Overseer Leroy Watson called the meeting to order via telephone at 12:06 p.m. EDT. President Joan Smith joined the meeting. Also participating in the meeting were Nation Grange President Betsy Huber, Treasure Jessie Cope, Community Service Director Loretta Washington, Membership Director Stephanie Wilkins, Family Activities Director Stephanie Tiller, Communications Director Amanda Rios, Legislative Director Burton Eller, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Treasurer Richard Weiss, Chaplain Grace Boatright, Youth and Young Adult Director Mandy Bostwick, Junior Grange Director Samantha Wilkins and Intern Abigail Sharp.
The January 9 minutes were approved with spelling and date corrections, which Stephanie Wilkins will enter when posting the minutes to our web-site.
The current operating fund balance at BB&T bank is $2,916.96
The current Kile Fund balance at PNC bank is $45,0098.86
There is one outstanding $300.00 check from the Kile Fund to National Ag in the Classroom (NAITC).
Joan will be submitting travel bills from the Mid-Atlantic Leaders Conference and the NAITC conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.
It was moved and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report. The motion passed via roll call vote. Jessie will check the Grange mailbox for any dues checks.
COMMUNITY SERVICE REPORT
Loretta, Jessie Cope and Grace Boatright attended the Foundation for Food and Agriculture conference held in Washington, DC. Potomac Grange’s Kile Fund and National Grange’s Foundation each contributed $2,500 towards this conference. All three of our members recommended that Potomac Grange not participate in this conference next year as the benefits to Potomac Grange and National Grange are not worth $5,000.00.
JUNIOR GRANGE REPORT
The Junior Grange will begin using AITC materials in its programs.
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS REPORT
Grange youth will be arriving shortly to DC to participate in National Agriculture Day.
Discussion followed regarding Fly-In scholarship requirements, which include a 3,000-word essay. It seems these requirements are too stringent, as nobody has applied to participate in this year’s Fly-In.
Burton suggested that expansion of funding for Youth and Junior participation in National Ag Day may be a better investment than Fly-In Scholarships. Visits to the Hill and other educational programs could be added to the Youth and Juniors program. It could evolve into their own Fly-In.
There was consensus to evaluate this year’s program for a decision about 2020.
National Grange Advocacy is playing a major role on educating the public about on line, low cost drugs from Canada. The facts are that many of these sites professing to be in Canada are really in places like Indonesia and India where there is no oversite of production. The Canadian equivalent to our FDA does not have any oversite of these drugs passing through their country.
While these on-line drugs may be cheaper, they can also be ineffective or even harmful.
Grange Advocacy is also working with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) coalition to distribute kits for the disposal of unused drugs. Currently six states have taken on the project and there are six more state Granges ready to participate if and when RALI is ready to expand.
The Grange Revival will be held July 23 to 28 at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas. Amanda Rios is working on accommodations and grill space.
Loretta Washington suggested that Potomac do a coffee and donuts day in the Grange Building lobby for the building’s tenants. The purpose is to educate tenants about the Grange and spark their interest in joining Potomac Grange. This would be done with a handout about the Grange going with the coffee and donuts. Jessie Cope opined that something simpler than coffee would serve the objective of creating awareness of Potomac and National Granges. A move to hold this event on April 1 was amended to April 9 so more members will be available to participate. The amended motion passed.
The Spring Fling will be held on the evening of April 9. Grace Boatright will find a speaker.
Grange Magazine subscriptions should soon be up for renewal.
Grange Foundation raffle tickets will be for a quilt with a heart in the middle. Joan Smith is a Ticket Captain. For those members of her team that sell all their allotments, she will hold a drawing for a free week at her house in Florida.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
Richard Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1