nationalyouthdirector wrote a new post, Making Healthy Grangers…A New Program Idea for Youth, on the site National Grange Youth & Young Adults 7 months, 3 weeks ago
2014 North Carolina Youth Ambassador
Two years ago, our state implemented a new program for youth called “Grangers on the Go.” This is a program that promotes healthy living among our Grange […]
The Grange has it’s roots in agriculture, but as an organization has evolved to become reflective of its communities. However, as the distance from the farm gate to the dinner plate has grown, there is a growing […]
nationalyouthdirector wrote a new post, USDA to Provide $332 Million to Protect and Restore Agricultural Working Lands, Grasslands and Wetlands, on the site National Grange Youth & Young Adults 8 months ago
WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture is making available $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement […]
By: Emily and Matt Shoop, New York State Grange Youth
When we hear about organizing a Grange, it is often a re-organization, or in an area where there once was a Grange or other rural organization. Starting […]
nationalyouthdirector wrote a new post, National Grange Youth Ambassadors Celebrate Ag Day, on the site National Grange Youth & Young Adults 8 months, 1 week ago
Young agriculturalists are often encouraged to seek internships or work for another farm before returning to the family farm. The object is to provide the aspiring farmer a chance to see how other farms operate. […]
Last week, the National Grange Youth Department started a LinkedIn group called National Grange Youth Connections. The purpose of the group is to start connecting Grangers of multiple generations. The strength of […]
Once more our fraternal circle is broken by the death of our Worthy Sister Edith Ayers on September 17th. She was a member of Bedford Grange for over 50 years and served as our Lady Assistant Steward for many years.
The members of Bedford Grange pray that, “when she was called to lay down her implements on earth, she received that welcome plaudit, well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Due to illness, our Anniversary Meeting has been moved to:
Monday, October 27th, 2014
First Church of Christ, Congregational
25 The Great Road, Bedford, MA
Bedford Grange was organized on September 13th, 1909.
Come for a meeting of America’s oldest family fraternity. “To all interested in agriculture, who have generous hearts and open hands to help the needy, raise the fallen, and aid in making the labors of this life cheerful, we say, ‘Welcome to the Grange.'” The Grange offers many experiences and you may get as involved as you like.
The Grange truly is a family organization. There is Junior Grange for those ages 5-14. At 14 young women and men are welcome to join the Subordinate or Community Grange. There they are given an equal voice and vote with Grangers of all ages. Confidence and public speaking skills can be gained through holding an office and state contests.
The Grange offers a chance to participate in non-partisan grassroots political action. Members of local Granges present issues and write resolutions. As the resolutions move to higher levels in the Grange, more members get to discuss and vote on them. Depending on the issues involved, they may stop at the state level and if passed, presented to the State Legislature as the voice of the Grange. If they are National in scope, the delegates at National Grange debate and vote on the resolution. If it passes at National Grange, it is presented to Congress as the voice of the Grange.
If you like to organize small skits, stories, jokes, speakers, and fun, we would love to have you try out the position of Lecturer.
The Grange has a ritual that we follow in our meetings. It isn’t scary and doesn’t take long, but it marks our meetings as something different. The opening and closing remind us that we should constantly be about making ourselves and the world a better place.
Join us as we swing wide the doors of friendship to welcome you!
It’s fair season across the United States as Grangers participate in local, county or state fairs. For Grange youth who have not had their fair yet, they will be helping with local Grange displays, helping at the Grange food booth, or possibly entering some of their best projects and livestock for judging.
Grangers have utilized fairs as a way to promote the work of the Grange and to encourage others to join the organization. However, Grangers are not the only folks using the fair as a promotional tool. People seeking office will as well. Fairs are an easy way to reach rural communities. They will shake hands, participate in fair contests and share their connection back to the farm.
This week, the Associated Press talked about the phenomenon. The story is follows.
Charlene Shupp Espenshade, National Grange Youth Director
Pigs, cows and votes: Candidates try for farm cred
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For candidates in the Midwest, almost nothing tops a photo opportunity with a barnyard animal or a colorful anecdote about life on the farm.
Take Mary Burke, a former business executive running as a Democrat for governor in Wisconsin, who recently paused to check out the cows at a county fair. Or Illinois venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who talks about his dairy farmer grandfather as a role model in his Republican bid for governor. And then there is Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, a Republican who gained national attention with an ad touting her hog castration skills.
Most voters in these states don’t work on farms. Most candidates don’t either. But many of those seeking office seem to be stretching farther than ever for a barnyard background to establish some common-man authenticity.
“It’s the classic ‘I grew up in a log cabin and walked uphill to school both ways,'” said Sue Dvorksy, a former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party.
Sometimes the connection requires a bit of tractor-pulling effort.
Rauner is a millionaire with two Ivy League degrees, but his official biography stresses that thanks to granddad: “Bruce knew how to ride a horse at 6, milk a cow at 8, and shoot a rifle at 10.” Burke’s main selling point is her successes with the family bicycle company, but a key photo on her website shows her in a denim shirt in front of a tractor.
Recently in Iowa, both the governor and lieutenant governor, who do have rural backgrounds, felt the need to also assert their animal slaughter resumes.
“I held the hogs while the veterinarian castrated it,” Gov. Terry Branstad said at a June news conference.
Then Lt. Gov. Kim Reynold chimed in: “I didn’t castrate hogs, but I do know how to skin a chicken and I can do that pretty well.”
So far, they have not demonstrated those skills on the campaign trail.
Nowhere is a rural record more desirable than Iowa, a state with strong farming roots even though two-thirds of the population lives in urban areas. Candidates here trek around farms, gobble pie at state fairs and talk farm subsidies. While Ernst’s ad became fodder for late-night comedy, it also struck a chord that helped propel the state lawmaker to victory in the five-way GOP primary.
“The great thing about Joni’s ad is people relate to her,” said Rob Jesmer, a Republican consultant.
Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard who was raised on a farm, now faces Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in the battle to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin. The two are locked in a dead heat, and Ernst’s campaign has tried to brand Braley as a lawyer who doesn’t understand rural issues.
Braley’s campaign has countered that he was raised in a small town, his grandfather was a farmer and he worked agricultural jobs in his youth. But he spent time apologizing earlier this year after a video was released of him referring to senior Sen. Charles Grassley, a six-term Republican, as a “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law.”
Since then, Republican operatives have tried to hit Braley with a video they say shows him claiming to be a farmer at a parade and with a story on a dispute he had with a neighbor at his vacation community over her chickens.
“Bruce understands what rural Iowa is all about because that’s where he came from,” said Braley campaign spokesman Jeff Giertz.
Candidates in nearby states are also reaching for rural connections.
In Nebraska, Republican Pete Ricketts selected Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann as his running mate in the governor’s race, citing his dairy farming experience. His Democratic opponent, Chuck Hassebrook, has touted the fact that he lives in a rural town.
And in Wisconsin, Burke cites her ancestors as she seeks to topple Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“My great-grandparents were farmers,” said the former Trek Bicycle executive as she pet cows at the Rock County fair.
The candidates must be careful not to overreach. Of Rauner, Ken Snyder, a Chicago-based Democratic media consultant, notes: “everybody knows he didn’t make $53 million last year as a farmer.”
Rauner’s spokesman, Mike Schrimpf, said the candidate just wants voters to know “what guided his life.”
To the folks actually raising hogs, the fixation with farming may not be a bad thing, said Chris Peterson, a lifelong famer from Clear Lake, Iowa.
Since candidates “pander to everybody,” he said, “I’m glad they’re remembering us whichever way possible.”
___ Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont contributed to this report.
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