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!

Aug 262020
The Grange advocates for literacy and education!

In this unusual time of pandemic restrictions, the Parkman Grange announces its 2020 Minnie Welts Bridge Scholarship winners. They are David Hession, a Music major at the University of Southern Maine, and Bailey Woodard, a Biology major (pre-med) at the University of Maine. Both will receive awards of $500. Although the Grange normally announces and awards winners at the Annual Scholarship Supper, this year the winners were contacted electronically and awarded through the mail. The ninth?(2020) Annual Scholarship Supper was canceled this year, as were most Parkman Grange and many other public events, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Minnie Bridge (1909-2011) was a lifelong resident of Parkman, a retired schoolteacher, and a life member of the Parkman Grange. In her memory, the Grange established the Minnie Welts Bridge Memorial Scholarship Fund to benefit deserving Parkman students continuing their education beyond high school.  The Grange annually awards one or more Scholarships funded through donations and the proceeds from the annual Supper in Minnie’s name. With these awards, the Grange has awarded $12,000 in scholarships since 2012.

The Grange looks forward to hosting the 10th Annual Scholarship Supper in 2021. In the meantime, since this year’s Supper was canceled, the Grange is asking for donations to the Scholarship Fund in order to make 2021 Scholarship awards. Donations may be made at KC’s General Store or the Parkman Town Office. You can also write a check to Parkman Grange, noting “Scholarship Fund” on the memo line, and mail to Parkman Grange, P.O. Box 114, Guilford ME 04443. Sue Manchester, the Parkman Grange Master, can provide additional information at 277-3942.

Aug 262020

Highland Lake Grange in Westbrook celebrates Duck Pond Corner History on August 22, 2020.

History on the lawn featured a two hour slide show compiled and narrated by Grange member and local historian Ken Moody, with help from Grange member Mike Sanphy, who is also president of the Westbrook Historical Society. The presentation ran almost two hours and featured over a 100 images collected by Ken. It was noted how many stories and events connected with the Grange which has been an integral part of this section of Westbrook since 1875.

Thirty guests and twelve members of Highland Lake Grange attended. The reviews were good! Pictures were projected on the side of Troop 83’s trailer covered by sheets. The weather cooperated, with a line of showers passing through five hours before showtime.

Aug 252020

By Christine Corliss  (christinecorlissatymaildotcom)  ,
MSG Community Service Director

(207) 457-6265

As the time is drawing close for the September 1, 2020 deadline please be sure to send in your Community Service Books and Family, Health & Hearing contest sheets.? Even though there will not be a presentation at State Session, prizes are still being awarded from Community Service Committee.

Webmaster note: Any forms you need are available on the Program Books and Information Page.

Aug 242020

By Walter Boomsma  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  ,
MSG Communications Director
207 343-1842

Communication Shorts are brief (short) but important items posted for your information and use, including Degree Days and Officer Installations.

September 1 is a big day!

September 1 is the deadline for all sorts of reports: see the list on the Conferences and Dates Page. But don’t forget that Annual Reports and Program Books are also due! Directors, please send a copy of your committee report and program book to the webmaster!

Absentee Ballots Available

Ballots become available 30 days prior to the election but can be requested now. To learn about absentee voting and electronically request your own ballot to be mailed to you in advance of the November 3 General Election, click here.

Ham Radio Operator Seeking Grangers

Denis Dandeneau is a member of Manchester Grange who says he’s “79 years young” and is looking for other Grange amateur radio operators. His call sign is K 1 STB. Give him a shout or email him  (denisdotdandeneauatgmaildotcom)  !

Maine State Grange Convention Status

We’re getting questions! At this point, MSG Convention is scheduled for one day (October 22, 2020) at Golden Harvest Grange. You can download the information available here. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, things could change… we’ll let you know as soon as we do!

Have You Got Style?

Did you know that “ecology” and “environment” are not synonomous? Ecology is the study of the relationship between organisms and their surroundings. It would be correct to say “I’m studying the ecology of man and the forest” but not correct to say “Maintaining a lawn affects ecology.” Maintaining a lawn affects the environment.

Website News

‘Tis the season for changes–especially on the Program Books and Information Page. We will post the 2020-2021 Program Books as they are received. Please pay close attention and be certain you are using the right one. 2019-2020 Program Books will remain on the site until October 15, 2020.

Do You Have FOMO?

“FOMO” is, of course, a Fear Of Missing Out. One strongly recommended treatment is to subscribe to the Maine State Grange Website. We’ll send you a daily summary whenever news and columns are posted, and we won’t share your email address with anyone!

Subscription Flyer–Stamp Out FOMO

We’re stamping out FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). As part of our ongoing effort, we’re offering a flyer you can print, place a copy on your bulletin board and hand out to members. For those Granges that maintain an email list, why not attach a copy to an email?

Online Directories Available 24-7

The ODD Directory features all state officers, directors, and deputies with contact information. The Directory of Granges features all Granges in the state with a contact person. Please make sure your listing is correct!

Bulletin Reminder

As a reminder, columns and news items for the monthly printed Bulletin are due by the fifteenth of the month. Columns and news items for the website can be submitted at any time.

Note that when you subscribe to the Maine State Grange Website we do not share your email address with others and only use it to send you–at the most–one email per day when new information is posted.

Aug 242020

by Walter Boomsma  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  ,
Communications Director

I’m going to rationalize this might fall under “Community Service” or “Family Health and Hearing” or… maybe even “Exploring Traditions.” You may recall that, during the celebration of the Fifth Degree, the Assistant Steward offers “the talismanic words of success were uttered and all obstacles removed… Hope and Persevere!”

But a mutual friend of Steve Rapson and me sent this link. I thought about keeping it until I write my September Exploring Traditions Column until I realized I listened to it several times because I needed to hear it. Maybe you do, too.

Share this song. Share the hope. “Let those words be indelibly graven on (our) minds…”

For additional information about Steve visit his website. Check out “I Can’t Be Serious”–many of the songs can be downloaded for free… and visit his Homeless Project Page.

Aug 232020

by Toby Martin

New Energy Comes to Maine Farming: The Maine Grange Farmers’ Initiative

Food is essential to the sustenance, health and livelihood of all living things, and the Mainers who grow   all sorts of things for our state’s sixteen counties and beyond deserve much more recognition than they receive. 

In that light, The Maine Grange Farmer’s Initiative has been established to promote, foster, and strengthen all aspects of Maine’s statewide farming community. The Initiative is currently assembling a working group from around the state who will build on the Grange’s commitment to farming which began in 1867 and will either become a steering committee member and/or assist in the Initiative’s efforts to collaborate with individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions from every possible state sector who share the Initiative’s vision to foster the full potential that Maine’s farms offer.

Maine’s farming network is diverse, and farming organizations of all sorts exist all over the state.  But there is a real need to connect, coordinate and collaborate that diversity, and that will be a major piece of the Initiative’s efforts, to link those elements in more meaningful ways, and showcase their accomplishments and potential.

The Initiative defines farms and farming, in their broadest and most inclusive sense, as the thoughtful cultivation and eventual harvest of both domestic and wild plants and animals, in sustainable and environmentally positive ways, protecting and enriching biodiversity, and balancing the healthful use of water and land.  Agriculture. Animal Husbandry. Aquaculture. Horticulture. Silviculture. Permaculture.  Large and small enterprises all across the state, contributing to Maine’s unique culture and economy.

The Initiative was announced by Toby Martin and Steve Verrill, members of the Initiative’s steering committee, through a letter which was mailed to all of Maine’s Granges around the state, an well as posted to members and nonmembers on the Grange website (

To fulfill its goals, The Maine Grange Farmers’ Initiative seeks to:

  • Establish an effective working team to review, evaluate, and strengthen farm programs and standards, and add others as needed;
  • Develop a far-sighted strategic plan that defines farm program goals and accomplishments for the future;
  • Design and promote strong, supportive statewide farm outreach and involvement;
  • Partner with, collaborate and adopt relevant farm concepts inspired by like-minded individuals and organizations.

The Initiative’s steering committee is seeking diverse statewide involvement in its work from any Maine person, group or organization who may be interested.? Please email either Toby Martin or Steve Verrill  (sverrillatroadrunnerdotcom)  .

A member of Valley Grange in Guilford, Toby Martin works with nonprofit organizations whose missions inspire community involvement in Maine and New England.  He lives in Islesboro, where he represents groups involved in energy, the environment, the library, arts and culture. He is a published poet, playwright, and essayist, the editor of two mainland publications, and contributes regularly to online and print media. 

Aug 222020

by Walter Boomsma  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  , Communications Director

Short but important items posted for your information and use.

Quick note–especially for website subscribers! We are updating our subscription service… hopefully the changes will happen seamlessly and with a minimum of disruption. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  !

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!