Thursday, June 13, 2024
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President's Message
Presidentís Message: Upcoming State Session

By Robert Buck, CT State Grange President

  SEPTEMBER 1, 2023 --

Maggie and I just got back from a vacation trip to Illinois. Traveling there and back was interesting as we saw 900 miles of America, two times, coming and going. I was reflecting on how great our country is in its diversity of people and production. We even witnessed a series of grain barges being pushed on the Illinois River by a tug. Lots of grain elevators abound. We saw a number of horse farms and visited friends who own one of them. Another day, we went horseback trail riding at another one of those farms called Cedar Creek Ranch. While in Illinois, we had the opportunity to visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum, home and tomb - all testaments to one of the greatest Americans to ever live. Here in CT, we have a rich history as well. Agriculture is not quite on the scale of Illinois but nonetheless important to our economy:  the greenhouse and bedding plant market, aquaculture, horse farms, orchards, wineries, etc. Horse farms fall into an odd place in the agricultural realm as they provide a service rather than hawking a commodity and thus are often overlooked as a part of the agricultural landscape. Where else in a free country (other than Canada) can you travel 1,000 miles, converse in a common language, and share very similar customs with the people you meet?  America is great and the Grange is part of that greatness, a unifying force if there ever was one.

With State Grange Session coming up quickly, please plan to attend. Calls have gone out in the mail and will be in your hands by the time you read this. I hope to see many resolutions on matters important to you all. This is YOUR chance to make a difference in YOUR country.

I regret that I could not make the Family Day at Hillstown Grange as Maggie and I were returning home from Illinois that weekend. I trust that the event was fun and a success. Thanks to all who organized the event.

As you have read in the previous Granger, the Grange Plot has been found and will be properly marked due to the efforts of your State Lecturer Dave Roberts. Thanks, Dave!

Now, I wish to address a couple of housekeeping items. It has come back to me that one Granger showed up at the workplace of a State Grange officer with Grange business in hand pertaining to that member’s Grange. This is not appropriate and should have been handled outside of the officer’s workplace with a phone call and the US mail or other arrangements if papers needed to be transferred between parties. Another issue is asking for projects and paperwork to be completed at the last minute. Please allow people appropriate time to perform those tasks you are asking of them whenever possible.

The final item I wish to address is in the application of grant money by Subordinate Granges. A Grange recently requested a sizable grant from a well-known foundation in Connecticut by using CSG Foundation information but in the name of the Subordinate Grange. The check came in made out to the Grange instead of the Foundation so it can’t be cashed and sent on to the Grange. We in the CSG Foundation soon will be implementing a checklist of procedures for Granges submitting applications for grant money so that they are requested properly and can be processed by the Foundation properly. In the meantime, if your Grange is applying for a grant, it would be expedient of your grant writer to talk to Todd, Jody or me so we can guide you through the process.  It also helps Todd when he gets a check to know who and what Grange applied for the grant. Some checks do come in without identifying information or improperly made out and may be stale dated before they can be cashed by the Grange. This has become a major problem and we in the State Grange Foundation and Board of Directors wish to clear things up so Granges may make these funds available to them through Grants.

The Leadership Academy is progressing nicely with great sessions full of fantastic discussion. We have involved several National Grange leaders including National Vice President Chris Hamp and former National Membership Director Rusty Hunt. Turnout has been about 25 per session. We are already thinking about the 2.0 version. I encourage everyone to take advantage of National Grange programming. Just look up the website. Links to Zoom meetings for the various departments and other materials can be found there. Grange leaders across the country are only a phone call away and so willing to help. All it takes is a call or email. We truly do live in a great country! God Bless the USA!



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