm Bill Funding for Cooperatives, Small Producers. Nearly $9 million in 2014 Farm Bill funds are available for developing rural coops and businesses and providing tech assistance for small farmers. The Rural Coop Development Grant Program will provide up to $5.8 million to coop development centers to support start-ups, expansions or operation improvements. The Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program assists those farmers, with $3 million available for market research, product or service improvement, feasibility studies, training and implementing business plans. Contact PAgrows at 717-705-9513.
When Buying Seeds, Ensure You Get What You Pay For. A quick look at the labels on seed bags can save you the headache of buying the wrong product. PDA’s Bureau of Plant Industry Seed Program verifies that seeds sold in PA are tested for quality and labeling accuracy. Check the label for varieties in a mix, germination percentages and weed or undesirable seeds. If you suspect a problem with your seeds or have questions about labeling, contact the seed lab at 717-787-4894.
Did You Know? From the 2007 ag census to the 2012 edition, PA’s livestock and animal products increased in value by 17 percent to $4.62 billion, while crops and hort products increased by 48.9 percent to $2.78 billion.
Plumsteadville Grange Minutes –
The minutes for the May 2014 meeting as recorded by Don Moss (for Karen Moss), secretary, are included in their entirety. Plumsteadville Grange #1738 met Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 7:30 p..m. Present: Men – 9 Women – 7 Total – 16.
OPENING: The Grange opening ceremony was led by Jim Diamond, followed by the roll call of officers and committee members. Minutes of the previous meeting of April, 2014 were mailed with the monthly newsletter. A motion was approved to accept them (as written)/
GUESTS: Nancy Stevenson and the 4-H Teen Council weeded and mulched the flower beds. They received much thanks from the Grange.
NEW MEMBERS. Larry Kling of Ottsville joined the Plumsteadville Grange.
STANDING COMMITTEES REPORTS:
Deaf Activities/ Fish Fry. The Fish Fry activity this spring raised $1781.00. With costs of $831.00 the event made a profit of $950.00.
Farm Market. The Farm Market will open on May 31, 2014. The hours will be from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
Fair Snack Booth. Steve Byrnes has met with the Middletown Grange Fair and has submitted our menu. It is the same as last years. The proposed addition of Lamb Barbeque is on hold waiting for input from the Lamb Council.
Correspondence/Communications: State sent information concerning Pomona Scrapbooks and Family Activities Contests (Quilting).
The Bucks County Bee Keepers Association donated $100.00 to the Ellen Crooke Scholarship Fund in memory of Harold Steely.
Pomona, National & State Reports: The Secretary reported all reports have been filed. The Plumsteadville Grange paid $932.00 to State for 115 registered members.
The Grange has not heard from Jeanne and Roy Snyder or Christine Crook concerning continued membership. Any updates would be appreciated.
Treasury Report:Income For April: $3,924.12, Expenses for April: $1,967.26
A motion was made to donate $1000.00 to the Bucks County Intermediate Unit for hearing related functions. The motion passed.
A motion was made to increase the scholarships to $1000.00 this year since we only have two entrants and we have $2000.00 in the scholarship fund. It was decided to leave the scholarship at $500.00 each for this year and review a possible change for next year.
A motion had passed earlier this year to plant a tree in the Grange lawn in remembrance of Ellen Crooke. Meg Lomax recommended suggested that we plant the tree during the May 31, 2014 Farm Market. She will investigate which tree would be appropriate.
Bucks County Pomona has decided not to run the Pizza Booth. Middletown Grange will find another vendor to take over. They will also donate their portion of the proceeds to community groups.
The meeting closed with the traditional Grange closing ceremony.
Did You Know?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Weekly Newsletter, PA is home to 1.6 million total cattle valued at nearly $1.6 billion on 25,189 beef and dairy operations. It ranks second in the nation in veal production – just one way to enjoy PA’s bountiful supply of beef during the summer grilling season.
According to the “Weekly News From Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,” proximity to major highways, population centers and quality ag commodities makes PA a prime location for food manufacturers. PA exported nearly $2 billion worth of food products last year, bringing profits back to PA’s communities.
To all Plumsteadville Grange members who have a birthday in JUNE 2014. They say you lose your memory as you grow older. I say “forget about the past” and live life to the fullest today and the many tomorrows. Start your day with ice cream.
Update On State Grange Efforts To Eliminate Taxes On Grange Properties
According to Versant Strategies has indicated that a priority issue of the PA State Grange has been the elimination of taxes for Grange properties. Unfortunately, there are two roadblocks to resolution of the issue. The Grange is not organized as a 501c3 which is required for organizations to be eligible for exemption as charities in the tax code. Also, deep in the tax code, there are two lines which state that agricultural and fraternal organizations may not be given tax exempt status. Even with these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, we have friends in the House and Senate who are looking to help. While this issue will not likely be solved during this session, MeeCee Baker feels confident there is momentum to continue to investigate ways to provide tax relief. In the meantime, the county comptrollers make the decision on a county to county basis. When making the ask on a county level, being prepared with a detailed list of the good works Granges do can be helpful. Let us know if we can assist you.
By David Hest, Farm Industry News
In 2014, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may deliver actionable images every week on every crop acre across the America’s heartland could come to fruition. When combined with crop imagery from manned aircraft and ground-based sensor systems like Trimble’s GreenSeeker and Ag Leader’s OptRx, U.S. crop producers will have a wealth of imagery sources to help improve management of their crops.
With little fanfare, GEOSYS, the French-based satellite imagery company bought by Land O’Lakes in late 2013, began delivering weekly satellite crop images to U.S. farmers through WinField-affiliated ag retailers in April. Satshot, another major satellite imagery provider, says it will begin providing weekly crop images beginning in 2015. For 2014, it has increased the frequency of its 5-meter resolution crop images to every three weeks, up from every four weeks in 2013. Meanwhile, UAVs could begin delivering real-time anytime crop images for the 2016 crop season – assuming federal regulators hold to their fall 2015 schedule for releasing regulations governing commercial UAVs – or recent legal challenges to FAA regulations don’t speed up the timetable.
Use of the Grange Hall
If you know of a group needing a meeting place, or to inquire about hall rental for an event, contact Meg Lomax at Meg Lomax at 215-766-9801 or [email protected]
2014 Quilt Raffle
Quilt raffle tickets are available at all Grange events – $2 each or three for $5 – who wouldn’t want to win this beauty!
Sales have been brisk so far – let’s keep the momentum going.
Like us on Facebook
– We welcome members, friends and market vendors to post your comments. Search for “Plumsteadville Grange” or “Plumsteadville Grange Farm Market”
If you have something to share in the newsletter, or to get it via email, please contact Jane Birk at
610-657-7668 or [email protected].
Dates To Remember
31 May 2014
Opening of 2104 Plumsteadville Grange Market
11 June 2014
Plumsteadville Grange Meeting, Plumsteadville Grange
28 June 2014
Bucks Co. Pomona Grange Meeting at Plumsteadville
9 July 2014 Plumsteadville Grange Meeting, Grange Hall, Plumsteadville
12-14 Aug 2014
Ag Progress Days, Penn State University
13-17 Aug 2014
66th Middletown Grange Fair
10-17 Jan 2015
99th Pennsylvania Farm Show, Harrisburg
Plumsteadville Grange Farm Market
Opening Saturday, May 31 at 9:00 a.m.
Tree Planting Demonstration
by Bedminster Land Conservancy
Buy LOCAL and FRESH
Vegetables – Fruit – Eggs – Honey – Preserves – Jams – Pickles
Baked Goods- Cheese -Flowers – Crafts – Art Pottery -Alpaca Products
Dog Biscuits – Woodwork – Tea Room – Knitting Workshop
Try your hand at pottery with Gloria Kosco
Continues every Saturday till Oct 25th – 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Plumsteadville Grange # 1738
Box 335, 5901 Easton Rd.
Plumsteadville, PA 18949