by Willie Grenier (maitcmainegov) , MSG Ag Director
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 maitcmainegov (maitcmainegov) 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!