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President's Message
President's Message: See The Miracle of Spring

By Noel Miller, CT State Grange President

  March 5, 2016 --

The preparations for Spring are all around us.  The mailman has delivered numerous seed catalogs, articles on new planting techniques and new and improved tools or equipment to improve or reduce our labor. Mother Nature has begun to bring forth signs of Spring. The redwing blackbirds have returned to the marshes, peppers will be calling in the night.  Skunk cabbage will sprout in the wetlands. These sights and sounds tell us spring is near, so we need to prepare now for the work before us. March has always amazed me as the dead grasses turn overnight into small green shoots breaking through the dead cold soil, into the emerald carpet, tree branches bud into leafy banners, celebrating the arrival of spring.

Springtime also brings new challenges to our Community Granges, New members are welcomed into our halls and the lessons of the Grange are explained to them, so we should make sure that mentors are assigned to these new members. They should answer questions, explain events or ritual that new members may not understand, call new members as to meeting nights or activities they might enjoy. They should offer to take them to a neighboring Grange so they can meet other Grangers and see what other Community Granges are doing. We tend to bring in new members and then let them fend for themselves, which is one of the mistakes we have made over the years. New members are like plants, we prepare the soil, plant the good seed, water and hoe the weeds. Once the plant begins to bloom we should say our job is done, take care of yourself, the weed will return and choke our plant and it will wither and die. So will new members if we don’t nurture them, welcome them, involve them, enthuse them, they will wither and die from our Grange. Let’s work together to mentor new members.

Last year the Connecticut State Grange Executive Committee announced the values of the Connecticut State Grange. They were (and are): HONESTY, COMMUNITY, CHARITY, INTEGRITY, FRIENDSHIP AND CTIZIENSHIP. We as Grangers all should project these values and strive to obtain these values within our Community Granges, these Values are the foundation of the Grange and if we work toward them we all will benefit from the lesson they teach all of us. In the First Degree the Steward tells the women, “Wearing that garment is to teach you that those we admit into our circle are not chosen by outward appearance, and that we are not deceived by display in dress. It is to the mind and heart that we look for all good workers.” This is for both men and women.  So when you join- leave the drama, negative, and ill will outside the outer gate and join the team that will get things done for all.

We are bombarded with social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These all can be positive tools for the growth of our Granges, but they can also bring negative comments, rants, and nonproductive comments to our Granges. Monitor what your members are doing on social media and remove or educate on the misuse of the comments that have been posted. We want to promote the good and helpful not the trash or smut that we have all witnessed on some sites.  What you say today will be there forever, so let’s all play nice.

March 16th will be Ag Day at the State Capitol. The Ag. Committee, Legislative Committee and I, along with Hank will be there to meet and talk to legislators and the Governor. This is always a great event to go to so you can see how much agriculture is in Connecticut.

Spring brings Inspections, so please welcome Deputies or others to your halls and be prepared for inspections. Inspections are not to judge you but to see how your meetings are conducted and the activities your Grange does throughout the year. I thank you for your support and friendship given to my Deputies.

Finally, I wish all a Happy Easter and hope you see the miracle of spring.


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