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Around The Grange
Grange Youth: Investing in the Future
 

By Charlene Espenshade, Youth Development Director (New Grange May/June 2011)

  JUNE 27, 2011 --

There is possibly no greater investment in our organization than Grange youth. These youth advocate for the Grange as youth ambassadors and young couples. Youth learn first-hand about the Grange’s policy development process though the John Trimble Legislative Experience. To highlight the importance of these members, a team of youth opens the National Session on Friday to a packed room of Grangers.

The National Grange Youth Foundation makes this, and so much more, possible. The foundation, which was established to support Grange Youth activities, covers the housing costs, meal tickets and youth tour for youth accepted in one of the National Grange Youth recognition program. 

The return on investment to the Grange is significant. By bringing youth together, they are able to build leadership skills. Youth begin to connect with others from across the country, establishing relationships that can last a lifetime. The investment also provides a return into their local, Pomona, and state Grange. The goal of these programs is to return youth to make an impact and positive difference within all levels of the Grange. 

In lessons of our order, Grangers are taught that members will reap from what they sow in work. They enter the fields as laborers and maids. They persevere to achieve the elevation to husbandmen and matrons. However, it is up to us to nurture them along the way with whatever support we can offer.

The appeal letter has been sent out to all subordinate granges. I would encourage all Grangers to take the time to seriously consider how to support the future of our organization. Your Grange’s investment into a youth member could have a profound result. 

Editor’s Note: To make an online donation to the Youth Leadership Fund, go to www.grangefoundation.org/index.html

Regional Roundup

Delaware hosted the Eastern Regional Youth Conference in April at the Delaware State Fairgrounds. During the weekend, youth competed in several contests. Topping the Sign A Song Contest was Jennifer Lanstrum of Ohio. She will represent the Eastern Region at the Evening of Excellence, held during National Session in Oklahoma. 

In a highly-contested public speaking contest, Ashley Pedersen of North Carolina won best of show and will present her speech at the Evening of Excellence. 

Grange youth from Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio also assembled drills to present at the conference, bringing back a long-standing contest tradition. 

Thank-you to Delaware for hosting this year’s regional conference. We are looking forward to heading to Ohio for regional meeting in 2012. 

If you have not signed up to attend the regional conferences for Midwestern, Northeastern, Great Plains, and Western Regionals, please visit www.nationalgrangeyouth.org to register for one of the remaining regional conferences. Also, the youth department will be participating in the Southeastern Regional Leaders’ Conference, so if you can not make one of the regional conferences, I would encourage you to sign up to attend in South Carolina. 

Faces of Agriculture

This year, the Youth and Junior Departments are focusing on the importance of agriculture in our communities, country and world. At each regional conference, we are discussing the importance of connecting agricultural youth with their non-agricultural counterparts to advocate for agriculture. 

As part of the project, we are asking youth and young adults to submit digital photos of what agriculture means to them. The collected photos will be displayed in a Faces of Agriculture digital slide show. The pictures will be accompanied by a short caption about the photo. The slide show will be unveiled at the 2011 National Grange Session in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Please fill out the attached form and email your photos to youth@nationalgrange.org.

As we gear up for summer events, I hope you have successful youth camps, gatherings and make plans to join the National Youth Department at one of the remaining regional youth conferences.

 
 
 
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