Oct 142020
 

by Willie Grenier  (maitcatmainedotgov)  , MSG Ag Director
207 437-2099

Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the Agriculture Committee of the Maine State Grange met by conference call with nine members present. Fall is still presenting many changes although some in-person meetings are now happening. Brother Terry shared a story of a candlelit meeting when the power went out due to a thunderstorm. Just as the meeting ended, the power returned! At least fall has brought some rain! Folks are buttoning up their gardens but a few fall crops are still being harvested.  

Maine fairs were canceled this year, but a few have held virtual events. Common Ground Fair is holding virtual speakers and presentations as well as an exhibit hall. The Big E is planning a limited attendance cattle show later in October.

The committee is looking ahead to the Grange Ag Store for Fryeburg Fair in 2021. Steve Verrill reported that Androscoggin Pomona has joined the group. Excelsior and The Ag Committee will stay in as partners. Sharon and Henry Morton will be attending meetings and reporting back to the committee. Aggie & Bob Nelson have been part of the team in the past and will continue depending on how the pandemic affects next year’s fair.  The next meeting is tomorrow, October 14, 2020, to elect officers and review the bylaws. If anyone is interested in volunteering or being a part of this group please let Sharon know at Grange Headquarters.

The committee chairman reported that the year-end report had been filed. Votes on budget and resolutions will be counted at headquarters on October 22, 2020. There are no fundraising or volunteer opportunities for committee members this year.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry made an announcement that the annual Trade Show in 2021 will be held virtually. A survey has been emailed to all past participants and they are determining the best way to assist groups and farms in this new format. Sharon said she had received the notice and will complete the survey. Maine Grange is normally an exhibitor. Committee members thought that a page with connections to state and local Granges, the website, and a bit of information on how to join might be best.

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom is holding the annual meeting virtually on Zoom on October 28, 2020, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.? Many have already expressed how much they will miss the wonderful dinner and in-person networking! Anyone wishing to attend must email maitcatmainedotgov  (maitcatmainedotgov)   and the Zoom link will be sent to them a day or two before the meeting. MAITCA plans to present a $500 scholarship to the Ag Committee. The chair asked if anyone would be interested in accepting it and saying a few words about the 2020 recipients. The committee suggested Master Sherry and Sharon said she would be able to if she could not attend.?There was no other business. ?

Many thanks to all the committee for serving this year! We are all hoping that we can meet in person soon and get back to some of our regular business!  The next call will be on Monday, December 14th at 1:00. We may try a Zoom call next time. It has been a long time since many of us have seen each other. Happy fall season everyone! Have a safe Thanksgiving and warm fire as we are moving towards cold weather that is bound to follow! BE WELL!

Aug 272020
 

by Willie Grenier  (maitcatmainedotgov)  , MSG Ag Director
207 437-2099

On Monday, August 10, 2020, the Agriculture Committee of the Maine State Grange met by conference call with eight members present. Everyone is doing fine with the many changes and cancellations. Gardens are productive but need some rain! We are looking forward to the time when we can meet in person again! ?

The committee has heard from Granges in the state that they do not know if Agriculture scholarships are ever awarded to students in their area. The state master has provided reports of awardees each year. Scholarships have been awarded to many different applicants from many different school districts over the years. Judging has often been sorted by different geographical areas of the state. As a result, the committee asked Sherry, the state master, if the winners could be posted on the website as an updated list for as far back as the state office has records. This would provide a resource for state Grangers to look up previous winners. Many organizations provide this information on their websites. Sherry thought this could be arranged for at least a few years back. Steve said that he would be talking to the webmaster soon and would inquire.

Although we awarded five scholarships this spring, we have not received scholarship donations from most Granges. We realize that many Granges are not meeting due to COVID 19 and want to let everyone know that you may send Ag scholarship donations to headquarters at any time, be sure to note that the donation is for the Ag Scholarship Program.

Almost all Maine fairs have canceled for the 2020 season. The committee is looking ahead to the Grange Ag Store for Fryeburg Fair in 2021. Steve Verrill provided this report;

There are currently 4 member organizations of the Grange Store. Mt Etna, Maple Grove, Excelsior, and the Ag Committee. Mt Etna and Maple Grove are withdrawing. Androscoggin Pomona is considering joining. The pomona will decide at their Sept meeting. The Grange Store committee will meet again Sept 14 to either elect Androscoggin Pomona and possibly other Granges, if there are any, as new members or close. If Androscoggin joins, the store will continue. If there are no new members the store will close and Excelsior and the Ag Committee will each receive $775. The Ag Committee should decide if they want to continue on as a store member. If not they could receive a check for $775. If you have any questions please let me know.

?The committee discussed this and Eleanor made the motion that the Ag committee stays involved depending on the results of the September 14, 2020 meeting. Bob and Agnes Nelson may be able to attend. Several committee members have been volunteering their time in the store. Everyone agreed except Terry felt that the store committee needs a decision before the meeting to continue. The group felt that if the store continues, the Ag Committee will continue to be involved.

There were no applicants for the Farm Enterprise Award for 2020. There were some very good ideas of worthy recipients, but since there will be no time for awards at the abbreviated state session, the committee decided to wait until next year.

State Master, Sherry Harriman, is planning a one-day, Annual Convention on October 22 at Carmel Grange. There will only be one raffle basket per committee accepted and only delegates will attend due to the state’s 50-person maximum rule. The committee reports will be due on September 15, 2020. She asked if Ag Committee members that are there anyway would be able to help serve lunch. We will talk about that and the raffle basket at our next meeting. ?

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has not made an announcement about the annual Trade Show in 2021. There will be a fall insert in the papers. Maine Agriculture in the Classroom is still planning to hold the annual meeting on October 28, 2020 at Maine State Grange pending further developments and size restrictions. There was no other business. ?

Many thanks to all the committee for everything they do! The next call will be on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. We wish everyone a safe “Back to School” season! BE WELL!

Jul 012020
 

by Willie Grenier  (maitcatmainedotgov)  , MSG Ag Director
207 437-2099

On Monday, June 8, 2020, the Agriculture Committee of the Maine State Grange met by conference call with nine members present. It was great to hear that everyone is doing fine even though there are so many changes to the schedule this year with meetings, clubs and fairs canceled. We cannot wait until the time comes when we can meet in person again!

The acceptance letters for the five Agriculture Scholarships awarded were mailed out from headquarters on May 8. Thank you, sister Sharon Morton, for getting those out! Sharon said she has already received one thank you card. These first-year college students will need to satisfactorily complete the first semester before they receive their $500 awards. The committee received $229 from 6 Granges toward the scholarship fund this spring. We realize that many Granges are not meeting and want to let everyone know that you may send ag scholarship donations to headquarters at any time, just be sure to note that the donation is for the ag scholarship program.

Earlier this spring, the committee received a request from the four 4-H camps in Maine [Blueberry Cove, Bryant Pond, Greenland Point, and Tanglewood] for funding for scholarships for campers. There was some discussion about the opening of the camps this summer. Harriet Spencer made the motion to sponsor $100, and Agnes Nelson seconded. Vote passed unanimously.

The committee also discussed that at least fifteen Maine fairs have canceled for the 2020 season. According to the Maine Association of Ag Fairs Website, there are five fairs that (so far) that have not been canceled this summer; Farmington, New Portland, Oxford, Skowhegan, and Springfield. These fairs are waiting to see what will happen with meeting size restrictions, and Eleanor Pooler shared that Skowhegan Fair will post their decision on July 1, 2020, regarding what activities will be happening there. Judges for Grange displays may not be needed this summer. We will keep an eye on the developments.

This will be the last reminder to all the Grangers across the state that the deadline to apply for the Farm Enterprise Award is August 1, 2020. The application can be found in the 2019 Ag Program Book on the Program Books and Information Page.

State Master, Sherry Harriman, is planning several strategies for the State Session in October. She asked if the committee supported having the Commissioner speak on Friday with the Ag Luncheon the same day as one possibility. All committee members agreed that sounded fine. [Since then there have been changes made to a 1-day event. Committee will discuss in August.]

Brother Steve Verrill reported that the Fryeburg Fair Grange Store group would be meeting this month to discuss the future of the program. The fair is canceled for 2020, but in order to move forward to 2021, organizers and volunteers will be needed! If you are interested in being involved in 2021 or know someone who is, please contact headquarters.

Many thanks to all the committee for everything they do! The next call will be on August 10, 2020.

My mom, Phyllis Pratt, who many of you remember, used to say, “This too will pass!” and I expect it will, although I’m getting a bit impatient! Be Safe Everyone!

May 162020
 

By Gerald Libby, President
Educational Aid & Howes Nurses’ Scholarship Fund

207 634-4453

Students today need all the help they can get.  Won’t you help them?

We, the Trustees of the Educational Aid & Howes Nurses’ Scholarship Funds, ask for your support as we continue our annual appeal for help!

In this day we are all well aware of the importance of post-secondary education if we are to be successful in our chosen field.

We come to you again for help, as we have done for many years, to obtain the funds needed for our scholarship programs.  The Trustees of the scholarship funds have developed criteria for assistance in helping to decide who should receive scholarships.  A copy of the criteria is on the reverse side of this letter.

A scholarship application is enclosed* in the event that you have an eligible applicant in your Grange.  Please return the completed application to the above address on or before September 15th.  Please destroy application forms which do not have the revision date of 5/19.  Please remember that the Master or Secretary of the Grange must confirm eligibility requirements and sign the completed application.

Please send the form at the bottom of the page* with your donations to J. Patrick Elwell at the above address with a check made payable to:  Educational Aid and Howes Nurses’ Scholarship Funds.

* Both of these items can be found on the Program Books and Information Page in the “Educational Aid” Section.

May 052020
 

by Willie Grenier  (maitcatmainedotgov)  , MSG Ag Director
207 437-2099

On Monday, May 4, 2020 the Agriculture Committee of the Maine State Grange met by conference call with almost every member present! It was great to hear the voices of our brothers and sisters on the committee and learn that they are all doing well in this time of such uncertainty! We cannot wait until the time comes when we can meet in person again.

One of our main agenda items was the review of Agriculture Scholarship Applications. A BIG Thank you goes to Secretary, Sharon Morton, who mailed a copy to each committee member, and Sherry Harriman who provided a scoring rubric. The committee received five excellent applications, fewer than normal due to the pandemic, and voted to fund them all for $500 after they have completed their first semester, as is customary.

“It was such a joy to learn about these students from across the state,” Aggie Nelson commented. Steve Verrill added that the geographical spread was perfect! Brother Terry  Spencer remarked how different each application was, and Eleanor Pooler added that, “we can be proud to sponsor each one of these students!”

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners in alphabetical order:

  • Audrey Bowman from Camden who is accepted at Boston College to study Environmental Science,
  • Natalie Domin from Freeport who plans to attend the University of Maine, Orono to study Pre-Veterinary Medicine,
  • Gavin Hemphill from Presque Isle, accepted at both University of  Maine in Presque Isle and Orono, to study Agricultural Science & Business,
  • Romeo Sabri from Bingham, who will be attending the  University of Maine, Orono to study Forestry and Wildlife Ecology,
  • Shelby Varney from Turner will attend York County Community College to study Veterinary Technology.

The committee also discussed that ten Maine fairs have cancelled for the 2020 season. Folks that normally would serve as judges for Grange displays may not have to mark their schedules this summer. More information can be found on the Maine Fair Association Website. We will continue this discussion in June.

We would like to remind all the Grangers across the state that the deadline to apply for the Farm Enterprise Award is due on August 1, 2020. The application can be found in the 2019 Ag Program Book on the Program Books and Information Page.

Many thanks to all the committee for everything they do! Please stay safe and follow the Governor’s recommendations so that we all can get through this as soon as possible!

Jun 052019
 
On behalf of Mill Stream Grange in Vienna, secretary Jill Sampson (right) presents the Dorothy L. Waugh Memorial Scholarship to Marielle Pelletier, (left) of Mt. Blue High School, on Tuesday, June 4. Marielle is planning on becoming a veterinarian. This is the sixth year that Mill Stream has awarded a scholarship in memory of Dorothy Waugh, a longtime member and the “egg lady” of Vienna.
Jul 312018
 

Webmaster’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter?published by Paul Stearns State Representative for District 119. Sounds like a great opportunity!

One of the many challenges adults face as they return to college is financing their education.? The University of Maine System (UMS) has an?Adult Degree Completion Scholarship?fund to help Maine residents return to school and complete their academic studies.? For many, this may have begun years ago, but for a variety of reasons, final coursework was not completed.

These funds are dedicated to support adult students returning to college after an absence of at least three years or more and who are completing their very first baccalaureate degree.? Applicants may qualify for up to $4,000 per academic year for up to eight consecutive semesters.

Students returning to school have two opportunities to apply for the Adult Degree Completion Scholarship.? The priority* deadlines for new applicants are listed below.

*Please note:? Applications will continue to be accepted after the deadlines if funding remains available.

  • August 1 – to be considered for a full academic year award beginning in the fall semester.
  • December 1?– to be considered for a spring semester award.
  • All renewal applications are due no later than June 1 of each year.

The electronic application takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and may be found?here.? Prior to completing this application, it is recommended that you contact your campus?navigator?to review your eligibility and discuss your plan for completing your bachelor’s degree.? Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for consideration:

  • must be a resident of the State of Maine;
  • must be a matriculated student at a UMS institution seeking a first baccalaureate degree;
  • must be an undergraduate reentry student who has experienced a gap (three years or more) in the pursuit of postsecondary education;
  • must have a minimum of 30 credits earned from any institution toward your degree;
  • must demonstrate financial need as determined by a completed FAFSA; and
  • must be registered at least part time — six‐eight credits per semester.

Adult Degree Completion Scholarship Brochure

Feb 182018
 

Amazon Smiles LOgoA big thank you to all the Grangers who made purchases on Amazon in October, November, and December and chose the Maine Grange Foundation as your charity. While it is a relatively small amount, all monies raised this way will be paid once a year in June to the Educational Aid Fund. Many Grange families have received scholarships from this fund and your continued support is noteworthy.

Please encourage your fellow Grangers, friends and family members to make the Maine Grange Foundation their charity of choice when shopping on Amazon Smile. Please remember it must be AmazonSmile and not just Amazon for the charity to receive your support. This is at no cost to you.

I challenge you to see if we can double this amount in the next quarter. Download the?Amazon Smiles Program Flyer,?post it on your Bulletin Board and make copies for your members. Thanks for all that you do to support Granges and Grangers in Maine.

Shop Amazon Smiles

Oct 272017
 

At the recent 144th Annual Convention of the Maine State Grange in Skowhegan, the trustees of the Educational Aid and Howes Nurses Scholarship Fund were proud to award three $700 scholarships to three deserving students. ?Allison Colson of Benton and a member of Benton Grange is studying accounting at Kennebec Valley Community College. ?Deborah Lancaster of Bucksport is a member of Old Town Riverside Grange. ?She is studying nursing at Eastern Maine Community College. ?Christine Landes of Bethel?and a member of Alder River Grange is working on her MBA with a concentration in public administration at SNHU.

Thanks to all those who made donations to the Scholarship Fund during the state session. ?It was much appreciated. ?The cost of an adequate education is increasing every year, and our funds to help these students are limited. ?Any donations from individuals, from Granges, or from other organizations would be so appreciated! ?The donation of one individual may be small, but collectively, these small donations would mean a great deal in fulfilling their dreams. ?Perhaps a Grange might put on a supper or raffle in order to raise money for this needy cause.

Donations may be sent to ?J. Patrick Elwell, Educational Aid Fund, 136 Quaker Lane, Smithfield, ME 04978.

Oct 052017
 

On behalf of the MSG Educational Aid and the Howe’s Nurses Scholarship Fund, I am issuing a plea for your support. ?This goes out to non-members, as well as to members of the Grange.

The cost of a college education is increasing each year, and our funds to help these young people are limited. ?Any donation, however small it may be, made by individuals, Granges, or any other organization would be so appreciated! ?You do not need to be a Granger in order to donate to this worthy cause.

There are many creative ways that a Grange can use to raise money, such as a supper, a raffle, or a program. ?Think outside the box! ?Come up with an activity that would be lots of fun for those participating as well as would raise the funds for some young person’s dream to come true.

Last year, the Maine State Grange was able to award ten $500 scholarships to ten deserving students. ?With your generous donations, perhaps we can do even more this year.

Please send your donations to J. Patrick Elwell, Secretary/Treasurer, Educational Aid Fund, 136 Quaker Lane, Smithfield, ME 04978.

Thank you for doing your part in helping young adults, who will be our leaders of the future.

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