President Joan C. Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at 12:05 p.m. EDT. Also, on line were Treasurer Jessie Cope, Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Amanda Brozana Rios, Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Sheri Watson, Secretary Richard Weiss, National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller, National Grange Convention/Operations Director Stephanie Tiller and Peg Johnson.
The September 5, 2018 minutes were passed as amended to reflect that Potomac Grange #1 will participate in the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research February 5, 2019 event at the full $2,500 sponsor level. The National Grange Foundation will also contribute at that level.
Current Operating Fund balance at BB&T Bank is $3,066.96.
Current Kile Fund balance at PNC Bank is $40,307.54. This includes a $25,000 monthly loan repayment from the National Grange.
Amanda is working with an artist who is doing drawings of agricultural scenes within the District of Colombia. These will be used in the Ag in the Classroom program. So far, the artist has worked on drawings of the National Arboretum and the Tidal Basin cherry trees. Thoughts for other scenes include the USDA vegetable garden and perhaps animal scenes from the National Zoo. We should see finished work by Thanksgiving.
The National Agriculture in the Classroom organization is encouraging Potomac Grange #1 to apply for a $15,000 Fire Up grant to take the paper-based Junior Passport Program in initial development by the National Junior Grange Director Samantha Wilkins to app-based digital form.
The app would allow kids with cell phones/tablets to upload their progress toward earning passport seals from Junior Grange and get digital passport stamps.
The National Grange has purchased a hydraulic arm robot that can perform several tasks. Amanda and others were able to program the robot in a few hours. Accordingly, Amanda moved that Potomac Grange reimburse National the $640 purchase price and give the robot to the Junior Grange to help Juniors learn programing.
In discussion that followed, it was suggested that a direct payment to the National Grange from the Kile Fund might violate the trust’s guidelines. Accordingly, Leroy Watson moved that the motion be amended to have the payment made to the National Grange Foundation and that it be based on a written request from the Junior Grange Department. A further amendment increased the payment to $700.00 to cover related shipping and other expenses.
Both amendments were approved, and the motion passed as amended.
There will not be a Potomac Grange November meeting due to the National Convention. The next meeting will be a wine, cheese and gift exchange holiday meeting on December 12.
Joan Smith was confirmed as the Potomac Grange representative to the National Convention and Leroy Watson will be the alternative representative.
It was moved seconded and passed to contribute $1,000.00 from the Kile Fund to the North Carolina Relief Fund for farmers who lost crops in Hurricane Florence. The North Carolina State Grange will be notified of the contribution.
GRANGERS IN NEED
We recognized Oklahoma State Grange President Billy Schufeldt and Oklahoma State Grange Lecturer Ann Keeton as Grangers in need.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Richard Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1