October 13, 2021 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order at 12:10 p.m. Initially on the line were Treasurer Jessie Cope, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, and Secretary Richard Weiss. Stephanie Wilkins and Amanda Brozana joined later.


Current Operating Fund at Truist Bank $3,453.43
Current Kile Fund at PNC Bank $67,260.40
Recent Deposit $3,135.75
Recent check for Joan’s Survival expenses $599.43
Pending payment $100.00


  • Joan called for a decision whether to resubmit two Potomac Grange resolutions that did not pass at last year’s annual meeting. One called for adding a Youth member to the Executive committee and the other to implement a $1.00 addition to member dues to fund Youth activities. Cheri Watson agreed to resubmit provided there is no change in the wording. There is no change. There was consensus to resubmit.
  • Kile Fund 2020 annual report: The fund received $2,958 a quarter plus an extra $6,000 payment in November for total 2020 receipt to $17,832.


  • World Food Forum. It was suggested that Potomac consider supporting a National Grange youth’s participation in next year’s World Food Forum. Sheri opined that if we do so that person would need to follow up their participation with presentations to at least national and regional meetings communicating what they learned and how it benefits the Grange. (In a subsequent conference call Betsy, Joan and Dick decided Dick will find out more about the World Food Forum and subsequently recommend how to proceed.)
  • Amanda recommended that Potomac submit to the Annual Convention a resolution adding 0to4 year olds to the count of Family memberships. We will vote by email.


  • No meeting in November.
  • We will plan to resume our tenants’ party in April 2022 with our April meeting to follow the party.

There was no further business and Joan adjourned the meeting at 12:50 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1

Potomac Grange #1 is the DC National Ag in the Classroom Lead

Conference Scholarships Available
White-Reinhardt Applications Due Oct. 15

Have an idea for an agricultural literacy project? Want to attend the 2022 National Agriculture in the Classroom national conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, but can’t afford to do so? The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA) is now accepting applications for the White-Reinhardt Grant program for agricultural literacy projects and the Scholarship program for support to attend the national conference. Applications for both programs are due Oct. 15, and go through a review process involving the applicant’s state Farm Bureau.

Learn more and apply for a White-Reinhardt Grant today!

Learn more and apply for a White-Reinhardt Scholarship today!

For more information contact [email protected]

July 14, 2021 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the Zoom meeting to order at 12 noon from her car. Also present on the call were Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Steward Amanda Brozana Rios, Secretary Richard Weiss and RetireSafe CEO Mark Gibbons.
(Contact with Joan was lost and Weiss chaired the meeting.)

The June 9, 2021, minutes were approved as read.


No Report.


NAITC Conference

Amanda presented Potomac Grange’s annual Teacher of the Year” award to Serita Blankenship from Kansas at this conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Amanda noted that many of the attendees were not ag teachers but simply teachers looking for interesting material for their classrooms.  Conference topics included virtual farm tours.

Membership and Dues

Secretary Weiss has sent out dues notices to members in arrears.  For those behind just a year or two, the notices asked for past dues.  Some plain renewal requests also went out.  We will see results in the next Treasurer’s report.

Kile Fund IRS Status

No update at this time.

Grange Revival

To date, 142 Grangers have signed up to participate.  This is double last year’s total participation.  The week’s schedule is rather open as people may want to do their own thing after a year of being couped up. On Friday of the week, there will be a trip to Mount Rushmore. Grangers who are veterans will be stand among other veterans being honored during the traditional lighting ceremony.  An unrestricted $500.00 grant from the Colorado State Grange will likely help cover food costs.

Telethon Results

The Telethon raised $23,470.00 for the National Grange Junior and Youth programs.

National Session

Due to lack of a quorum, votes on two resolutions and Potomac Grange’s delegate to the Session will carry over to the September 8th meeting.  Secretary Weiss commented on our need to increase meeting participation.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at approximately 12:45 pm.

No meeting in August. Next meeting will be September 8th at noon.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1

June 9, 2021 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the Zoom meeting to order at 12:08 p.m. ET. Also participating were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Treasurer Jessie Cope and Secretary Richard Weiss.

The May 12, 2021, Meeting Minutes were approved as read.


BB&T Operating Account current balance:                        $3,536.74
PNC Kile Fund account current balance:                           $67,692.33

This is only $2.00 lower than last month and represents a monthly fee.  Jessie does have outstanding checks that will be reflected in next month’s statement.


Kile Fund and the IRS

Leroy is still dealing with paperwork.

Grange Revival

To date there are 121 participants. Joan will need to purchase enough additional daubers and bingo cards to cover an estimated 20 games played over 7 days.
Richard Weiss moved, and Leroy Watson seconded that $200.00 be spent from the Operating Fund to purchase twenty Amazon $10.00 gift cards for game winners. Because the meeting lacked a quorum, this vote will be turned over to the Potomac Grange #1 Executive Committee.

Harry Massey Contribution to Grange Foundation

This $1,000.00 contribution in Harry’s name is on of the Kile pending payments. Leroy reports that Harry’s family is very appreciative.

PG#1 Membership and Dues

In reviewing his records, Weiss determined he had not kept members up to date on their dues. A document sent to Joan, Jessie and Stephanie revealed that. After some discussion, it was decided that Weiss will contact arrears members individually and ask them to pay past years as well as current and future years.


NAITC Conference

Amanda will not have to pay the $435.00 registration fee requested by NAITC in order to present a teacher’s award at this conference. She will have to pay for her breakfast.

Virtual Telethon

Saturday’s telethon raisebd $21,050 for the Youth and Junior programs through the Grange Foundation. A portal through which to make contributions remains open for a few days.

National Session

Two Potomac Grange resolutions that did not make it out of committee at the 2020 National Session were on today’s agenda for discussion as to whether to bring them up again at the 2021 Session. Due to the lack of participants in today’s meeting, it was decided to postpone the discussion to our July meeting.

Joan will be available to be Potomac Grange’s delegate at the 2021 Session. That, too, will be put on the July meeting agenda.

There were no “Good of the Order” issues nor members sick or in distress and the meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

Next meeting July 14 at noon. No meeting in August. September meeting the 8th at noon.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1

May 12, 2021 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the virtual meeting to order at 12:04 ET.  Also participating were Steward Amanda Brozana Rios, Treasurer Jessie Cope, Board member Cheri Watson, Secretary Richard Weiss, members Samantha Wilkins, Mark Gibbons, and Kennedy Gwin, and joining later Overseer Leroy Watson.

The March 10, 2021 meeting minutes were approved as read.


BB&T Operating Account current balance:                        $1,536.47
PNC Kile Fund account current balance:                           $67,698.33

All Kile Fund checks have cleared. Last deposit was $3,135.75 on 3/26. Net income for the Mid-Atlantic Leaders Conference was $615.78. Total expenses were $1,850.73 with the remainder covered by the Kile Fund.


Grange Revival: To date, there are104 attendees signed up. Potomac will not do the Olympics this year. Instead, we will run Bingo. We have some cards and daubers left from the Mid Atlantic Leaders Conference. Joan will purchase more and ship them to Sturgis, SD. Amanda noted there will be free entry and travel to Mount Rushmore. Potomac will be recognized as a Revival sponsor.

Kile Fund IRS Status-Leroy Watson: Leroy is getting paperwork together before hiring outside help which he feels will be necessary.

NAITC Conference-June 27-July1, Des Moines, Iowa:

Joan will attend virtually for a $50.00 registration fee. Amanda will be traveling close to Des Moines on National Grange business and can hop into the conference to make our annual teacher award. Ag in the Classroom wants a $435.00 conference registration fee for her to do so. Joan has never paid a registration fee to attend the conference because we are a $3,700.00 a year sponsor. It was decided to have Joan deal with NAITC staff regarding the registration fee. Jessie then moved to support Amanda’s cost to make the presentation at no more than $600.00. After some clarification of Potomac’s potential costs, Jessie amended her motion to reduce the coverage to $50.00 for meals and essentials. Weiss seconded and the motion passed. Cheri suggested Joan also question her $50.00 fee.
Grange Foundation TELETHON-Saturday, June 5-12noon to 8:00pm:
The Telethon goal is to raise $50,000 for the National Grange Junior and Youth function which is approximately $20,000 short of covering its expenses due to lack of member contributions. Telethon contribution levels with corresponding recognition go as high as $25,000. Leroy advised that the Agate level of $5,000 would conform with Kile Fund guidelines. Amanda moved and Jessie seconded that Potomac make a $5,000 contribution to the Junior and Youth foundation. The motion passed.
Leroy moved that Potomac also make a $1,000 contribution from the Kile Fund to the National Grange Endowment fund in memory of former member Harry Massey. Amanda seconded and the motion passed. Amanda also suggested that Potomac consider sponsoring two pages in Good Day magazine.
Rachael recently achieved her career best in the long jump and hurdles. In the Fall she will attend Hofstra University in Hempstead New York.
There were no “Good of the Order” issues and no members sick or in distress.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:16 p.m. Next meeting is June 9 at 12noon.
Respectfully Submitted,

Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1

Kansas Educator Selected as 2021 Agriculture Advocate of the Year

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and National Grange Foundation have selected Kansas agriculture educator Serita Blankenship as the recipient of its 2021 Partnership in Agricultural Literacy (PAL) Award, formerly known as the Agricultural Advocate Award.

Blankenship of Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) won the award for her 20-plus-year commitment to educating Kansas students at the elementary and secondary level about the importance of agriculture with programs like “Be Ag Wise” and the rollout of the Kailey’s Agriculture Adventure book series and related lesson plans. The “Be Ag Wise” program lasted more than a decade, was one of the largest, most successful projects Blankenship assisted in implementing, was a joint effort between Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (KFAC) and KFB and provided workshops in four locations across the state each year where more than 1,000 educators learned agriculture theme-related lessons in a train-the-trainer format.

“In the short time I have been with the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, I have learned that Serita shares KFAC’s passion for Kansas agriculture and commitment to increasing agricultural literacy,” wrote KFAC Executive Director Nancy Zenger-Beneda in her letter of support. “Her guidance on our education committee and the agriculture education task force has been a big part of our successes.”

“The Grange Foundation is proud to present this award each year, and winners like Serita Blankenship keep amazing us with their passion, creativity and impact on both the children and educators they serve,” said Betsy Huber, Grange Foundation president.

“National Agriculture in the Classroom and state and territory Agriculture in the Classroom programs depend on educators like Serita Blankenship to deliver agricultural literacy outreach to students in innovative ways in their communities,” NAITCO President Tammy Maxey said. “Her passion for reaching students with reading programs and involving older students to teach younger students is inspiring.”

Blankenship helped distribute to educators the Kailey’s Agriculture Adventure book series published by KFB. This series, written by Dan Yunk, consists of seven books and follows the travels of Kailey as she visits the farm to learn more about agriculture. Each book in the series has lesson plans, resources, activities, fun facts, and a glossary. Blankenship was an integral part of putting all of these pieces together, as well as getting the books and resources in the hands of Kansas teachers.

In addition, she has been implementing a “leading kids to agriculture knowledge” program in which she taught more than 380 high school student leaders the importance of agriculture and educating the next generation about this important industry. Many of those students were then able to take those lessons to elementary schools and teach younger kids about agriculture once again following Blankenship’s “train-the-trainer” model.

Blankenship has served on the KFAC Education Committee and has been a staff liaison for the KFB’s Women’s Committee, whose volunteers promote agriculture education as one of their top priorities. She is the farm safety manager at KFB and has led thousands of students in hands-on, farm safety demonstrations over the years. She has also presented at many agriculture education venues in order to reach broader audiences, including during National Agriculture Hall of Fame events, American Royal BBQ Kid’s Area, Kansas State Fair, K-12 schools, kids ag safety days, teacher in-service trainings, Kansas State Capitol South Step Friday events, and has appeared in several agriculture education spots with a celebrity chef on a local television station.

The National Grange Foundation supports youth development, promotes agriculture education and research, improves communities, and fosters culture, heritage, citizenship, and charitable activities. Founded in 1867, the National Grange was formed as a nationwide organization with a local grassroots focus. Its members are given the opportunity to learn and grow to their full potential as citizens and leaders. To learn more about the National Grange, please visit www.nationalgrange.org.

NAITCO is a non-profit organization representing state Agriculture in the Classroom programs in most of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides web-based pre-kindergarten-12th grade lesson plans and companion resources, a national conference, national awards programs, and professional development opportunities for state and territory Agriculture in the Classroom programs. Its mission is to increase agricultural literacy through Pre-K-12 education. To learn more about NAITCO, please visit www.agclassroom.org.

March 10, 2021 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the Zoom meeting to order at 12:10 p.m. ET.  Also participating were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Treasurer Jessica Cope, Secretary Richard Weiss, Steward Amanda Brozana Rios and member Mark Gibbons.


BB&T Operating Account: 2,584.83

There are two membership payments pending. Also, Mid-Atlantic Leaders Conference registration payments will be transferred from the $617.69 PayPal account to the Operating Account from which Conference expenses will be paid.

Kile Fund: $65,821.83

It appears that Potomac Grange and possibly the Kile Fund have lost 501(c)3 tax exemption status for failing to submit annual filings to the IRS and the DC Government.  There is some confusion as to whether there are two separate EIN accounts or only one covering both entities.

Rectifying the situation may involve outside legal and financial assistance at some cost.  Leroy will oversee the effort.  He made it clear that any costs related to the Kile Fund can legally be paid out of the fund.

Jessie Cope moved to seek professional guidance regarding our tax status and pay and reasonable and customary fees for such assistance from the Kile Fund.  Leroy Watson seconded the motion and the motion passed.


The virtual Mid-Atlantic Leaders’ Conference takes place March 19 and 20. Sixty-four people have registered so far. Jessie has distributed 51 boxes with bingo cards and daubers, craft materials, community service project items, snacks and a recipe. National Grange Lecturer Chris Hamp may pre-record her presentation because she is administering COVID-19 vaccination shots in upper Washington State.

The 2021 Grange Revival is scheduled for July 20 -25 at the Days End Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota.  Amanda reports that folks are still planning to participate.  Potomac Grange has been asked to again sponsor the Olympics event.  Joan pointed out that this event requires a lot of equipment that must be shipped ahead of time.  She suggested we volunteer to sponsor Bingo Night(s).  Amanda could lug that equipment in her car.

Ag in the Classroom-Joan: In January we filed our annual report to National Agriculture in the Classroom.  Our annual dues to NAITC of $300 was paid and the fee to maintain our DC Website was paid by Jessie.


Virtual Ag Day Event sponsored by USDA has invited Grangers to participate on March 22.

National Grange Virtual Fly-in is scheduled for April 7.  As there will be no travel involved, Potomac Grange has not been asked for financial support.

National Grange Youth Fund is approximately $3,000.00 short in covering their expenses due to low participation of donations in the Grange Foundation. The program is appealing for support.  There was discussion about contributing to the Youth Foundation from the Kile Fund. While no final decision was made, Jessie recommended that any contribution be direct toward something specific, not just flat-out.

National Grange Month is April.  Due to remaining Covid risks and restrictions, it was decided not to have our annual tenant breakfast.

The Ag in the Classroom Website-Potomac Grange has recently paid for our DC Ag- in-the- Classroom Website.  We can post our materials at no further cost and recently posted and article on farm workers. The site is maintained by the University of Utah.

Membership-There appears to be several prospective new members.  Weiss will send a 2021 dues notice to Kennedy Gwin.

There were no “Good of the Order” issues and there were no members sick or in distress.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:10 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard B. Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1

February 10, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Meeting, held via Zoom, called to order at 12:06 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2021.

In attendance was Joan C Smith, Leroy Watson, Jessie Cope, Cheryl Watson, Burton Eller and Amanda Brozana Rios. Brother Dick Weiss called out sick.


BB&T Operating Account: 2,404.83 as of 2/10/21

  • Odd note: Jan. 29 “counter deposit” of $25. Check with membership records or with Stephanie, was likely Burton’s cash dues.
  • In this calendar year, we have not received any new dues except that $25 deposit.
  • A reminder would be ideal with info on when dues would come up (i.e. if we have a few years left or are due now)

Kile Fund: $66,123.53 as of 2/10/21

  • Last Deposit was $2,859 quarterly Deposit in December 2020
  • Recently the $300 check cleared for Ag in the Classroom Annual Dues
  • Another $300 check for annual web-hosting for Ag in the Classroom


PayPal account has been receiving incoming money for the Mid-Atlantic Grange Leaders Conference. Jessie requested clarification on where that money will go to since Kile Fund is being used to cover our fees. Proposes we would use the money gathered to give/reimburse Kile Fund or use operating money (from these deposits) first then dip into Kile Fund.

14 people have signed up and paid for MAGLC. Joan is disappointed with the turnout so far. Three other registrants have requested more information.

Joan has been preparing some materials for Goodie Boxes for all Registered attendees and Jessie is prepared to send and distribute.

Leroy has proposed expanding our invitation list. Northeast has already canceled their Regional conference. We can send a direct appeal. All are in favor of sending the same email to the leaders from NE states at least that was sent to all Mid-Atlantic leaders. .

By Feb. 24, we will decide if we are going to hold the conference or if there are too few registrants.

Amanda will provide the instruction/discussion for the Community Service workshop. Joan has gotten Christmas cards to provide for the opportunity and we will include an addressed envelope (to Marlys Halbeisen, 10650 West 45th Avenue, Wheatridge, CO 80033) for people to send the completed cards


No scholarships are needed for the Fly-in as it is planned to be virtual.

Junior and Youth Appeal letter has come in. We cannot act because we do not have a quorum.

Meeting was interrupted at 12:43 p.m. (Zoom connection error). Attendees all got back on at 12:44 p.m


Report from the Watsons on our Grange Youth: Rachel is currently applying to and being accepted to several colleges. We will send her a care package when she goes off to school.

Discussion of Youth program that serves to encourage Home away from Home

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 12:53 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Secretary Pro-Temp
Amanda Brozana-Rios

2021 Mid-Atlantic Grange Leaders Conference

Online Event Registration Form
REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 11:59 p.m. Eastern on February 23, 2021

Potomac Grange #1 in Washington, DC, is pleased to host the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Grange Leaders Conference as a virtual event.

Complete with presentations by several National Directors and Officers, this 2-day event March 19-20 is open to ANY Grange member or prospective member for the low registration price of $10. See the full schedule here (link)*.

Participants will receive a registration package by mail prior to the event, including two agriculture craft items, community service materials and 12 BINGO cards for use during “flash games” throughout the weekend, for which winner will receive $25 or $50 gift cards!

Take this opportunity to engage with the organization, learn to lead and enjoy fellowship with fellow Grangers. “See” you in March!


January 14, 2021 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the Zoom meeting to order at 12:05 EST. Also participating were Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Secretary Richard Weiss, and National Grange Legislative Affairs Director Burton Eller.


  • The conference will be held via Zoom Friday, March 19 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the option to as late as 9:00 p.m.
  • Burton suggested that a possible speaker for Friday might be Nona Bear, a healthcare policy expert who has worked with the Grange. There was agreement that healthcare would be a topic of interest to the conference participants, which include Youth and Juniors.  Burton suggested a half-hour for Nona to speak followed by up to a half-hour for questions.  He will check out Nona’s availability.
  • The Saturday agenda will be as follows: 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.-Junior activities, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.-Youth activities, 11:00 a.m. to Noon-Leadership/Membership, Lunch from Noon to 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.- crafts (when registering, each participant will purchase a $5.00 to $10.00 packet containing craft materials as well as snacks. The packet will be sent to them ahead of time.), 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.-Advocacy, Lecturer, Community Service, Benefits and Grange Foundation, 4:00 p.m.-wrap-up.

Joan stressed the importance of getting the registration forms out ASAP. She will work with Jessie Cope on this and then Stephanie will target email it to members of the participating states which are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Potomac Grange.


  • It was agreed to pay at this time the $300.00 annual dues to National Agriculture in the Classroom and our 4th quarter 2020 dues to National Grange.
  • It was decided not to increase Potomac Grange dues in 2021 and Dick Weiss will go ahead and get the 2021 notices out.
  • Burton informed us that he will have four interns this coming semester. One assignment will be working with interns from RetireSafe on a joint grant project.

Next meeting is February 10 at 12 Noon.  There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss
Secretary, Potomac Grange #1