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Nature’s Motto is Onward. She Never Looks Back!

By Leroy Watson, National Grange Legislative Director

  SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 --

It was with mixed emotions that I recently submitted my resignation as Legislative Affairs Director for the National Grange. My wife Cheryl and I have talked for quite some time about our future career and lifestyle goals. We have decided that continued residence in the Washington, DC area is not part of those plans. Therefore, we have made arrangements to move our family to our new residence near Appleton, WI in August. We have already purchased a single family home in that community and moved most of our furniture out to the new house. Our whole family is excited about this move. We are confident that the community we have chosen to relocate to will offer us a superior environment for raising our daughter. We are equally blessed to be moving into a community where there are already many friends and family members ready to greet us and help us with the transition. All in all, we are highly confident that this is the right decision for our family.

May 13, 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of my moving to Washington, DC to work for the Legislative Department of the National Grange. I have been honored by the confidence that your National Grange leadership has placed in my abilities working for the legislative program. I have been blessed to work with five National Masters, more than 2 dozen Executive Committee members, approximately 65 fellow National Grange employees and directors, more than 100 individual state Grange legislative directors, more than 100 National Grange officers and more than 300 individual National Grange delegates during my two tenures with the Legislative Department of the National Grange. I could not have asked for a more supportive team and productive work environment than I was granted as a member of for most of the past quarter century. I will cherish the personal and professional relationships I developed working for the National Grange for the rest of my life.

My successor, Nicole Payla Wood, has been recently introduced. We have had an extremely productive overlap week working together to make the transition go smoothly and seamlessly. I am highly impressed by her professionalism and experience in the field of government relations. I have reviewed her resume to see where I might provide additional guidance during the transition, but frankly can not find any technical skills lacking in her experience. She is at the point in her career where the next logical step is to take on the responsibility to manage a government relations program. It is also obvious to me that the National Grange Legislative Program is the perfect place for her to assume those responsibilities. I have all confidence that she is the right person to”.. advance the interests, elevate the character and increase the influence of all Patrons of Husbandry..” through our legislative program. I hope that every one participating in our National Grange Legislative Program will give her the same benefit of their guidance, counsel and advice that I received so generously over the past 11 years.

National Master Ed Luttrell has asked me to stay on as a part-time consultant , at least through the end of the year in the new position of Special Director for Trademark Protection and Brand Management. In this new role, I will continue the tasks assigned to me nearly two and a half years ago which is to manage our trademark protection efforts and to find new ways to enhance the value of our trademark protected logo for the benefit of our Grange members and local Granges across the nation. More than 2000 local Granges as well as nearly 100 successful legacy companies, cooperatives, credit unions, fairs and other commercial enterprises use the name GRANGE every year to market products and/or services to the public. Unfortunately, there are also a handful of businesses that, knowingly and unknowingly, use the name GRANGE to market their products or services without our proper permission. These businesses clearly want to use the goodwill and positive public image that our trademarked name and logo have with the general public to their private or commercial advantage. Addressing these infringements in a manner that is fair, consistent, and cost effective is a major priority of your National Master and Board of Directors. I am honored that I have been asked to continue to contribute some of my time and talent to address this challenge.

Ultimately, the National Grange Legislative Program succeeds because of the extraordinary selfless efforts of the volunteer Grange leaders across the nation whose primary motivation is captured in the Legislative Department theme: “Celebrating the Responsibilities of Citizenship.” We have used this theme for most of the past decade to describe the National Grange Legislative Program as the best opportunity for politically motivated individuals in our local Grange communities to engage in civic participation in our society. Credit for any successes of the National Grange Legislative Program during my tenure belongs entirely to these individuals.

It has been an honor and privilege to direct the National Grange Legislative Program.


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