Friday, April 12, 2024
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President's Message
President / Master:
Robert Buck
115 N. Georges Hill Rd.,
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: 203-267-6796

CT State Grange Office:
P.O. Box 3
100 Newfield Road
Winchester Center, CT 06094
Office: 860-909-1101

Bethlehem Grange #121
2023 Honor Grange Information
Coming Soon

Presidentís Message: Awards and Reminders
  APRIL 1, 2024 --

Grange Strong: Rooted, Resilient, and United. This is National Grange President Chris Hamp’s new theme for 2024-25. It is what we are and continue to be. We have proud and strong roots in history and modernity, we are resilient and can change with the times, and we are rooted in our communities by what we do. The Connecticut State Grange won the NG Cultivator Award for putting on our Leadership Academy which will be continuing into version 2.0.

The State Grange was an Honor Grange due to membership gains and a Grange Builder for sponsoring Junior and +1Junior Granges. You can all be proud of what you do for your communities.

Some of Sister Chris Hamp’s monthly bylines have been “Stronger tomorrow than today” for that is what we aim to be. Consider “Good isn’t enough” in that we can always strive to do more and better and exceed the minimum. This month, it’s “Raise the bar” in the continued push to improve what we do.

National Grange conducted a study showing the cancer disparities faced in rural areas and has urged legislators to pass the Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (S2085 and HR 2407). This Act requires Medicare to cover a simple blood draw that would detect multiple cancers. This bill would save many lives lost to cancer that is treatable if detected early enough. The Agricultural Census covering 2017-2022 results are out. The number of farms has fallen 7%. The average age of ranchers and farmers has risen slightly to 58.1. The amount of farmland has declined by 20 million acres from 900M to 8880M. Dairy operations fell 39%, beef cattle operations fell 21%, but chicken raising operations rose from 7211 to 7406.

There is pending legislation on labeling of plant based meat substitutes and lab grown meat products. The renewal of the Farm Bill has been delayed in Congress. As you can see from this, we live in a changing world where less farming operations are being called on to produce more agricultural output. This all has its economic effects.

Yesterday, I attended the FFA Leadership Training Luncheon

at Aqua Turf in Southington as one of six special guests. Also present was CT Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt, CT Farm Bureau Director Joan Nichols, representatives of Farm Credit East and others. I sat with six freshmen from the Shepaug Agri- science program. I told them about the Grange and asked questions about their school experiences while they asked me questions about my Grange duties and Optometric profession. After a nice lunch, I took part in a panel of the invited special guests and we each gave our answer in turn to four questions selected by the MC but posed to us by the students. These covered such topics as the lowest point in each of our careers (quite thought provoking), our ideas on the importance of agriculture, and why we felt the necessity to join them for this event (other than the invitation).There were over 200 present from the 26 Agri-science school in our state. The Grange was instrumental in supporting the Smith Hughes Act of 1917 which led to transforming agricultural education. In 1926, the first National Congress of Vocational Agricultural Students was held in Kansas City, Missouri, and in 1928, The Future Farmers of America was founded in the same city.

As a matter of housekeeping, it is (past) time for Granges to be submitting the annual Executive Committee reports for 2022-23 to the State Secretary Todd Gelineau. Only eight have been turned in. Those received seem to indicate Granges in good financial condition, which is inspiring. If your Grange has not completed or turned yours in, please do so as soon as possible. It helps us to know the financial condition of Granges.

On the subject of changes, due to some problems faced by North Carolina State Grange in hosting the National Convention in Charlotte in 2025, the event will be held on an ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) eight day cruise departing from Miami. The new National Grange administration has a committee which has been reviewing past National Conventions and taking input on what Grangers felt was good and bad and thinking about new “out of the box” options. Thus, we are going to try something that has never been done before.

Lecturer Dave Roberts has initiated the Reaching Rural Surgical Seniors program from National Grange with a Zoom kickoff featuring Joan Smith who is spearheading this initiative. Joan also heads the National Grange Foundation. This program provides information for seniors preparing for surgery with templates to help them explore their options. There are also workbooks available for life and asset and will planning. Much information, leaflets and resources are available to be distributed to the membership committee is working with several Granges. Groton Community #213 and Stonington #168 will be merging soon. They are going to help rejuvenate and rebuild Wolcott #173. Cawasa #34 is exploring their options.

Inspections of Granges are under way and going well. Vice President Ted Powell is overseeing that all will be inspected. Subordinate inspections revolve around the deputy visit and completion of a questionnaire. Pomona Grange inspections will be done as they have been traditionally with the numerical scoring. By the way, If anyone is interested to be a CSG Deputy, give me a call. We could use one or two more to lighten the load. This year, I want to re-instate the Honor Grange and Honor Pomona Grange Awards.

From this standpoint, spring is but a few days away and I can feel it in the air. The sun is warmer and the birds are singing more vigorously as they look for mates. Wildlife is coming out too. With all this energy about and the change od season, I encourage you to think outside the box and try new ideas in your Granges.



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