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National Grange to Hold its 143rd Annual Convention in Grand Rapids

By Jennifer Dugent, National Grange Press Release

  NOVEMBER 13, 2009 --

The Nation's oldest rural advocacy organization, the National Grange, will hold its 143rd annual national convention November 17 through 21 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over 500 attendees are expected for the festivities. Educational and speakers events will be open to the public.

Delegates representing the Grange's 40 states and the District of Colombia will review and vote on resolutions that will guide the organization's internal and legislative policies during 2010. The resolution process begins early each year with nearly 2,700 local, county and state Granges. After being voted on at the local level, resolutions move to the state level and, finally, those affecting national policy are voted on at the national convention. Some 200 resolutions will be reviewed and voted upon in the four days of activity.

Stated National Grange President Ed Luttrell of Sandy Oregon, "Delegates and visitors will have opportunities to participate in educational seminars and listen to a series of outstanding speakers." Speakers include Colonel Martin Leppert, Special Assistant to the Director, Army National Guard where he coordinates the Army National Guard Afghan Agri-Business Development mission to support the reconstruction of the Afghan agriculture infrastructure and economy; Robert Looney, Vice President for Government Affairs for CHS, Inc., the nation's largest diversified energy, grains and foods cooperative and Janet McUlsky, Senior Director of Alliance Development for Pfizer, Inc., who will talk on the role of grassroots organizations in influencing national policy. Seminars and speaking events will be open to the public. Interested parties should inquire at the Grange registration desk.

Community Outreach

It is Grange policy to conduct outreach programs in the communities hosting their conventions. In Grand Rapids, on Thursday, November 19, Grange youth will visit The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans where they will serve a meal and visit with the veterans. "Not only will this be a pleasant visit for Grand Rapids vets, it will also be a tremendous learning opportunity for Grange youth. We look forward to this activity," stated Grange Youth and Young Adult Director Charlene Shupp Espenshade.

The National Grange is the nation's oldest general farm and rural public interest organization. Originally founded in 1867, today the Grange represents nearly 200,000 grassroots Grange members affiliated with 2,700 local, county and state Grange chapters located in 40 states. Grange members provide service to agriculture and rural communities on a wide variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable rural America.



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