|SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 --
On September 15, the National Grange welcomed Michael J. Martin, Ph.D., to the staff as Membership/Leadership Development Director.
Martin, a native of Cummington, Mass., has been an active Grange member for over three decades.
Martin said he is looking forward to giving back to the organization that provided leadership experiences for him as the Master of local subordinate and Pomona Granges in Massachusetts. He also served as Membership Director and state officer of the Massachusetts State Grange.
As a young adult, Martin served on the National Grange Youth Team as National Grange Youth Ambassador.
"The leadership skills learned in the Grange are exemplified in community leaders across rural America," Martin said.
He is looking forward to working with Grange leaders across the nation.
"The future of our country rests on the strength of our agricultural and rural communities," Martin said.
Prior to joining the National Grange staff, Martin was a Cooperative Extension professional for 25 years and most recently served as executive director of the North Carolina 4-H Development Fund where he spearheaded the initiative to raise funds to support the 4-H youth development program in North Carolina.
Martin has experience as a 4-H youth development agent in Massachusetts, Vermont and Pennsylvania.He was an International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) Representative to Costa Rica, and also worked to establish and strengthen the 4-H youth development programs in the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Armenia.
Martin holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, and M.Ed. from Cambridge College. He earned a Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development from the College of Education at Penn State University.
Martin, and his wife, Wendy, reside in south central Pennsylvania.
Established in 1867, the National Grange is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. The Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, holds an annual meeting in November where the legislative policy for the year is developed. There are more than 200,000 members across 40 states.
For more information on the National Grange, its legislative policies and programs, please visit www.nationalgrange.org.