President Joan Smith called the conference call meeting to order at 12:03 p.m. EDT. Also on the call were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Sheri Watson, Lady Assistant Steward Jessie Cope, Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Secretary Richard Weiss, National Grange President Betsy Huber, National Grange Program Director Loretta Washington, National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller, National Grange Youth and Young Adult Director Charlene Espenshade and Youth Ambassador Mandy Bostwick (KS), Potomac Grange Steward Amanda Brozana joined the call later.
Because some voting participants had to leave the call early, new business requiring votes was addressed first.
Potomac Grange #1 has been asked by the USDA Ag in the Classroom program to be its representative in the District of Columbia. Representation entails the following:
- Annual membership fee of $300.00.
- Participation in an annual Eastern Region conference. The 2017 conference will be held in Mystic Connecticut April 18 to 20. There is a $35.00 registration fee. USDA will reimburse travel and lodging expenses for one representative from Potomac Grange.
- Participation in monthly regional conference calls.
- Creation and implementation of agriculture related educational projects with DC schools. Joan Smith cited our gardening project and the Blender Bike as examples. Amanda Brozana noted that grants up to $15,000 may be available from USDA for projects.
It was moved by Jessie Cope and Seconded by Richard Weiss that Potomac Grange #1 become the District of Columbia point of contact for the Ag in the Classroom project. Leroy Watson moved to amend the motion by adding that an estimated annual budget be created within the next forty-five days. Said budget to include project costs. Jessie Cope seconded and the motion passed as amended.
It was moved, seconded and passed that Potomac Grange #1 participate in the Ag in the Classroom Eastern Region conference.
It was further moved, seconded and passed that the $300.00 annual dues, the $35.00 conference fee and any unreimbursed out of pocket expenses be paid from the Kile Fund due to the educational nature of the conference.
Old Business – Bee Hive Project
At the last meeting, it was approved to fund bee hive equipment purchases from the Kile Fund. Allison Archebault is coordinating with the Bee Hive Club on implementation of the project. Joan Smith informed us that the Bee Hive Club instructor will also place her hive on the roof. The Potomac hive should be on the roof by the end of March and 10,000 bees will be brought in sometime in April.
It was moved, seconded and passed that Potomac Grange supply refreshments for the April 4 graduation of the Bee Hive class.
- The 2017 Fly In hotel registration closes on March 22. Currently, attendance is around 20 participants.
- Betsy Huber reported that the two Grange Youth Ambassadors met with their congressmen as well as others on the Hill. They also attended a Hill breakfast featuring an informative speaker. Charlene Espenshade thanked Potomac Grange for the scholarships that helped fund the program.
- Amanda Brozana and intern Kim Stefanick will make a presentation on publishing at a conference at the University of Mississippi. Kim, who has two weeks left on her internship, spoke of how much she learned about media and legislation during her internship.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m. EDT.
Richard Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1