News Archives - 2018

This page is the archive for news stories that appeared in 2018. Articles are by date issued in desending order.
Click on News title to display details.



December 2018



In this issue:

NEWS:
• National election results yield change
• Grange statement on bipartisan Farm Bill
• Membership director returns to National staff
• Attend upcoming Monthly Membership Zoom meeting
• Bonding insurance rates remain the same
• Background checks required for 2019 Junior volunteers
• 2019 Theme announced at Convention
• Thanks from National Director
• National Lecturer unveils 2019 Quilt Block, more


RESOURCES:
• Grange Revival Registration Form
• 2019 Quilt Block Contest and Form
• 2019 Photo Contest and Entry Form
• 2019 Theme One-Page Use Guide
• 1 in 1,000 Club Membership Form
• Esto Perpetua: Giving Form
• Grange Food Security Survey
• Good Day!™ Subscription Form


View the December Issue



November 2018

Thanksgiving is a time of year when we are able to reflect on the people around us and to give thanks for our many blessings. This Thanksgiving is very special for the Booth Household. Here is the back story of our experiences with the Camp Fire and why we give thanks.

Booth Home Before Fire

November 8th: The first call we received was from my wife's brother who heard about a fire on his scanner. We looked up the location on a map and found that Pugla was about 18 miles away as the crow files, from Paradise. Not long after the call, ash was falling from the sky, and we found a piece of tree bark 2" x 5" in our drivesay that was burned!

We checked with our neighbors to be sure that they were aware of the fire, and started to load out our cars. First to load was the computer tower cases (with the Grange records). Next the pictures and artwork from the walls. Sister Lillian was loading a suitcase with clothes (I still only ended up with a shirt other than the one I was wearing).

Shortly thereafter the first call came in to evacuate. We loaded a few more things, and on the way out the door, grabbed three bundles of records from Granges who were coming back into good standing. It was now 8:40 AM - about one hour from the time of the first call from the relative. The sky southeast of the house was glowing red and a neighbor reported fire was visible to the northeast of us. As we left we saw flames in the oldest apple orchard in Paradise, just north of us.

It took us till 2:30 PM to travel some 13 miles to Chico, 6 hours of stop and go, and lots of prayers!. There were times that I thought that we were going to not make it out of the fire area. We traveled to Chico down the Skyway, and all lanes were being used to evacuate, which included the center median. We saw lots of evidence of the fire spreading, and several times, seeing fire on both sides of the road. Little did we know that the worst was to come, heading out of Paradise, the subdivisions on both sides of the road were burning. We drove around and over burning power/telephone poles in the roadway, having no other options.

Booth Home After Fire

We are now safe. Most all of the records of the State Secretary were in digital format, so that we'll be able to continue on after the purchase of supplies and equipment.

Over 13,000 homes were destroyed, nearly 500 businesses and at least 84 lives were lost.

Our family wants to thank everyone for their concern and support.

The quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors of the California State Grange will be held at the "U St headquarter on December 1st and 2nd.

The first two hours of the meeting will be closed session to discuss legal matters, personnel issues.

If you are a member in good standing, and want to adress the Board, please contact the State Grange Secretary.

Note from webmaster: The op-ed below was published in the Patron's Chain - National Session Day 2. It is a fitting tribute to Ed Komski, as seen through the eyes of someone outside of our State, and provides an insight that we may not have seen.

OP-ED Published in Patron's Chain

Loss of long-distance, unexpected mentor felt deeply

BY DEREK SNYDER



(Photo from National Grange Website)

Assistant Communication Fellow Through my involvement as a Grange Youth over the last several years, I have been provided countless opportunities to learn new skills, create friendships and develop a passion for issues that are important to me and the community in which I live in.

One opportunity that has continued to impact my motivation to make a difference was the 2016 National Grange Fly-In in Manchester, New Hampshire, where I first befriended Ed Komski.

The National Grange Fly-In was held in the midst of the 2016 Presidential Primary Election, where attendees had the opportunity to volunteer for a campaign of one of more than a dozen candidates running for the nomination of their perspective political party. Ed and I both chose to volunteer for the campaign of then candidate Donald Trump and quickly bonded over our similar interests in wanting to solve critical issues that were facing our local communities, Grange membership and country as a whole.

Ed and I sat side-by-side for hours, calling voters throughout the state of New Hampshire to discuss issues including rural affairs, healthcare and immigration reform. We shared many laughs and long discussions and both embraced the opportunity to talk with potential voters, some of which agreed with us and many of which did not, about concerns that they were facing in their own lives and within their communities.

Throughout that day, Ed continued to provide advice to a young college student who was eager to learn more about making an impact on society and the political process as a whole. Ed encouraged me to always believe in myself, to remain driven about issues I cared about, and to take advantage of every opportunity that ever came my way.

I was further inspired by Ed’s caring spirit for other individuals around him. During that Fly-In, Ed went out of his way to thank the Grange members who served as our drivers to and from events throughout the weekend, including paying for several of their meals as well as the meals of the entire group he was with one evening, just to show his appreciation of their friendship. Ed has long served as a mentor and inspiration to many of the Grange Youth that have attended Fly-Ins, Regional Conferences, and National Sessions, myself included.

Since 2016, Ed and I have had brief opportunities to catch-up and reminisce of our time volunteering for President Trump’s campaign. While we have not spent much time together since then, I am extremely grateful that I was able to have a lengthy conversation with Ed once again this past Sunday morning. For this column, I was originally planning to write a two part series regarding “hot-topic” issues that may come up in resolutions this week, and had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time interviewing

Ed about two issues that he is extremely passionate about, which I will go into further detail on now.

The first issue revolves around 703-CA – Honoring Religious Diversity in the Grange – amending the National Grange Digest of Laws to allow for other books of faith in addition to the Bible to be placed on the alter if a Grange so chooses.

Ed, who served as Master/President/CEO of the California State Grange and Chairman of the 2018 National Grange Law Committee, expressed that “this is a great resolution that expresses the diversity on which the Grange was founded”. He further referenced several sections of the National Grange Digest of Laws, which included:

- 1.12.1: “Denominational religious or partisan political matters shall not be the subject of discussions in the work of the Order, and no religious or political tests for membership shall be applied.”

- 6.4.1: “United States citizenship, religious belief or political views shall not affect eligibility for membership in the Order.”

-11.8.3: “All Granges shall have the Bible open on the alter and the flag of the United States of America properly displayed in the Grange meeting room.”

Ed discussed that the Grange is not a religious organization and this resolution would not be taking anything away, but only further adding to the future of the Order. Ed concluded that “the Bible is part of our history as seen through many of the references in the Digest and carries a great deal of symbolism, rather than religious channelization, and any other book can have that same level of symbolism if handled properly”.

The second issue pertained to 705-CA – National Grange Executive Committee Election – amends the National Grange By-Laws to have five elected members of the Executive Committee from each of five designated Grange regions. Ed pushed how western states, including his own in California, make up more than one-third of Grange membership but currently have no representation on the Executive Committee. Ed commented how “this resolution gives a voice on the National Grange Executive Committee.

All delegates work for their membership and all officers are voted in by the delegates. It is only fair that every member has a channel to voice their opinion to the National Grange, and to be able to do so through an elected official within the National Grange,”

Ed will long be remembered by more than just his family and friends, but by hundreds of members who knew him from around the country. Ed served as forward-thinking voice that brought the California State Grange through some of its most difficult times, and carried that voice into shaping the future of the National Grange and its membership. Furthermore, Ed was a staunch supporter of the Communications Fellows Program, the National Grange Youth and Junior Departments, and his own California contingency, which this year includes his wife Cynthia, Joe Stefenoni, Paul Hyland, Lauren Linkemyer, Martha Stefenoni, and Kent Westwood.

As someone who is entering a career in politics and looking to further continue my involvement in Grange, I can only aspire to have a fraction of the drive and forward- looking mentally that Ed has inspired so many with. I will think of him fondly at every National Grange session, each primary election season, and every time I come across another forward-looking leader like him, as I know many of you will too. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Komski Family and the members of the California State Grange.


Well Done Good and Faithful Servant

(From National Grange Website)

It is with enormous sadness that we announce that Ed Komski, Master of the California State Grange, passed away Monday, November 12th from a heart attack. Brother Ed and Sister Cynthia were in Vermont for the National Grange Convention. Please say prayers for comfort for Cynthia and daughter, Aspen.

As for the business of the State Grange, it is my duty to announce that the State Grange Overseer, Kent Westwood, is now the acting Master of the California State Grange and is enroute to Vermont to the National Grange Session where he will be a voting delegate. The second voting delegate will be Martha Stefenoni, Executive Committee Member of the California State Grange, as approved by the CSG Board of Directors.

In a telephone call on the way to the airport, Brother Westwood expressed his sorrow at Master Ed’s passing and said that the State Grange is committed to completing the work that Brother Ed started.

At this time, arrangements for services are pending. We will continue to update you, the members of the California State Grange, as more information comes available.



Photos taken by Christina Webster (Orangevale Grange) are now available for viewing and downloading. You may also purchase copies of the photo's.

A special thanks to Christina for sharing these photo's.

View the Photos

Christina is in back row of Officer, third from the right!




October 2018

  IN THIS ISSUE:

• Youth sought to advise, ensure Grange's future
• Members introduce Farm Aid attendees to Grange
• Grange Youth team takes home hardware from NJHA competition •
Exploring Traditions: Meet the author, discuss the book, get it signed!
• History, technology mix to make magic
• Sign up now to show off code reading skills
• Voters enthused about midterms
• e-Medicare: another step that is strengthening Medicare
• You may be older than 14, but your never too old to be a Junior at heart
• Member Benefit: Cash in on limited time bonus perk with PureTalk
• GROW Club seeks donations for silent auction
• Lecturer's round-up and preview
• Junior/Juvenile Grange BINGO
• Get Pinned
• 2018 Quilt Block Contest
• Saved the Date: Grange Revival 2019 Registration

View the October Patron's Chain

At the 143rd Annual Session of the California State Grange, we were presented with 27 resolutions, 22 were adopted, 2 were withdrawn, 2 were rejected and 1 was postponed to the 2019 Session.

View the PDF Policies Adopted



View the Latest Newsletter



Online registration deadline approaching fast.

Friday, October 12 at 5pm EST

If we do not receive your registration by the deadline, you will have to register on-site.

Register Here


POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2018 WRAP-UP

Overview

The House has recessed for a month until after the midterm elections. The Senate is consumed with the Supreme Court nominee. The farm bill is still in limbo on the Hill. "Milk" is milk? National and state Granges step up on opioids and other health care priorities. Grange has concerns for local TV programming. U.S.-Mexico -Canada and Korean trade deals come to agreement. Japan commits to negotiate a trade pact. Meanwhile, the U.S. has slapped China with new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and China is expected to retaliate with tariffs against U. S. agriculture products.

Agriculture and Food:

Farm Bill

There'll be no farm bill now until after the November 6 elections. Although the Senate is still in session for much of October, the House has adjourned until November 13. However, leaders of both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have committed to continue their dialogue toward farm bill compromises on the bill's 12 titles during this down time. We hear lots of talk around Washington that if Democrats gain control of the House, they may not vote on a farm bill until next year when they have more control. Colin Peterson (D-7, MN), ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee insists he is not interested in delaying the farm bill past the November-December lame-duck session.

The House GOP's insistence on tightening work requirements for food stamp recipients isn't gaining traction with Senate negotiators. A tough battle has developed between House Chairman Conaway and Senate Chairman Roberts over a provision in the House bill that would end payments on base acres that have not been planted to program crop for the past 10 years. There are also major differences over the conservation title. The House bill eliminates the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and uses the savings to fund the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other House priorities both within and outside the conservation title.

Even though the current farm bill expired on September 30, most major farm bill provisions enjoy permanent authorization which allows them to be funded under the recent continuing resolution (CR). The CR passed by congress and signed by the President will fund most programs of the federal government until December 7. However , many of the more recent minor farm bill programs are not covered by permanent funding authority and will not have funding until a new farm bill or current farm bill extension is passed in December. These include value-added producer grants, assistance to disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers, farmers market and local food promotion, organic certification cost-share, foreign market development, and several more.

Industries Battle Over "Milk" Label

The dairy industry has long sought to restrict the use of the term "milk", "yogurt" and "cheese" to the product of lactating animals. Recent comments by FDA Commissioner Gottlieb indicate his agency may be listening. Gottlieb says implementing clear and transparent food labels and claims are a high priority for him. The rising demand for plant-based products has created a growing number of new food choices in supermarket aisles. The FDA has concerns that the labeling of some plant-based products may lead consumers to believe these have the same nutritional attributes as dairy products even though these products can vary widely in nutritional content. The FDA has opened a Request for Information (RFI) to receive new data submissions as it seeks to modernize its Standards of Identity which define characteristics, ingredients and quality of specific foods.

Additional SNAP Options for Hurricane Victims

USDA will allow food stamp participants to buy hot food with their benefits through October 31. Normally, hot foods and foods ready for immediate consumption cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits. The waiver is meant to support those Florence victims evacuated to shelters and those lacking access to cooking facilities.

Health Care:

The Opioid Battle


Grassroots Grangers in several states began working with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) coalition at its inception several months ago. As the initiative expands, more state Granges are invited to jump on board. RALI involves local community-based efforts by Granges, first responders, civic groups, businesses, prevention and recovery support groups, policy makers, educators, law enforcement, and many more. The coalition is present at local and state-wide events to raise awareness, distribute information, provide guidance for treatment and recovery, and distribute quick and easy drug disposal bags.

$1 Billion to Fight Opioid Epidemic

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $1 billion to states, communities and organizations to provide prevention and treatment services, support substance abuse and mental health needs, ramp up response activities, and support communities and families on the front lines. These are funds appropriated by Congress earlier this year.

Congress Takes Addiction Action

A massive bipartisan multi-pronged package of 70 bills aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic cleared the Senate 99-1. While the package focuses on prevention and treatment, it cracks down on the shipment of deadly synthetic opioids into the U.S. from other countries. It temporarily lifts the ban on Medicaid funds for institutional treatment of all substance use disorder, not just opioids and cocaine. This is hugely critical because of the re-emergence of cheap methamphetamine or meth that is mass produced by cartel super labs in Mexico. A renewed drug crisis affects other areas of health care and the economy. Drug users are unable to pass drug tests for jobs and the spread of HIV and hepatitis C has increased where needle use is common. The House passed a similar bipartisan measure earlier and the combined package, called the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities, was sent to the White House to be signed with President Trump's support.

Not Just Opioids

Thousands of foster children may be getting powerful psychiatric drugs prescribed to them without appropriate safeguards according to a new report from Health and Human Services. It found that about 1 in 3 foster kids from a sample of states were prescribed psychiatric drugs without treatment plans or follow-up standard steps in sound medical care. Conversely, investigators found that many foster children who need medication to help them function at school may be going untreated. The HHS Administration for Children and Families is expected to develop a strategy to help states meet requirements for prescribing psychiatric drugs to foster children and raise standards for case-by-case oversight.

More Health Care Actions

The National Grange has been engaged on several additional health care fronts this past month. These actions included:

• The National Grange sent a statement to the Hill urging members of Congress to take action on the looming Medicare Part D cliff. By 2020, an out-of-pocket "cliff" or "donut hole" will increase the catastrophic threshold by $1,250 and require already vulnerable patients to spend more money for prescription drugs before reaching catastrophic coverage.
• The National Grange joined a large number of health professionals and patient advocacy groups to encourage the HHS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to withdraw their plans to require step therapy to manage Part B specialty drugs in circumstances that do not require step therapy. This "fail first" policy requires patients to fail on one treatment preferred by the insurance companies before being approved to receive the first choice treatment by their doctor.
The National Grange joined the medical community and patient advocacy groups to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Medicare Part D comprehensive prescription drug benefit program. Over 80% of seniors say their plan is a good value and their plan works well and without hassle.
• The National Grange wrote FCC Commissioner Carr to reiterate support for the FCC's Connected Care Pilot Program. The pilot program will use Universal Service Funds to support technologies that connect rural patients with medical providers using broadband. The Grange urged Commissioner Carr to give non-facilities based wireless carriers such as wireless resellers the opportunity to participate in the pilot program.

Telecommunications:

Comcast-NBCU Merger Concerns


The National Grange and 21 state Granges cosigned a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Assistant Attorney General in preparation for an October 3 committee hearing on antitrust issues. The Granges asked that the expiring 2011 Comcast-NBC-Universal merger conditions be extended. Specifically, a binding arbitration agreement must be continued and safeguards must be put in place to protect rural consumers from high prices, inaccessibility to programming and blocking competition.

USDA e-Connectivity Pilot Projects

The National Grange submitted comments to Secretary Perdue encouraging him to include the use of TV white spaces spectrum in the USDA's rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program. TVWS work by utilizing vacant spectrum in the UHF television band to deliver broadband to underserved rural areas. The rural broadband pilot program was made possible by a $600 million appropriation by Congress. The USDA invited comments on implementation of the pilot program. In addition, the National Grange supported the Federal Communications Commission decision to provide $4.5 billion from its Mobility Fund over the next decade to deploy 4G LTE broadband primarily to rural areas that would not be served in absence of government support.

5G Faces Policy Battles

Lightning fast 5G or fifth generation connectivity is a reality but getting it to customers will be a challenge. Building out 5G networks depend on both large cell towers and a profusion of small local cells that reach a few hundred feet and require a large number of sites. These sites can be utility poles, buildings or other existing locations. Challenges include municipality permitting and fees, rights of way, zoning, fees for pole and building attachment, and more. National Grange president Betsy Huber serves on the FCC subcommittee that is looking for ways to break down these barriers.

Trade:

NAFTA

The trade news of the month of course was the announcement of a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact. The deal will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Overall, the agriculture community is pleased with what they know of the agreement at the moment. The dairy industry is particularly pleased because:
• The Canadian class 7 pricing system is eliminated
• Canada agreed to phased-in increases for U.S. access for milk, cheese, cream, skim milk, powder, butter, ice cream, whey and other dairy products.
• American dairymen now have access to an additional 3.6 percent of Canada's total dairy market.

Wheat growers also won a big concession. Canada will cease to grade all U.S. wheat at the lowest feed grade possible regardless of quality. The poultry industry also won concessions for additional chicken, eggs and turkey sales to Canada. Most other U.S. agriculture commodities have already been able export to Canada more freely.

The agreement reportedly has stronger labor provisions, intellectual property protections, protections for certain pharmaceutical patents, environmental rules and rules of origin for cars. It will be reviewed every six years. Even with the U.S.-México-Canada agreement, the U.S. has not removed the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico while talks continue on a deal to eliminate tariffs. The agreement now faces the challenge of congressional approval under scrutiny by both Republicans and Democrats.

U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement

President Trump and South Korea President Moon-Jae-in have successfully renegotiated the expiring KORUS agreement that has spurred agriculture exports of beef, pork, wheat, sorghum and other commodities. Cars and car parts were a sticking point. In the end, South Korea agreed to lift its cap on U.S. trucks, continue the U.S. 25 percent tariff on Korean trucks, and allow 50,000 U.S. cars per year into Korea, up from 25,000.

Japan Trade Agreement Next

In late September, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced they had agreed to enter into talks aimed at establishing a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries.

Miscellaneous:

Food Insecurity Down Slightly

Food insecurity in the United States as a whole has dropped from 12.3 percent of the population to 11.8 percent, the sixth straight year of decline since the recession according to the USDA. The South has the highest insecurity rate at 13.4 percent followed by the Midwest at 11.7 Percent, the West at 10.7 percent and the Northeast at 9.9 percent.

Squirrels Chomp on New England

A squirrel population explosion in New England is more than a nuisance. The bushy tailed rodents are eating apples, peaches, pumpkins, berries, gourds and raiding corn fields. A bumper crop of acorns last year is believed to have contributed to the squirrel explosion.

Perspective

"Human vanity can best be served by a reminder that, whatever his accomplishments, his sophistication, his artistic pretention, man owes his very existence to a six-inch layer of top soil - and the fact that it rains." ~ Richard L. Evans

"Culture is the intersection of people and life itself. It's how we deal with life, love, death, birth, disappointment...all of that is expressed in culture." ~ Wendell Pierce

"Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first, they have to understand that their neighbor is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions." ~ Paulo Coelho

Note: Last month, apparently the quote from former Florida congressman Claude Pepper was conflated with a quote from Marcus Garvey by the email monster. We would like to correct that one and add one for good measure:

"If more politicians in this country were thinking about the next generation instead of the next election, it might be better for the United States and the world." ~ Claude Pepper

"The mistake a lot of politicians make is in forgetting they've been appointed and thinking they've been anointed." ~ Claude Pepper

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org

View the Latest Newsletter



At the recently concluded 2018 Annual Session of the California State Grange, the following Officers were elected.


• Master: Ed Komski, San Diego Co.
• Overseer: Kent Westwood, Mendocino Co.*
• Lecturer: Katie Squire, Fresno Co.
• Steward: Vince Scholten, Sonoma Co.*
• Assistant Steward: Brandon Nebbits, Kern Co.
• Lady Assistant Steward: Suzi Laskowski, Kern Co.
• Chaplain: Barbara Geiger, Monterey Co.
• Treasurer: Christina Webster, Sacramento Co.*
• Secretary: Lillian Booth, Butte Co.
• Gatekeeper: Jini Reynolds, Mendocino Co.*
• Ceres: Ellie Bruce, Mendocino Co.*
• Pomona: Lauren Linkemyer, Santa Cruz Co.*
• Flora: Emily Casterson, Santa Cruz Co.*
• Executive Committee: Martha Stefenoni, Somona Co.*
• Musican: Wendy DeWitt, Mendocino Co.*

The following position were not up for election.
• Executive Committee: Bob Clouse, Sacramento Co.
• Executive Committee: Erica Bruce, Mendocino Co.

With the exception of the Musican, the above officers were installed by our National Grange guest, Roger Bostwick, Priest Archon from Kansas. Installing Master, Bob Clouse; Marshall, Joseph Stefenoni; Chaplain Linda Macklin; Reglia Bearer, Melody Bostwick; Emblem Bearer, Bettyann Biringer-Rehm;Musicians, Martha Stefenoni and Lillian Booth.

View larger Officer picture

Grangers,

North Carolina farmers have suffered billions of dollars of damage to their crops from Hurricane Florence, just two years after huge losses from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Florence struck when harvests were just getting underway, so corn, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, and sweet potatoes have all been damaged or lost. Several Granges have asked about donations to assist with this disaster.

The NC Governor has set up a North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund to benefit farmers with losses. Checks should be made payable to: NC Disaster Relief Fund, 20312 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-0312.

Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse are also receiving contributions. Thank you for your generosity to fellow Grangers in need.

Make An Online Contribution


 

September 2018


These essays by Walter Boomsma unpack the teachings of the Grange and relate them to today’s world and our everyday lives,” writes Betsy Huber, National Master (President) of the Grange. Many people, including Grange members themselves seem to be wondering about the relevance of this 150 year old organization in modern society.

They may find some answers in Exploring Traditions—Celebrating the Grange Way of Life, a series of essays encouraging readers to understand the basis of Grange ritual and tradition. This is not a “guide to the Grange,” it truly is an exploration of some of the words and actions found in the Grange ritual and tradition. Included are the Grange Mission Statement and Declaration of purposes, allowing readers to take away from the book a new and deeper understanding of the Grange—not merely as an historical organization, but also an organization that teaches a way of life that aligns us with nature and creates community.

Order Now



The National Grange announces a new member benefit. Pure TalkUSA is a low cost, no contract cell service provider operating on the largest GSM network covering 99% of Americans. Cut your cell phone bill in half! Unlimited Talk & Text with data starts at just $20 per month. Have questions? Our U.S. based customer service team is standing by to help.

Click Here For More Information


IN THIS ISSUE:


• 'Like it or not, if you're not changing, you're dead!'
• Maine member releases easy-to-read book 'Exploring Traditions' of the Grange
• Dispelling myths about suicide may be key component for prevention
• New Grange Benefit: No-contract cellular service
• Exclusive member pricing on select Keurig K-Cup flavors and brands
• Lecturer's round-up and preview
• Grange Supply Store: Get your clearance items.
• 2018 Quit Block Contest
• American Handicraft raffle
• Grange Foundation 2018 Mercantile
• 152nd Annual National Grange Convention
• Junior/Juvenile Grange BINGO
• Grange Revival 2019
• It's in your power. Help reduce food waste.
• 1 in 1,000 Club of the Grange Foundation
• Survey of Grange Attitudes, Outreach and Programming Activities related to Food Security and Food Literacy

View the Latest Newsletter

State President, Ed Komski has released his list of 2018 Convention Committee assignments. Click link below to view list.

View the Committee Assignments



Please help us welcome Hilmar Grange #537 in returning to Good Standing in the Order.

By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Hilmar Grange #537 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of Hilmar Grange #537 for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Hilmar Grange #537
8188 Lander Ave.
Hilmar, CA 95324

View Hilmar Grange Website

View Hilmar Grange Facebook page.

National Grange Convention Deadlines Are Approaching Fast

The 152nd Annual National Grange Convention is approaching fast. Please be sure to join us this year, Nov. 13 - 17, as an attendee or a volunteer. Make your room reservations with the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, VT and register online, by mail or by contacting the National Grange directly.

We can't wait to see you!

Early Bird Registration
September 12th

Register for the 152nd Annual National Grange Convention by September 12th and save $5 off the cost of registration.  Registration must be received by 5 PM EST. Click on the link below.



Hotel Cut-Off (Grange rates)
October 5th 

Rooms are booking up fast. Make your hotel accommodation directly with Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Call (800) 253-2232 or click below to make an online reservation.



Online Registration Cut-Off
October 12th

Online registration for the 152nd Annual National Grange convention is available until October 12th at 5 PM EST. Register and purchase meal/tour tickets online today. Click on the link below.




Questions:

Please contact the National Grange Convention Director, Stephanie Tiller, for questions regarding registration and hotel accommodations.

Stephanie Tiller

(202) 628-3507 ext. 113

stiller@nationalgrange.org



Join us for “Growing Through Inspiration” ...
at the 143rd Annual Session in Ukiah, September 22-25, 2018.


National Grange representatives for the Convention will be Roger & Melanie Bostwick from Kansas. Roger is a third generation Grange Member, currently serving as the Master of Kansas State Grange. He served as the Assistant Steward for the National Grange from 2007 to 2013. One of Roger’s favorite things about the Grange is the ritualistic work and the beauty and lessons contained in the degrees. He works for the Deluxe Corporation in Lenexa, Kansas and working the family farm he and Melanie own, naming it “Happy Hollow Farm”. They help raise Simmental cattle with Melanie’s parents as well as pigs, goats, and chickens. Roger also likes to spend his time restoring his 1942 Allis-Chalmers “C” tractor and other antique farm equipment. Melanie Steffey-Bostwick is a 5th Generation Grange member. She works for the Jefferson County Extension office as the Office Professional. Grange has always been an important part of Melanie’s life. She grew up in the Grange completing school projects at Grange meetings and traveling throughout Kansas to visit Granges. Melanie and Roger are passionate about the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Melanie has served as the County Chairperson for 13 of the 14 years they have been involved.

Roger and Melanie served on the National Grange Youth Team in 1993 and enjoyed meeting the many youth and Grange members across the nation. They are looking forward to meeting more of the California Grange members on this visit.


Committee work will begin!

Committees will be assigned in the next 10 days and work will begin in 17 please let us know about your interests and get those resolutions into the Lillian Booth, CSG Secretary

As we begin the preparation for what we can all be assured will be an exciting and constructive September 22-25 in Redwood Empire Fairgrounds, Ukiah.

Please go to our website CaStateGrange.org to see the complete schedule and usefull tools like:
– Session Schedule
– Who Can Attend
– Registration for Session
– Meals at Annual Session
– Fair Grounds
– Talent Show Applications
– Grange Expo Information
– Lodging
– Restaurants in the Area
– Things To Do in Ukiah Area
– Chamber / Hospital
– Committee Assignment Request
– Annual Session Volunteers
– Submitting Resolutions
– Memorial Service Submissions

We are currently taking names of interested members in good standing to be involved with the following committees:
– Agricultural
– Audit & Budget
– Citizenship
– Conservation
– Grange Law
– Growth & Development
– Health & Education
– Labor & Judiciary Brothers and Sisters -

More to come.

View the Session Page



August 2018

POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS

AUGUST 2018 WRAP-UP

Overview


The Senate finally took a recess the last week of August instead of their traditional full month. House members recessed the full month. The Senate and House conference committee whose charge is to resolve farm bill differences between the Senate and House versions will convene September 5 as Congress returns to Washington. Chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture committees and their staffs have been engaged in negotiations behind the scenes throughout August. Lab grown meat has become a high profile issue creating a regulatory battle pitting traditional animal agriculture against alternative protein products. The opioid and drug addiction crisis is on the front burner at the National Grange as we and numerous state Granges engage with state and local coalitions to raise awareness and advocate recovery steps. Support for rural broadband expansion continues to build almost everywhere around Washington. The challenge will be funding and breaking down federal, state and local barriers to efficient and cost-effective methods. Waters of the U.S. raises its ugly head again in a court decision. The U.S. and Mexico have reached agreement in NAFTA trade negotiations and attention now turns to Canada. The USDA unveiled its $12 billion Market Facilitation Program trade aid package for agriculture.

Agriculture and Food

The 2018 Farm Bill


We may just get a farm bill through Congress by the end of September which has not been accomplished with several recent farm bills. The joint Senate- House conference committee plans to begin work September 5 to resolve differences between the two versions. Unlike recent farm bills, crop insurance, many conservation provisions, commodity payments, disaster protection, organics, credit, trade promotion, specialty crops, horticulture, forestry, research and more are largely noncontroversial this time around. Reconciling the conservation title around combining the popular Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will be a challenge. The huge stumbling block between the Senate and House farm bill versions will be whether or not to increase work requirements to be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food support programs.

The National Grange joined over 150 farm, commodity, food, wildlife, conservation, equipment manufacturer, energy and rural groups on a letter to Senate and House agriculture committees leadership urging them to quickly resolve the bills' differences and pass a conference report so a five-year farm bill can be enacted into law by September 30 when much of the current law expires. The National Grange also asked the conferees to continue funding the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research at $200 million per year. This is a public-private partnership that leverages the funding to $400 million for Agriculture research, a high priority for the National Grange.

Lab-Cultured Meat

Several start-up ventures have been successful in growing a meat product in the laboratory from a single animal cell. The Good Food Institute, one of leading organizations promoting lab-grown meat says, "Just as modern automobiles replaced the horse and buggy, better alternatives will replace conventional animal agriculture." The Institute refers to their lab product as "clean meat" which raises the hackles of farmers and ranchers.

Both FDA and USDA claim regulatory jurisdiction over the new lab food. Both agencies have statutory authority to regulate different aspects of a meat product. The North American Meat Institute which represents meat processors teamed up with California's Memphis Meats, a major cultured protein developer, on a letter to the White House suggesting both FDA and USDA should regulate cell-based meat and poultry. The two organizations requested a meeting between the White House, USDA, FDA, and both conventional and cell-based meat and poultry industry stakeholders.

Dairy Revenue Insurance

USDA's Risk Management Agency has approved the first revenue protection insurance policy for dairy producers. The Dairy Revenue Protection Policy, developed by the American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, will provide indemnities to dairymen when milk prices fall and actual revenue is below a revenue guarantee. Premiums will be subsidized similar to existing crop insurance products for corn, soybeans and other commodities. Signup will start on October 9.

The Government Buys Fluid Milk

USDA will purchase up to $50 million worth of fluid milk in an effort to bring financial relief to the dairy industry. USDA will use its authority under Section 32 of the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1935 to make the purchases for food distribution and feeding programs such as School Lunch. Section 32 funds come from customs duties for disaster payments and the purchase of surplus commodities.

Environment

Waters of the United States is back from the dead for landowners in 26 states not covered by stays issued by two other judges. In mid-August, a South Carolina judge, acting on a motion from environmental groups, struck down the Trump Administration's suspension of the rule until 2020 so the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers could finish drafting a replacement. The South Carolina ruling will almost certainly be appealed.

Health Care

The Opioid Crisis


In 2016, more than 64,000 Americans died of drug overdose. A significant majority were the result of the misuse of opioids. How do we address user stigma, treatment, recovery and cure? Evidence so far indicates that individual connection with community is a key to prevention as well as treatment and recovery. The National Grange and 10 state Granges have joined with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) to form state and local coalitions to bring information on addiction, help, treatment, recovery, drug disposal and prevention to local communities. Johns Hopkins University found that 90% of surgery patients with unused opioids do not properly dispose of them. RALI coalition members hand out safe drug disposal kits which have proven to be an extremely popular item at the local level. Drugs can safely be disposed in the trash with the kit to prevent flushing down the toilet and the stigma of appearing at a drug collection point.

Telehealth

The Federal Communications Commission is working on a "Connected Care Pilot Program" to promote connecting telehealth services to low income citizens and veterans, particularly those in rural areas. Broadband-enabled healthcare services such as remote patient monitoring and mobile treatment facilities will be delivered outside the scope of traditional medical locations. The FCC proposal will provide $100 million to approximately 20 pilot projects. The National Grange's Betsy Huber urged the FCC to proceed with the projects and was quoted in the FCC press release.

Protect Medicare Advantage

The National Grange joined patient groups and doctors on a letter to Senate and House leadership expressing concern about a new policy at the Department of Health and Human Services which allows Medicare Advantage to implement step therapy to manage Part B drugs. Step therapy dictates that older cheaper drugs be prescribed first for a condition; if they don't work then a newer more effective drug may be prescribed. That decision should be the made by the doctor, not the insurance company.

Immigration/Ag Workforce

Agriculture producers continue to be hampered by the lack of a dependable legal ag workforce everywhere in the country. Efforts to get a House vote on an agriculture-specific immigration bill in July before the August recess were not successful. Another attempt may be possible in September. An op-ed "What Agriculture Needs Now is Labor" by the Grange's Burton Eller was featured in Washington's The Hill in support of bringing the ag worker bill to the floor.

Telecommunications

Facebook Posts


The Connect Americans Now Coalition recently produced a colorful four part Facebook post featuring the National Grange in support of rural broadband access and closing the digital divide.

Breaking Down Barriers

National Grange President Betsy Huber wrote Representative John Curtis (R-UT) in support of his bill H.R. 4824, the Rural Broadband Permitting Efficiency Act and encouraged the Committee on Natural Resources to adopt his bill. H.R. 4824 gives states permitting authority, rights-of-way categorical exclusion and federal permitting coordination in order to expedite the build-out of rural broadband.

Threat to Local Cable Providers

The Daily Caller published an op-ed by National Grange President Betsy Huber highlighting the need for merged Comcast/NBC to continue providing reasonably priced service to local cable providers who service rural and small town customers. The binding arbitration provisions following the Comcast/NBC merger have expired and local broadband providers face the possibility of higher costs for both programming and distribution.

Latest Broadband Expansion

The Federal Communications Commission just completed an auction that will allow up to 700,000 rural and underserved homes and small businesses to receive broadband. The bidders commit to deliver the best service for the lowest amount of FCC subsidies to qualify to serve that particular region. Approximately $1.5 billion in federal subsidy funds will be provided over the next 10 years.

Trade

NAFTA


A breakthrough on North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations with Mexico was announced by the President and Secretary Perdue August 27. The agriculture community welcomed the announcement with relief. The U.S. exported around $35 million worth of corn to Mexico in 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect. In 2016, the U.S. sold Mexico corn worth $2.6 billion. Soybeans, beef, pork and dairy have similar histories. In an effort to bring more car production back to the U.S. from Mexico, the revised deal also makes significant revisions in automobile manufacturing along with the requirement to use more local steel, aluminum and auto parts. This agreement between Mexico and the U.S. could clear the way for Canada to return to the negotiating table for a new three-way agreement.

Trade Aid for Agriculture

Also on August 27, the USDA announced details of its long-awaited $12 billion Market Facilitation Program trade aid package to agriculture producers hurt by trade disputes with China, Mexico, the E.U., Turkey and others. Initially, USDA will distribute about $4.7 billion to producers of soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, sorghum, dairy and pork. Another roughly $1.2 billion will go to purchase apples, pears, apricots, blueberries, beef and other commodities for public food assistance and child nutrition programs. Included as well is $200 million to help expand and create new foreign markets for U.S. commodities. The Farm Service Agency will administer the Market Facilitation Program. Payments begin September 4 based upon production. While generally appreciative, producers say they would much prefer trade to aid. Allocation of the remainder of the $12 billion will be announced at a later date.

Perspective

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag. "

Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, United States Marine Corps.

"A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. "

Mahatma Gandhi

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots." generation instead of the next election, it might be better for the United States and the world."

Marcus Garvey

Download This Newsletter

Committee work will begin!

Committees will be assigned in the next 10 days and work will begin in 17 days, please let us know about your interests and get those resolutions into the Lillian Booth, CSG Secretary

As we begin the preparation for what we can all be assured will be an exciting and constructive September 22-25 in Redwood Empire Fairgrounds, Ukiah. Please go to our website CaStateGrange.org to see the complete schedule and usefull tools like:

– Session Schedule
– Who Can Attend
– Registration for Session
– Meals at Annual Session
– Fair Grounds
– Talent Show Applications
– Grange Expo Information
– Lodging
– Restaurants in the Area
– Things To Do in Ukiah Area
– Chamber / Hospital
– Committee Assignment Request
– Annual Session Volunteers
– Submitting Resolutions
– Memorial Service Submissions

We are currently taking names of interested members in good standing to be involved with the following committees:

• Agricultural
• Audit & Budget
• Citizenship
• Conservation
• Grange Law
• Growth & Development
• Health & Education
• Labor & Judiciary Brothers and Sisters -

Click here to submit online request for committee assignment.

Court Order Prohibits Guild Interference With Granges

It has come to the California State Grange’s attention that Robert McFarland and other Guild members have contacted Grange members to attempt to prevent their Subordinate Granges from returning to good standing in the Order. The courts have unequivocally ruled that the Guild’s intimidation of, interference with, and attempts to confuse Grange members, AND LOCAL GRANGES, see highlighted order below, MUST stop immediately.

In his order issued on August 13, Judge Shubb ordered the Guild and “all other persons acting in concert with” the Guild to STOP “making any false representations to the California Granges about [the National Grange and California State Grange or encouraging members to ‘disaffiliate’ from” the Grange, and also STOP “interfering in the contractual relations between the California Granges and the California State Grange or the National Grange.” This order is crystal clear. If ANY Grange is interfered with or any Grange member is in any way confronted by ANY Guild representative about any Subordinate or Pomona Grange, please document the incident and notify us immediately. The California State Grange is here to help. We will do everything in our power to make sure that the Guild cannot continue to defy court orders by attempting to undermine the efforts of Granges to return to good standing.

The constant misinformation and “spin” emanating from the Guild these past several years have created great confusion amongst Grange members and the public at large. The courts have ordered that this must stop. The California State Grange will continue to hold ALL individuals accountable for their bad acts (defiance/contempt of court orders, perjury, theft, fraud, etc.). We urge all individuals to carefully consider their obligations and the legal ramifications of their actions before attempting to interfere with Granges, and if they have any questions about what those obligations and ramifications are, to consult with competent, non-disqualified counsel.

Read Judge Shubb's Order - with local references highlighted

This year, Grangers from across the nation are encouraged to bring to the National Annual convention personal care items for donation. The items will be distributed among the seven Northeast states - Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts - and donated to male and female veterans of all ages in need.

Please consider gathering a donation to send with your State Delegate or other members who are attending convention or mail donations to Jody Cameron, 31 Blueberry Lane, Brooklyn, CT 06234

Items include (but are not limited to)


• Bar Soap
• Body Wash
• Deodorant
• Shampoo/Conditioner
• Toothbrushs & Toothpaste
• Floss
• Mouthwash
• Lotion
• Shaving Cream & Razors
• Combs
• Denture tablets
• Feminine hygiene products and napkins
• Wet wipes
• Incontinence pads/items
• Tissues
• Lip Balm

Travel sized products are encouraged, but any size would be appreciated.

McFarland To Face Debtor’s Examination

Robert McFarland has been served with a subpoena to appear in front of a Magistrate Judge in the federal court for a Debtor’s Examination to identify all assets held or controlled by the California Guild. This examination is scheduled to be heard on August 31, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. As you will recall, the federal court re-opened the first trademark lawsuit to permit the Grange to recover over $93,000.00 in Grange funds that the Guild had used to pay the sanctions awarded for its “willful and deliberate” violation of the federal court injunction against using the “Grange” name. The debtor’s examination will explore what funds the Guild has available to satisfy its liability.

View Subpoena Here

Help is Needed!

Donald and Linda Lauenroth, Whitesboro Grange members (22 year members) have lost their home at 6696 Hwy 20, Ukiah due to the Mendocino Complex, Ranch Fire.

Don and his Wife Linda have moved in with Linda's mom in Ukiah for the time being. They were able to save some things when told to evacuate.

Whitesboro Grange, Master Marie Koskela stated that Whitesboro Grange will be having fund raising events during September and October to help Don and Linda.

The California State Grange has funds and in conjunction with funds donated from both New York State Grange members and Maryland State Grange members for fire assistance, we do have funds that will be used to assist our brother and sister. Would you or your Grange like to help?

The trial of Robert McFarland and disqualified attorney Mark Ellis for contempt of Judge Brown's court order was scheduled for August 10. Just as the trial was about to begin, however, Mr. McFarland and Mr. Ellis presented the trial judge with a number of last-minute filings. The judge decided he needed time to review everything, and continued the trial to September 21.

Despite the frantic efforts of Mr. McFarland and Mr. Ellis to push off the trial, the fundamental facts remain unchanged: in order to pay sanctions awarded against the California Guild for its "willful and deliberate" violation of the injunction entered by the federal court, the Guild, under Mr. McFarland's direction and apparently upon the advice of Mr. Ellis, withdrew over $93,000.00 in Grange funds from a Morgan Stanley investment account that Judge Brown had ordered that the Guild could not use. This was a flagrant violation of Judge Brown's order, and the documents (court orders, bank records, etc.) proving it are undisputed. Although Mr. McFarland and Mr. Ellis managed to delay justice, justice for the Grange will not be denied. It will be delivered on September 21.

View Contempt - Continued Order

View Contempt - Trial Detail

View Contemt - Trial Brief - CSG


Please help us welcome Humboldt Grange #501 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Humboldt Grange #501 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of Humboldt Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Humboldt Grange #501
5845 Humboldt Hill Rd
Eureka CA 95503

Visit Humboldt Grange Facebook page


Please help us welcome Golden Empire Grange #806 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Golden Empire Grange #806 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of Golden Empire and their Master David Craigen for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Golden Empire Grange #806
11363 Grange Ct.
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Visit Golden Empire Facebook page

Another Order Granting Summary Judgment to the Grange

On Monday, August 13, Judge Shubb issued an order granting the National Grange’s motion for summary judgment and denying the Guild’s motion for summary judgment in the trademark lawsuit pending in federal court. The Court’s order awarded the National Grange significant damages (in an amount to proven shortly at trial) for the Guild’s wrongful actions, and also awarded the Grange wide-ranging injunctive relief.

The National Grange prevailed on its claims for false designation of origin, federal and state law false advertising, trademark and service mark infringement, and copyright infringement. The Court denied two claims (trespass and conversion) that had been mooted by the California State Grange’s success in recovering its property in the state court litigation pending before Judge Brown, and also held that the California State Grange lacked standing to pursue the trademark claims asserted in the case; the denial of those claims had no material effect on the scope of the Grange’s victory. With respect to damages, Judge Shubb held as a matter of law that the National Grange is entitled to recovery of the Guild’s “total gross revenue from dues and loan payments from September 30, 2015, the date [the Guild was] permanently enjoined from further use of the term ‘Grange,’ to the present…. Given that local chapters pay dues on an annual basis, [the National Grange is] entitled to those revenues they would have received but for [the Guild’s] wrongful actions.” These damages are well into the six figures (at least), and the specific amount will be proven at trial.

In addition to its actual damages, Judge Shubb also held as a matter of law that the National Grange is entitled to recover several special categories of damages due to the egregious and wrongful nature of the Guild’s conduct. Thus, because “[t]he court concludes that this case can certainly be considered ‘exceptional’ given the intentional nature of [the Guild’s] use of California State Grange property,” it also awarded the National Grange treble damages (i.e., triple the amount of the actual damages proven at trial) and its attorneys’ fees in pursuing the federal trademark lawsuit. Moreover, because the Guild’s “unlawful conduct was ‘done willfully, intentionally and in reckless disregard of its possible injurious consequences,’” the Court awarded the National Grange punitive damages to punish the Guild for its conduct.

All told, we expect that the National Grange will be awarded millions of dollars pursuant to this order following the damages trial. In addition to the significant damages awarded to the National Grange, the Court also issued numerous injunctions prohibiting a range of actions by the Guild. Among many other things, the ruling prohibits the Guild and its “officers, shareholders, partners, principals, agents, assignees, beneficiaries, successors, licensees, distributors, attorneys, proxies, alter egos, aliases, and all other persons acting in concert with [the Guild] collectively or individually” from:

-- “representing or asserting that they are affiliated or connected with, the successors to, or the authorized representatives of, the California State Grange, or the local California Granges in any advertising, promotion, and commercial or official communications;”
-- “referencing the history and goodwill of the California State Grange or their past association with the California State Grange in any advertising, promotion and commercial or official communications;”
-- “appropriating, disposing or dissipating assets and accounts held in the name of, or belonging to, the California State Grange, or the local California Granges;”
-- “making any false representations to the California Granges about plaintiffs’ services or encouraging members to ‘disaffiliate’ from plaintiffs’ organization;” and
-- “interfering in the contractual relations between the California Granges and the California State Grange or the National Grange.”

The Court also entered “[a]n order directing the California Secretary of State to recognize [the Grange] as the exclusive representatives of the California State Grange for all purposes relevant to the registration, ownership, and responsibility of such corporate entities,” including the California State Grange’s corporation originally formed in 1946.

Simply put, this order represents a monumental victory in the litigation to protect the California State Grange’s rights, structure, and fraternal organization, and lays the groundwork for a significant monetary recovery to the National Grange after the specific amount of damages are proven at trial. (The Court ordered the parties to appear for a status conference on September 10 to set a schedule for the trial.) While it is not the end of the litigation, this order is a dramatic vindication of the Grange’s hard work and dedication to restoring our Order in California during the past several years of litigation.

Judge Shubb’s full order is available at the link below. This is a must-read. Pour yourself a big cup of coffee and dig in. If you or your Grange has been operating on the belief that what the Guild has been doing is justified or permissible, I urge you to carefully consider this order (and the various orders and receiver’s reports issued in the state court case this year), the National Grange’s Digest of Laws, the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws, and your Grange’s Charter, constitution, and by-laws, and to seek the advice of competent, non-disqualified counsel if you

View Order - Moion for Summary Judgement II

CDFA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS FOR CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS SACRAMENTO, August 15, 2018

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) began accepting grant applications today from organizations that can provide technical assistance to applicants for the state’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs, which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural operations. Eligible organizations, including non-profit groups, academic institutions and resource conservation districts, can apply to assist applicants of three Climate Smart Agriculture programs, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), the Healthy Soils Program (HSP), and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP). The programs aim to boost climate resiliency through water conservation, soil health improvement and water quality protection.

“These partner organizations provide farmers with technical expertise they need to reach their climate goals, whether it’s conserving water, improving soil health or boosting water quality,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.

CDFA will award grant funds starting at $5,000, with additional funding allocated based on the number of applicants served. Each organization can receive up to $60,000.

More information about eligibility and program requirements is available at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi. Applications must be submitted by email to cdfa.oefi@cdfa.ca.gov no later than September 14, 2018 5:00 p.m. PT. Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. Climate Smart Agriculture technical assistance funding is provided by California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap and Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.

Additional funding is provided by Proposition 68 (SB 5, De León), The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018. Proposition 68 was passed by voters in June 2018. More information can be found at: http://bondaccountability.resources.ca.gov/p68.aspx

Follow CDFA News on Twitter and Facebook California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs 1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814 916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov

Save on Auto Rentals at Hertz Rental Car

The California State Grange membership is a eligible to participate in the Hertz Membership Program.

As a result, our members will experience savings available through Hertz Member Benefits programs as follows:

• 10% Discount on Hertz Daily Member Benefit Rates (car classes A through F Compact 2 Door through Full-size 4 Door).
• 10% Discount on Hertz Standard Daily, Weekend, Weekly and Monthly Rates (all car classes).
• 5% or greater Discount on Hertz Leisure Daily, Weekend, Weekly and Monthly Rates (all car classes).

Please use the following CDP ID# (2161239) when making your reservation details. You can use this number when inputting your reservation information at www.hertz.com, over the phone, through a travel agent, or with walk-up reservations.


August 2018

MAKE IT A GOOD DAY!

IN THIS ISSUE:

• Grange membership may indeed be fountain of youth
• National Grange unveils new public service announcement (PSA) series
• Is your family sick because of where you were stationed?
• New Junior Passport available, more coming
• Members can cash in on back to school savings!
• G.R.O.W. Club Appeal
• Lecturer's round-up and preview
• 2018 Quilt Block Contest
• Pre-order "That's the Grange Way" calendar
• Grange Revival 2019 registration
• 152nd Annual National Grange Convention - Register Now!
• 1 in 1,000 Club of the Grange Foundation
• Membership Matters Monthly Zoom Meetings
• Survey of Grange attitudes, outreach and programming activities related to food security and food literacy

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

www.facebook.com/nationalgrange/
www.twitter.com/NationalGrange The National Grange - 1616 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 - Phone: 1-888-4-GRANGE

View the Latest Newsletter

Grange"Keeper of the Stuff" and our Librarian"

Please help me welcome Linda MacCracken, 22 year Grange member as "Keeper of the Stuff", and her mom 92 years young, Marian Sales as "Marian the Librarian". Their roles are organizing and inventorying all the state Grange "stuff", from regalia, books, records to charters and historic documents. They are indexing every item they can locate, not a small task and doing an amazing job. This task is generating an outstanding historical archive and library room, right off the lobby at HQ's.

We have numerous items that we would like to make available to our members that "collect". Please review the below and attached and contact us if you would like any of these items - this is a first come first served list, so don't delay. We will package each individual request as available and bring it to convention for pick up, saving $$.

Extra Historic Pieces available for Granges:


16 My Juvenile Grange Book
1 Juvenile Manual 19th Edition
3 Manual Junior Grange 23rd Edition
1 Fifth Edition Pomona Manual
1 Seventh Edition Pomona Manual
3 Eleventh Edition Pomona Manuals
21 Twelfth Edition Pomona Manuals
1 Thirteenth Edition Pomona Manuals
118 Subordinate/Community Grange Alternative Manual 2004
2 Subordinate Manual, 1999
16 Subordinate Manual 1995
11 Subordinate Manual 1991
Subordinate Manual, 12th Edition, 1929
Subordinate Manual, 24th Edition, 1945
Subordinate Manual, 32nd Edition, 1959
9 Subordinate Manual, 36th Edition, 1969
5 Subordinate Manual, 37th Edition, 1972
4 Subordinate Manual, 38th Edition, 1975
7 Subordinate Manual, 39th Edition, 1978
Subordinate Manual, 41st Edition, 1984
National Grange Constitution and By Laws Digest 1982
2 National Grange Journal of Proceedings 88th Session, Spokane, WA 1952
National Grange Journal of Proceedings 98th Session, Atlantic City, NJ 1964
National Grange Journal of Proceedings 99th Session, Topeka, KS 1965
Roster of California State Grange, 1912/13
Roster of California State Grange, 1915
Roster of California State Grange, 1917
2 Roster of California State Grange, 1918
Roster of California State Grange, 1920
4 Roster of California State Grange, 1921
6 Roster of California State Grange, 1922
4 Roster of California State Grange, 1924
5 Roster of California State Grange, 1925
6 Roster of California State Grange, 1926
6 Roster of California State Grange, 1927
7 Roster of California State Grange, 1928
4 Roster of California State Grange, 1929
Roster of California State Grange, 1930
Roster of California State Grange, 1931
4 Roster of California State Grange, 1935
2 Roster of California State Grange, 1936
2 Roster of California State Grange 1937
2 Roster of California State Grange 1938
Roster of California State Grange: 1940
Roster of CSG, 1941
Roster of CSG, 1942
Roster of CSG, 1943
Roster of CSG, 1944
Roster of CSG, 1945
Roster of CSG, 1946
Roster of CSG, 1947
Roster of CSG, 1949
Roster of California State Grange, 1950
2 Roster of California State Grange, 1951
2 Roster of California State Grange, 1952
Roster of California State Grange, 1953
2 Roster of CSG, 1954
3 Roster of CSG, 1955
2 Roster of CSG, 1956
Roster of CSG, 1957
Roster of CSG, 1958
Roster of CSG, 1960
2 Roster of CSG, 1961
2 Roster of CSG, 1962
Roster of CSG, 1963
Roster of CSG, 1965
Roster of CSG, 1966
Roster of CSG, 1967
Roster of CSG, 1969
Roster of CSG, 1970
Roster of CSG, 1971
Roster of CSG, 1972
Roster of CSG, 1973
Roster of CSG, 1974
Roster of CSG, 1975
Roster of CSG, 1976
Roster of CSG, 1977
Roster of CSG, 1978
Roster of CSG, 1979
2 Roster of CSG, 1980
Roster of CSG, 1981
Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1936
Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1942
Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1960
4 Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1961
8 Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1966
4 Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1974
2 Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1980
3 Constitution & By Laws of CSG, 1983
3 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1906
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1907
2 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1914
3 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1915
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1916
3 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1923
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1926
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1927
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1939
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1941
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1942
2 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1943
3 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1944
1 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1948
3 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1951
CSG Journal of Proceedings , 1987
3 CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1988
CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1989
CSG Journal of Proceedings, 1990
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3 Grange Melodies (Old)

If you will be attending the Annual Session of the California State Grange (Sept 22nd-25th) in Ukiah CA. you can get the registration form and session meal form by using the links below. Click here for information for the CSG Annual Session.

Get Registration Form

Get Meal Form

If you will be attending the upcomming State Session and would like to volunteer to help in some way, please click the link below. Thank you.

Click link to volunteer!

We just got word today, that the Buckeye Grange Hall did not burn in the Carr Fire. The Buckeye Grange Hall is located north and east of Redding.

View the Latest Newsletter

Guild NEVER Solvent!

On August 1st, the court-appointed receiver, Robert Greeley, filed his Second Interim Inventory and Tracing Report in the main state court action pending before Judge Brown. In this report, Receiver Greeley provided his conclusions to the Judge regarding the disposition of Grange property by the Guild. Based on his thorough review of all records he could obtain, Receiver Greeley found that Mr. McFarland and the other individuals controlling the Guild owe the California State Grange $5,073,776.

You can read the full report HERE.

The California State Grange continues to take steps to recover all Grange property wrongfully taken by the Guild. The court rulings—from trial and appellate courts in both the California and Federal systems—have uniformly held that Grange rules apply in California and Grange property must remain in the Order. The California State Grange intends to enforce its rights, including (if necessary) by holding individuals accountable that acted improperly in diverting Grange property. We understand that the “spin” from Mr. McFarland and the Guild has caused great confusion. If you have any doubt in your mind about what the right thing to do is, we urge you to review the various court rulings; your Subordinate Grange’s Charter, constitution, by-laws, corporate documents (articles of incorporation, SI-100s) and financial records (checks, loan documents, etc.); the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws; and the National Grange’s Digest of Laws. If you still have any doubts, get advice from competent and non-conflicted legal counsel. Finally, if you think it would be helpful to speak to the California State Grange about these issue, please feel free to call or e-mail us any time. The California State Grange continues to work out amicable solutions to bring individuals and Granges back into good standing in our Order, and we are always happy to have a conversation.

Table Summarizing Grange Property Spent by Guild (Click image to view larger format)



Main Topics in the Report:
1. TRACING 2018 GUILD DUES
2. INSOLVENCY FROM ORIGIN
3. CONTINUED INSOLVENCY – USE OF GRANGE REVENUES AND ASSETS
4. OFF- BALANCE SHEET TRANSACTIONS
5. GRANGE NOTE RECEIVABLE PAYMENTS RECEIVED BY THE GUILD
6. UNACCOUNTED FOR FUNDS 4/5/13 through 12/31/14
7. GUILD DEBT INCURRED –THEN REDUCED USING GRANGE ASSETS
8. GRANGE RECORDS, GUILD ORIGIN AND ADDITIONAL ACCOUNTING ISSUES

CONCLUSION


1. No Guild funds were turned over to the Receivership Estate.
2. The Guild was never solvent.
a. The Guild incurred liability for Guild legal expenses as early as 2012.
b. The Guild wrote off Grange Loan Receivable Assets in March of 2013.
c. Guild expenditures exceed Guild revenues in each year from 2013 through 2018.

The Receiver concludes the Guild owes the Receivership Estate $5,073,776. The amount due is based on the records and his analysis of the Guild accounting and activities, the Grange assets at 4/5/13, the derivative revenues from those assets, the conversions of those 4/5/13 assets, trust funds, and property—which were expended in the Guild’s operation of the Grange assets. That amount is due to the Receivership Estate and RSG. For the time between 4/5/13 and 3/31/18 (“The Period”), the Guild initially operated by expending Grange assets, it then collected Grange revenues (and subsequently Guild revenues) and expended ALL of the revenues collected. Additionally the Guild expended Grange assets during The Period for the operation of the Guild. The Guild owes the Receivership Estate the amounts of the expenditures and the $1,876,006 which is the amount of the Grange assets expended which were not included in the Income Statements of the Guild for The Period.

Click to read the full report to the Court.

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF BOARD MEETING The California State Grange Board of Directors Meeting

Date: Sunday, August 12, 2018

Open Session 11:00 am to Close of Business (Closed session will be 9:00 am to 11:00 am)

Location: California State Grange, 3830 U Street, Sacramento, CA

Those members wishing to address the Board of Directors must notify the State Grange Secretary by close of business on Tuesday August 7, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the State Grange Secretary, Lillian Booth, at LBooth@CAStateGrange.org or 916-454-5808.




July 2018

POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS
JULY 2018 WRAP-UP

Overview


The House of Representatives is on traditional August Recess until September 4. In an unusual move, the Senate will stay in session during August. The Senate is expected to complete the fiscal 2019 appropriations bills to fund USDA, EPA, FDA, and Interior during this timeframe. Hill work on the farm bill will continue behind the scenes. Agriculture anticipated a House vote on a specific ag worker bill during July and sponsors of the legislation had assurance from House leadership for floor time. Opposition by California interests caused the ag worker bill to be pulled from the calendar. Fake milk and lab grown meat are on FDA's agenda. The National Grange and several state Granges are helping with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) to fight the nation's opioid crisis. Drug prices and pharmacy benefit manager mergers are targets of a House Committee. Trade wars have farmers and ranchers nervous. President Trump announced a $12 billion agriculture relief package July 24

Agriculture and Food

The 2018 Farm Bill


Both the Senate and House have passed their version of the new farm bill. The House voted to go to conference with the Senate to iron out statutory language differences and come up with a compromise farm bill that will go back to Senate and House floors for final action. The Senate is expected to name their conferees and vote soon to go to conference with the House. Staff and committee leadership will work through the August congressional recess to resolve as many differences as possible and the conference committee should convene in early September. The goal is to complete the farm bill by September 30 when many programs in the 2014 farm bill will expire. Both bill commodity titles and crop insurance titles are similar and largely consistent with the 2014 farm bill. The bills differ in overall conservation funding and their approach to working lands conservation. The most difficult issue to reconcile between the House and Senate will be food assistance known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP). The House bill would require able-bodied persons 18 through 59 without dependent children to work or do job training for at least 20 hours per week. The Senate version does not seek additional work requirements. The legislation is still called the farm bill but 79% of farm bill spending goes toward food programs. The remainder of farm bill spending is for crop insurance 8%, commodity programs 6%, conservation 6% and miscellaneous 1%.

Proposed Relief for Livestock Haulers

Eleven Senators have introduced bipartisan legislation to provide common sense to the Department of Transportation's new hours of service and Electronic Logging Device regulations. The livestock industry is concerned about the health, safety, and welfare of animals in transit especially during weather extremes and feels this flexibility will add practical guidelines to the DOT's new rules.

The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act provides that:
   • These regulations do not apply until a driver travels more than 300 miles from their source
   • Extends the hours of service on-duty maximum time from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and maximum of 18 hours for on-duty time.
   • Loading, unloading and waiting times are exempt from hours of service
   • Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against hours of service
   • Allows drivers to complete their trip regardless of hours if they are within 150 air miles from the delivery point
   • After delivery, the driver must take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time

Whole Milk, Cheese and Butter Vindicated?

A new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is yet another addition to the ongoing vindication of dairy products. Evidence continues to mount that perceived health risks of dairy fats are less clear than previously believed. An analysis of 2,907 adults found that people with higher and lower levels of dairy fats in their blood had the same rate of death during a 22-year period. This implies that whole vs. skim vs. 2-percent milk didn't matter, nor did butter vs. margarine.

Fake Milk

The dairy industry has been struggling for years over use of the term "milk" during the market expansion of plant-based almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and more. Even though the federal government has formal standards of identity definitions for food items that include the term "milk" as the product of a lactating animal, the FDA has not enforced the definition. That may change. FDA Commissioner Gottlieb indicates his agency will crack down on non-dairy products labeled as milk and yogurt. FDA will solicit public comment before taking further steps to redefine the labeling rules.

Lab-Grown Meat

Now the meat industry faces not only labeling challenges but jurisdictional hurdles as well. Several start-up companies have successfully produced cell-cultured meat and sea food from cells grown in the lab outside of the animal. Several of these companies are pushing for commercial market opportunities. What will be the oversight for these new unusual food products to enter the consumer food chain?

FDA Commissioner Gottlieb points to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act language that FDA has "jurisdiction over food which includes articles used for food and articles used for components of any such articles." USDA Secretary Perdue has jurisdiction over the Federal Meat Inspection Act that defines "meat" as the muscle of any cattle, sheep, swine or goats, and "meat food product" as any article capable of use as human food which is made wholly or in part from any meat or other portion of the carcass thereof. These statutory definitions appear to give USDA jurisdiction. However, determining who will regulate cell-cultured meat promises to be a heated interagency turf battle.

Are Homegrown Foods Safer?

Food safety is often cited as a primary reason why people grow their own produce. Fact is, food-borne illnesses are almost as likely to be caused by homegrown produce as by fresh foods acquired elsewhere. Disease-causing bacteria can contaminate produce from the soil, compost, manure, and water. Almost half of all food-borne illness outbreaks are caused by fresh produce eaten raw. Thorough washing of produce, hands, utensils and cutlery is imperative.

Environment

Emissions Reporting


The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it is implementing legislation passed in March that exempts farmers from having to report emissions from animal manure and other wastes.

Current statutory reporting requirements were initially intended for superfund sites many years ago.

Brown Gold?

U.S. dairy producers in growing numbers are making money from what they are calling "brown gold." These dairymen are using digesters to turn manure into biogas which is later compressed into compressed gas. The leftover liquids and solids are made into fertilizer, plastic, biodegradable flower pots, animal bedding, peat moss substitute and more.

Health Care

Meeting the Opioid Crisis


The National Grange is helping coordinate the roll out of the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI), a new coalition to fight the nation's opioid crisis. State Granges in Maryland, New Hampshire, Indiana and Nevada are already part of the coalition in their states. Granges in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont will host RALI coalition activities at the New England Grange House during the Eastern States Exposition in late September.

Lowering Drug Prices and Out-of-Pocket Costs

The National Grange has worked with several patient groups and medical provider organizations in July to provide feedback to the Department of Health and Human Services on their request for information on their HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. Suggestions included taking a close look at prices and rebates along the drug supply chain, putting the patient first in line to receive discounts and rebates, and protecting current Medicare D and Part B programs with the patient in mind.

Spotlight on Pharmacy Benefit Managers

The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on July 27 asking for a retrospective review of mergers of pharmacy benefit managers and how these mergers have affected drug prices for patients. Pharmacy benefit managers oversee drug plans for employer and union-sponsored health plans. PBMs negotiate with drug makers to get rebates for putting their drugs on a health plan's formulary. The three largest merged PBMs account for over 50 percent of market revenues. The concern is that pharmacy benefit managers are getting paid by both sides of a transaction: the insurance companies who pay PBMs a fee as their customer and the drug makers who PBMs are supposed to be negotiating against.

Rural Hospitals Continue to Close

Medical care continues to become an issue of distance for those living in rural America. For many, the doctors who were in the old hospital that was just around the corner are now 100 miles away. Since 2010, at least 85 rural hospitals have closed. Contributing to the closings are lack of personal insurance, cuts to public health insurance programs, struggles with debt, cost of technology upgrades, and sharply worsening finances in states that do not expand Medicaid.

Air Ambulances on the Rise

As rural hospitals continue to shutter their doors, the medical helicopter, or air ambulance, has attempted to fill the gap in many areas. The number of ambulance helicopters has steadily grown from around 100 in the early 1980's to 1,045 in 2016. The main problem with air ambulances is cost, so they are only used in extreme emergencies. According to the Government Accountability Office, the average cost of a medical flight was about $30,000 in 2016. That same year Medicare paid an average of $6,502 per call. Under Medicare rules, whatever Medicare pays, that's all the provider will get. Those without insurance or Medicare are liable for the entire bill.

Immigration/Ag Workforce

Any hope of major comprehensive immigration has stalled out for this congressional cycle. Immigration, likeso many otherissues has becomea politicalfootball without an end game. On the other hand, the need for ag labor encompasses the whole country and transcends political parties. The National Grange has been part of a large agriculture coalition working to get specific ag worker legislation through Congress separate from comprehensive immigration legislation. Sponsors of the bipartisan Agriculture Guestworker and Legal Workforce Act had commitments from House leadership to address ag labor the week of July 23. But unfortunately, opposition developed from California that caused the legislation to be pulled from the floor. The August recess lasts until September 4. A floor vote in September hinges on bringing the California interests to the table. In the meantime, numerous crops are well into harvest and needing ag labor.

Telecommunications

Farm Bill Directs Broadband to Unserved First


The Senate version of the farm bill places new restrictions on the USDA's Rural Utilities Service Broadband Loan Program. The Senate broadband provision gives priority to loan applications that propose to provide broadband service to rural communities that do not have any residential broadband service.

Telemedicine More Important Than Ever

As rural hospitals close or consolidate, residents have the option to drive an hour or two or three to reach expert medical care. Another option the National Grange is continually focusing on is telemedicine. New telemedicine programs leverage the internet with a local clinic to provide patients with diagnosis and monitoring that previously were only possible at a hospital. A virtual clinic is a third great option. Nurses, doctors and technicians are available to patients online using high speed internet service and two-way cameras. Patients measure vital signs with medical tools that plug into iPads and data is relayed directly to the doctor for diagnosis.

Trade

Producers on Edge


America's current trade wars have farmers and ranchers on edge. Our NAFTA agreement could not be finalized with Canada and Mexico before trade disputes erupted with several more countries. As American commodities lose market share because of retaliatory tariffs, other countries jump in to expand their market share. As the President tries to realign America's trade balance with the rest of the world in items like cars, parts, intellectual property, steel, aluminum, and many more products, retaliation from abroad on U.S. food and agriculture products jumps to the forefront. Agriculture may take more than its share of body blows as the trade war escalates.

Short Term Relief

On July 24, President Trump and Secretary Perdue announced a $12 billion relief package aimed at insulating agriculture producers in the short term to give the President time to work through longer term trade deals. The reaction from most farmers and ranchers was, "We would rather have trade than aid." But most producers acknowledge short term infusion could help.

How USDA will implement the aid package:
   • The Commodity Credit Corporation (created in 1933 to provide price support for farmers during the Depression and Dust Bowl) will provide incremental payments through the Farm Service Agency. Still to be determined is how and to whom will these payments be made and in what amounts.
   • Additional food program purchases and distribution
   • Trade promotion to new markets

Perspective

"The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with fruitful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations."
Pope John Paul II

"A leader must be a good listener. He must be willing to take counsel. He must show a genuine concern and love for those under his stewardship."
James Faust

"If more politicians in this country were thinking about the next generation instead of the next election, it might be better for the United States and the world."
Claude Pepper

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org

Click here to download this issue

Thank you Frederick County, Maryland Granges - Fire Support funds available

This past week the California State Grange received an unsolicited donation from Brothers and Sisters of Frederick County, Maryland, Pomona and Junior Granges. They send their thoughts and prayers to the members of California that have faced and are facing tragedy due to the wildfires in our state. Those funds are available NOW to provide support to members and subordinate Granges that need financial support. Please contact me for further details.

Thank you Maryland Granges! Your act of concern and kindness represents the best of our fraternity.

Any Interest - We Can Help.

National Funding

Opportunities Throughout the U.S.

Support for Coalition Building to Encourage Youth Volunteer Activities Youth Service America: Lead Agency Program

Youth Service America (YSA) supports a global culture of engaged children and youth committed to a lifetime of meaningful service, learning, and leadership. YSA’s Lead Agency Program is intended to activate youth volunteers on September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, MLK Day of Service weekend, and Global Youth Service Day. The program provides grants of up to $6,000 to nonprofit organizations who bring together coalitions of youth development and community-based organizations, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, government agencies, national service programs, and faith-based organizations. Through their partner coalitions, Lead Agency grantees will be required to activate a minimum of 1,000 youth for each of the three days of service. Applicants should focus on engaging middle and high school aged youth, especially those from underserved communities. Applications will be reviewed and grantees selected on a rolling basis through August 10, 2018. Visit the YSA website to learn more about the program.

Initiatives to Assist Low-Income Seniors Funded

AARP Foundation


The AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness. The Foundation has issued the following Requests for Applications (RFAs): The Increasing Social Connectedness for Older Adults RFA will support nonprofit organizations with innovative solutions to bring to scale proven approaches that increase social support and connectedness among low-income older adults. The Tackling Senior Food Insecurity RFA will support nonprofit organizations with innovative solutions to bring to scale proven approaches that increase food security for low-income older adults. The application deadline for both RFAs is September 28, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about each grant opportunity.

Grants Promote No-Kill Animal Shelters

Maddie’s Fund: Innovation Grants


The mission of Maddie’s Fund is to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Maddie's Fund grants help build and sustain a no-kill nation so shelter dogs and cats can be guaranteed a loving home. The Fund’s Innovation Grants of up to $5,000 are intended to help implement new programs or expand existing programs at local shelters and rescue organizations that will address specific lifesaving categories. U.S. nonprofit organizations and government animal welfare organizations focused on dogs and/or cats are eligible to apply. Based on the lifesaving category, applications will be accepted from July 30 through August 6, or October 22 through 29, 2018. Visit the Fund’s website to learn more about the

Innovation Grants program.

Efforts to Address Punitive Immigration Policies Supported Borealis Philanthropy: Immigration Litigation Fund

The goal of the Immigration Litigation Fund, administered by Borealis Philanthropy, is to ensure that the nation’s immigration enforcement system is fair, humane, and prioritizes the civil and human rights of those vulnerable to deportation. The Fund supports impact litigation efforts that challenge discriminatory, unlawful, and overly punitive immigration enforcement policies and practices at any stage of the enforcement trajectory from identification and apprehension, to detention and removal, as well as efforts to exclude certain immigrants from entering the country. Project support is provided for impact litigation costs and strategic convenings meant to advance coordination on an issue related to enforcement and impact litigation efforts. Public interest legal groups, advocates, and community-based organizations are eligible to apply. The Fund will be accepting applications through December 1, 2018. Visit the Borealis Philanthropy website to learn more about the Immigration Litigation Fund.

Federal Funding

Opportunities from the U.S. Government Program Supports Pollution Prevention Environmental Protection Agency

The Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program supports pollution prevention approaches that reduce or eliminate pollutants from entering any waste stream or being otherwise released into the environment. The application deadline is August 23, 2018. Funding Available to Address Gangs Department of Justice The Gang Suppression Planning Grants Program is designed to reduce violent crime, gangs, and victimization and promote public safety in communities. Funding supports strategic planning and capacity building work through multidisciplinary and community partnerships. The application deadline is August 27, 2018.

Contact Us

Thoughts and prayers are needed for numerous Grange members in Shasta County that are actively evacuating. According to reports, 60-70 mile an hour winds are making the fire very to fight and moving very rapidly.

Buckeye Grange is most definitely in the path.

If any members are in need of assistance, please call the California State Grange 916-454-5805, we have resources to help!

Link To Calfire Incident Info

Buckeye Grange Facebook

Millville Grange Facebook

Ono Grange Facebook

Anderson Grange Facebook

Redding Grange Chamber of Commerce Link

Last Friday July 20th, the Sacramento Superior Court continued the quasi-criminal trial of Robert McFarland and former Guild attorney Mark Ellis for their contempt of Judge Brown’s court orders due to Mr. McFarland’s health.

The contempt trial will now take place on August 10. McFarland’s and Ellis’s request for a jury trial was denied. We will keep you informed as to what happens.

You can read the declaration that Mr. McFarland filed here.



IN THIS ISSUE:

• Grange booth/display at fair still an important tool for Order
• Youth deadline day is coming!
• Does your healthcare provider know about your military service?
• Grange Supply Store clearance
• Lecturer's round-up and preview
• Legacy Families sought; applications due by Aug. 6
• Pre-order your "That's the Grange Way" 2019 calendar
• Youth snowflake fundraiser planned for 152nd Annual Grange convention
• Save, support using Monroe Classic partnership
• Exclusive Member Benefits
• Save the Date: Grange Revival July 23 - 28, 2019
• August 1 deadline fast approaching for fellows applications
• American handicraft raffle
• 2018 Quilt Block Contest
• 152nd Annual National Grange Convention
• Ensure the Grange future in 4 easy steps

View the Latest Newsletter

Just a reminder that applications for the 2018 Fellows Program is August 1st.

You are invite you to apply to become a 2018 Communications Fellow at the 152nd Annual National Grange Convention in Stowe, Vermont. This opportunity is made possible thanks to generous funding provided by TracFone but there are VERY limited spots available and those who become fellows are expected to make time for training prior to the start of National Convention.

Get 2018 Fellows Application

OFFICIAL NOTICE

OF THE 143RD ANNUAL SESSION OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE GRANGE

REDWOOD EMPIRE FAIRGROUNDS, UKIAH, CALIFORNIA

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22 THROUGH TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 2018


OFFICIAL NOTICE; Per the California State Grange By-Laws, Article V, Section 5.3.3 (a), this is the official notice of the 143rd Annual Session of the California State Grange.

Per Article V, Section 5.1, Granges are entitled to send two delegates to the State Grange Session if the Grange meets the following:

5.1.1 Delegate Body – The State Grange is a Delegate body. Each Subordinate/ Community and Pomona Grange in California that is not more than one quarter in arrears for dues to the State Grange is entitled to representation at all State Grange meetings.

All Quarterly Reports and dues need to be current in order to meet the above requirements in the by-laws.

DEADLINE FOR RESOLUTIONS REGARDING BY-LAWS

Per Section 21.1.3, all resolutions to adopt, amend, or repeal any provisions of the By-Laws of the California State Grange must be RECEIVED by the State Grange Secretary no later than July 22, 2018

Resolutions may be submitted by mail with the signatures of the Master and Secretary with the seal of the Grange. Resolutions may also be submitted online using the verification process established at this link:

Submit 2018 Resolutions On Line
Convention Tidbits

Resolutions and Committee’s - a little information:


• The State Master does not lobby for or against any resolutions.
• The State Master does assign the Chairperson and committee members.
• The Chairperson is ideally someone who has knowledge of the committee scope through previous committee participation and/or work in either Grange, Government or Private Sector practices and understands the procedures and responsibilities of the job and can lead a “herd of cats” – lol.
• The committee chair runs their committee in an orderly fashion.
• Committees are formed with an attempt to balance a mix of individuals that have either expressed interest in a particular committee or that have personal interest and/or knowledge of a committee subject matter.
• Members of a committee are free to interact within the committee within the scope and management set out by the committee chair.
• ANYONE can attend any committee meeting as a guest BUT they cannot participate in any way unless the chair permits and that participation is limited to Questions and Answers.
• An author of a resolution is not permitted to actively lobby a committee. That work is saved for the delegate floor.
• If an author happens to be within a committee they must remove themselves (temporarily) from the committee member role and must be treated as a guest, only to speak when acknowledged.
• The Community Grange Master / Secretary (with passage of selected resolution by their membership) of each individual Grange, submit their own resolutions without interference from anyone outside their own Grange.
• No one can get involved with selection or culling of any Granges resolutions (unless found to be out of Order by the State Master). This is the work and purpose of committees.
• IF, two resolutions are written exactly identical to each other, the authors (or Sponsor) will be combined on the “Submitted by” when formatting for the State Session.
• Per the National Grange Digest, the State Grange Master does not vote in session unless as a delegate representative of his or her Subordinate or Pomona Grange. However, the State Master may vote in case of a tie vote. (Section 4.7.3 National Digest).
• As State Master, I do see the titles & authors of resolutions prior to delegate distribution to review committee assignments and assess the amount of work assigned to any committees.
• As State Master, I do not read the resolutions until they are distributed to the delegate body. Unless informed by the Secretary of a circumstance that needs the State Master’s attention.
• The State Master’s role is to provide order utilizing Roberts Rules of Order and to ensure that Grange law is followed in session.
• The State Master can contribute to a committee, as a guest.

View Officia Notice



Fire Strikes - Hornbrook Grange 391

It has been reported that the Hornbrook Grange Hall (Siskiyou County) was destroyed in the K

The Klamathon Fire started Thursday afternoon, July 5, and quickly spread. Interstate 5 between Yreka and Ashland, Ore., was closed during the night but reopened Friday morning.

CAL FIRE reported Friday morning that the fire had grown to more than 21,800 acres and one civilian fatality had been confirmed. Identity of the deceased was pending further

CalFire has reported 15 structures destroyed. Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in Siskiyou County Thursday night, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency states in a press release that it has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the State of California to combat the fire.

According to FEMA, the fire was also threatening other buildings, Interstate 5, BNSF Railroad, infrastructure, utilities and watershed.

FEMA also reported that Fire Management Assistance Grants provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.

View CALFIRE Incident Information

View FEMA Incident Information



Be Fire Safe - Be Ready!

As we can see and hear once again fires are in our communities. You cant help others unless you yourself are safe and sound. Attached is a list originated by the American Red Cross, we highly suggest you read it and act. It could be one of the most beneficial hours that you every spent.




Get Emergency / Disaster Preparedness Checklist and Plan




Western Yolo Grange is an evacuation center for the Guinda Fire

16787 Forrest Ave.
Guinda, CA

Click to see map

Contact - Paul Muller - 1-530-796-3464

View their Facebook Page


June 2018


Nomination Period Open for
Grange Communication Fellows Program
 

Dear Patrons,

We invite you to apply to become a 2018 Communications Fellow at the 152nd Annual National Grange Convention in Stowe, Vermont. This opportunity is made possible thanks to generous funding provided by TracFone but there are VERY limited spots available and those who become fellows are expected to make time for training prior to the start of National Convention.

WHAT IS COVERED/EXPECTED?

Through the program, participants receive a 9-night stay at the convention resort hotel, free registration, and most meals for the duration of the program. Participants are only responsible for the cost of travel and a few small meals. They are encouraged to bring a small amount of money for snacks, personal items and souvenirs they wish to purchase during their time at the convention. FELLOWS MUST ARRIVE AT THE HOTEL IN STOWE BY NO LATER THAN 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 and can leave anytime Sunday, Nov. 18.

This year, Fellows will hear from the National Master, National Grange Staff and Officers, other communications professionals and more. Fellows will produce content for the daily convention newsletter, interviews for Grange Radio and Good Day!™ magazine, take photos, livestream events, and produce short blurbs for social media - and much more. This is a hands-on training with a support from many of the 35 plus previous Fellows who participated. Those previous Fellows now hold many significant offices and jobs in their State and National Grange and often credit the program with providing them insight into the differences across State Granges and the opportunities and challenges to the organization, as well as great motivation for being part of our next 150 years of service.

NOMINEES

Nominees must complete the attached form with writing sample (described in form) and provide their own letter of interest in the program (typed).

The deadline for all materials to be submitted by email to the National Grange Communications Department is PRIOR to "start of business" (9 a.m. Eastern) Wednesday, August 1.

Early submissions will receive priority evaluation. Those who have not participated in the past will receive highest priority. Please inform the Communications Department as soon as you know you will be applying, even if you have not yet completed the application materials, so we are prepared to organize submissions accordingly and let us know who your recommendation letter will come from. We will follow up with you and them if we do not receive the letter in a timely fashion. A committee of the National Master, National Communications Director and at least one prior Communications Fellow will participate to make the final decision regarding placement. Decisions regarding participants is expected by noon on Monday, August 6.

NOMINATING A FELLOW

*State Masters/National Delegates, National Grange Officers, National Grange Staff and former Communication Fellows are permitted to nominate no more than two Grange members in good standing for the program. Nominees do not need to reside in the same state as the nominator, however the nominator should have great knowledge of the skills, personality and commitment of the person they nominate. Nominators are asked to write a letter of recommendation, noting the following:
• How long has the nominator known the nominee?
• What makes the nominee stand out as a member?
• What does the nominator believe the nominee will bring to the program?
• What skills does the nominator believe the nominee can learn or most improve in the program and how will that positively impact their local, State or the National Grange?
• Do you believe this person will be committed to assisting throughout the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the National Grange at the local and State Grange levels?
• Do you believe this person understands or is interested in programming and membership (recruitment, retention, engagement)?

Send any questions or all nominating material to communications@nationalgrange.org

2018 Fellows Application Sheet



POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS

JUNE 2018 WRAP-UP

Overview


June was an active legislative time in Washington. After the defeat of the farm bill on the House floor May 18, there was a scramble to bring the farm bill back to the floor before the June 22 deadline to reconsider. The farm bill was not defeated on its merits or the lack thereof; it was used as leverage to force the House leadership to allow members to vote on a comprehensive immigration bill. The hardline immigration bill, which included Rep. Goodlatte's ag worker provisions, was voted on and defeated which cleared the way for reconsideration of the farm bill. House members passed their version farm bill June 22 on a party-line margin of two votes, 213-211. Deep partisan divides in the House continue over SNAP work requirements and several ag policy provisions.

Over in the Senate, it looked like a different political world. Ag Committee chairman Roberts and ranking minority member Stabenow had worked together for several months with committee members and members of their own parties to craft the sections of a bipartisan farm bill capable of broad Senate support. When the committee began markup June 13, the bill passed out of committee in a record three hours on a 20-1 vote; the one dissenting vote was over a procedural issue, not against the farm bill.

Appropriations committees in both the House and Senate continue their progress to pass individual appropriations bills for FY'19 which begins October 1.

Health care is always high on the agenda at the National Grange. The National Grange is partnering with a National opioid crisis action coalition, Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI), to mobilize local communities and advocacy leaders to actively address our nation's opioid crisis. Also this month, the price of drugs, access to affordable medical care, Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services regulatory authority, opioid legislation, and several more health care issues were in the Grange spotlight.

Rural broadband expansion continues to get priority attention at the Federal Communications Commission, USDA, the White House and from rural members of Congress. That's good news for one of the National Grange's top policy priorities. Congress is out of Washington the week of July 2 for their annual July 4 recess.

Food and Agriculture

Senate Adopts Farm Bill


Senators passed their bipartisan version of the farm bill June 28 after just two days of floor debate by a wide margin of 86-11. The Senate bill closely follows the structure of the 2014 farm bill. Traditional farm bill amendments to cut subsidies for crop insurance, eliminate the sugar program and revamp the SNAP food assistance programs were not offered on the Senate floor.

An amendment by Thune (R-SD) was adopted to add flexibility for landowners to cut hay and graze livestock on Conservation Reserve Program lands. Included in a package of agreed-upon amendments before final passage, was a measure to allow farmers to change their choice of the Agriculture Risk Coverage and the Price Loss Coverage program in the 2021 crop year. Also included in the agreed-upon package was a National Grange-supported amendment by Grassley (R-IA) to redefine the "actively engaged in farming "rules for commodity subsidy payments. The Grassley amendment tightens the definition of farm management for the purpose of qualifying for commodity programs. Farm operations would be restricted to having one non-farming manager who could qualify for $125,000 a year in subsidies as a manager. This change is in line with National Grange policy to support family farms that are owned and operated by members of a family who make the management and financial decisions and supply at least part of the labor.

Senate passage clears the way for a Senate-House conference committee to be appointed from both committees' membership and from Senate and House leadership to resolve section-by-section differences between the two. In some areas, the Senate and House bills are the same or quite similar. In other instances, the bills are sharply different. These difficult differences are SNAP/food assistance rules, commodity program payment limitations, treatment of partnerships and S corporations, and acres in the Conservation Reserve program as examples.

Ag Committee leadership in both House and Senate expect to go to conference following the July 4 recess with the hope of wrapping up a final farm bill package before Congress' August recess.

Health Care

It's no secret that the United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. With 174 people dying each day, drug deaths outnumber lives lost in car accidents or gun-related homicides. While no corner of the nation has gone untouched, the opioid epidemic has hit rural areas particularly hard. Rural and small town America are well aware of the opioid and addictive drug crisis around us. A recent survey by the Farmers Union and Farm Bureau found three of every four farmers and ranchers have been directly impacted by opioids use either personally or by family members, employees, neighbors or someone close in the community.

In many areas, employers report they are desperate to hire new employees. Unfortunately, these same employers consistently report a majority of prospective employees are disqualified because they fail the pre-employment drug test.

States report the opioid-fentanyl-heroin crisis is putting pressure on foster care systems already at or near capacity. The Department of Health and Human Services reports the crisis has struck across racial and generational lines, putting our entire population at risk. The intergenerational group Generations United research shows parental substance abuse is the most common reason grandfamilies come together to raise children who would otherwise go into foster care. Senators Collins (R-ME) and Casey (D-PA) won Senate passage June 21 of their bipartisan bill, Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act (S.1091), which would create a one-stop-shop of resources to support grandparents raising grandchildren.

The National Grange has partnered with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) coalition to work on comprehensive policies that help save lives. RALI partners with state and local community-based organizations to engage policymakers, sponsor print and digital advertisements, provide educational kits, distribute drug disposal kits, and sponsor in-person events. Granges in several target states are RALI partners and several more targeted state Granges are gearing up to participate.

The House overwhelmingly passed broad bipartisan opioid legislation on June 22. The measure combined more than 50 individual bills and focuses on expanding access to treatments, encouraging the development of alternative pain treatments, and curbing the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Walden (R-OR) deserves much of the credit for this legislative victory. The House opioid package, which has been endorsed by the White House, now heads to the Senate.

Drug and Treatment Affordability

The National Grange and several state Granges cosigned coalition letters and wrote individual letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar urging increased HHS oversight of the 340B specialty drug program so that vulnerable or uninsured patients receive outpatient drug discounts the law requires. Similar letters were sent to Secretary Azar expressing support for the patient-popular Medicare Part D program and its ability to ensure access and affordability of treatment for all patients.

Telecommunications

Internet Regulations


Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturned a set of regulations promulgated in 2015 that treated the Internet much the same as a 1930's telephone monopoly. As a result of the 2015 actions, broadband deployment slowed to rural communities and small towns. Overturning the 2015 rules should spur renewed interest in rural broadband investment. National Grange president Betsy Huber released a statement complimenting the FCC on its action.

More Broadband Efforts

The FCC plans to fuel another round of rural broadband expansion in July with a $198 million a year auction to subsidize new service in rural areas. The Connect America Fund Phase II auction is open to rural telcos, electric co-ops, cable operators, price-cap carriers, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers.

Immigration

Legislation Rejected


The House defeated two major immigration bills in June. The first was a hardline comprehensive reform package that included Representative Goodlatte's (R-VA) ag worker section; it was defeated 193-218. A week later a more narrow compromise bill that provided a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, ended family separations at the border, ended the diversity lottery system, and funded the border wall was defeated 129-301. Immigration reform is an explosive political issue for vastly different reasons. That's why we haven't been able to accomplish comprehensive immigration since 1986.

Thread of Hope for Ag Worker Bill

Republicans and Democrats from rural and small town areas have been assured a vote on a narrow ag worker immigration bill in July. That's wonderful. However, agriculture isn't holding its breath. The devil's in the details which are still being written and there's a danger the ag worker bill will be held hostage as leverage for another broader immigration bill.

Waters of the United States

A recent district court ruling has suspended the 2015 WOTUS rule in 11 more states bringing the total to 24 states. The Administration has taken public comment on withdrawing the 2015 rule and putting another one in its place. On June 15, EPA and the Corps of Engineers sent their new proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for review but there were no details available to the public.

Psycopaths Anyone?

Psychopaths are described as superficially charming, tend to make good first impressions, and strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest, undependable, and largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love, according to a study from Southern Methodist University. So what area of the United States ranks highest in the number of psychopaths in the study? Our nation's capital, Washington, DC.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org

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National Funding

Opportunities Throughout the U.S.

Challenge Promotes Financial Security Solutions in the U.S. and Canada

TD Bank Group: TD Ready Challenge


The TD Ready Challenge, an initiative of the TD Bank Group, is an annual North American initiative that provides up to ten $1 million (CAD) grants to catalyze innovative solutions for a changing world. Grants are awarded to organizations in the United States and Canada that have scalable solutions that will help open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. The theme of the 2018 Challenge is Financial Security. Support will be provided to organizations with innovative solutions focused on helping create greater income stability in a changing world, including those that will help prepare people for the economy of the future so that everyone can thrive. Applications must address the 2018 problem statement and propose a scalable pre-existing solution that is tested, innovative, and achievable. The application deadline is July 27, 2018. Visit the TD Bank website to learn more about the Challenge.

Support for K-12 School Improvement Projects

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant Program


The Toolbox for Education Grant Program, offered by Lowe’s Gives Foundation, provides grants from $2,000 to $100,000 to public K-12 schools, as well as parent-teacher groups associated with those public schools. Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations, and safety improvements. Projects should address a critical need and align with Lowe’s company purpose—to help people love where they live. The 2018 fall grant cycle opens on August 6 and closes on September 28. For more information, visit https://newsroom.lowes.com/apply-for-a-grant/.

Anti-Poverty Efforts Funded Nationwide

Catholic Campaign for Human Development


The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), established by the Catholic bishops of the United States, is committed to supporting organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. CCHD’s grant programs include the following: Community Development Grants support nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to change structures and policies that affect their lives. At least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization's efforts must be people experiencing poverty. Economic Development Grants support economic development institutions that include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs or develop assets that will be owned by local communities. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Pre-applications for both programs may be submitted between September 1 and November 1, annually. (Organizations are encouraged to submit their pre-application prior to the November 1 deadline.) Visit the CCHD website for more information.

Grants Enhance Education and Youth Development

Kars4Kids Small Grant Program


Kars4Kids is a national Jewish nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping children develop into productive members of communities throughout the United States. The Kars4Kids Small Grant Program provides support to nonprofit organizations that are working to make a difference in the areas of education and youth development. Grants generally range from $500 to $2,000. Online applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Kars4Kids website to learn more about the Small Grant Program.

Regional Funding

Opportunities for Specific Areas

Organizations in Bank Communities Supported

BBVA Compass Foundation


The BBVA Compass Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that are making a positive impact in the communities the bank serves in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. The Foundation’s focus areas include community development/financial literacy, education, health and human services, arts and culture, environment and natural resources, and diversity and inclusion. Online applications are due September 28, 2018. (Prior to submitting a grant request, first time applicants must join one of the Charitable Contributions Process Conference Calls/Webinar Presentations to be held on July 20, August 17, and September 14.) Visit the bank’s website to learn more about the Foundation’s guidelines and application process.

Grants Promote Broadband Services in Company Markets

Spectrum Digital Education Grant Program


The Spectrum Digital Education Grant Program supports nonprofit organizations that educate community members on the benefits of broadband and how to use it to improve their lives. Applying organizations must serve communities located in a Spectrum market. Priority is given to programs focused on families and seniors who have been historically underrepresented in broadband services. Funded programs should have a lasting, meaningful, and tangible impact (e.g. development of a new digital site or app, expansion of the capacity of a digital learning center, creation of a mobile computer lab, etc.). There is no cap on the number of grants awarded; however, except in special circumstances grant awards will not exceed $50,000. Applications will be accepted from July 30 through August 31, 2018. Visit the Spectrum Digital Education website to review the selection criteria and submit an online application.

Federal Funding

Opportunities from the U.S. Government

Funds Available to Address Opioid Use


Department of Health and Human Services The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program - Planning supports treatment for and prevention of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, in rural counties at the highest risk. The application deadline is July 30, 2018. Program Improves Job Prospects for Public Housing Residents Department of Housing and Urban Development The Jobs Plus Initiative provides support to develop locally-based, job-driven approaches that increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. The application deadline is August 14, 2018.

Sadness hits the Grange - Jay Hartz 10/8/1940 ~ 6/26/18


Jay was a steady and friendly face of the Grange for many years. His work in the State Headquarters, running the office and head of "all things" never will be duplicated. He and Peggy's passion run deep in the Grange.

The Hartz were so excited to hear the news about our re-dedication, they donated a new tree for what we now call "Hartz Square" in the front of the California State Grange HQ's building, dedicated just this past weekend. Jay was most recently our "go to guy" when we couldn't figure out what something was in the office. But he was much more then that, he was a great, hard working, loyal and prideful Grange Member. He will be missed!


Jays passion, a smile a chuckle and a great meal.


Please welcome Danville Grange #85 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Danville Grange #85 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of Danville Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Danville Grange #85
1947 Diablo Rd.
Danville, CA 94526

View their Facebook Page

National Grange Presents the Journal of Proceedings 2017 Edition Now Available

The National Grange presents the 2017 Journal of Proceedings from the 151st Annual Convention in Spokane, Washington.

Visit the National Grange website or click on the link in this email to download this important publication.

You can also purchase a printed version from the Grange Supply Store for only $5.

Download this publication

Purchase this publication



Through conversation, knowledge, respect, passion, transparency and understanding, one by one, with the old and the new, we are building our fraternal order and communities, toward a positive future, utilizing the strength within the Grange, proven through a 150 year commitment to our members.

Please welcome Mt. Hamilton Grange #469 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org),Mt. Hamilton Grange #469 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of Mt. Hamilton Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Mt. Hamilton Grange # 469
2840 Aborn Rd
San Jose, CA

View Mt. Hamilton Grange website

National Funding Opportunities Throughout the U.S.

Support for Music Education Programs Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation

The Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation is dedicated to shaping the next generation through music education and believes that every child should have access and opportunity to participate in a quality program. The Foundation is focused on the following five priorities: student achievement and participation, public private collaboration, music education innovation, music educator support, and research. First year grant requests should not exceed $20,000. Applications will be accepted from July 1 through July 31, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about the application guidelines.

Native Fish Protection Initiatives Funded

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Bring Back the Natives The Bring Back the Natives program, an initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), invests in conservation activities that restore, protect, and enhance native populations of sensitive or listed fish species across the United States, especially in areas on or adjacent to federal agency lands. The program emphasizes coordination between private landowners and federal agencies, tribes, corporations, and states to improve the ecosystem functions and health of watersheds. Priority will be given to projects that address the leading factors in native fish species decline such as habitat alteration, environmental change, and invasive species. Grant awards will generally range in size from $50,000 to $100,000, and require at least one-to-one matching funds. Eligible applicants include local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies; special districts; nonprofit organizations; and schools and universities. The pre-proposal deadline is June 28, 2018; invited full proposals will be due August 23, 2018. Visit the NFWF website to review the 2018 Request for Proposals.

Grants Promote Social Justice Through Media and Entertainment Channels

Pop Culture Collaborative: Pop Up Rapid Response Grants


The Pop Culture Collaborative represents an innovative hub for high impact partnerships and grants designed to help organizations and individuals leverage the reach and power of pop culture for social justice goals. Pop Up Rapid Response Grants are designed to help organizations working to build movements, drive campaigns, produce stories, and leverage media and entertainment mediums to drive positive narrative and social change in popular culture. Funded projects must impact, support, or engage at least one of these community groups: people of color, immigrants, refugees, or Muslims. Examples of funded projects include public events and private retreats; tool and resource prototypes; network and partnership building; story, narrative, and strategy design process; and creative content including short film/video, concerts, music recordings, etc. Grants range from $5,000 to $30,000. Requests may be submitted at any time by nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, and individuals. Visit the Collaborative’s website to learn more about the Pop Up Rapid Response Grants program.

Youth Environmental Community Service Projects Supported

Captain Planet Foundation: ecoSolution Grants


The Captain Planet Foundation supports educational programs that enable youth to understand and appreciate our world by getting involved in hands-on projects to improve the environment. The Foundation provides ecoSolution Grants to innovative programs that inspire youth to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. Public schools and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for grants of $500 to $2,500. Priority is given to projects with matching funds or in-kind support. The final application deadline for 2018 is July 15. Online application guidelines are available on the Foundation’s website.

Regional Funding:

Opportunities for Specific Areas

Funds for Trauma Support Organizations in Communities Affected by Disasters


Alliance for Strong Families and Communities: Building Resilience in the Face of Disaster Building Resilience in the Face of Disaster, an initiative launched by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the New York Life Insurance Company, will support nonprofit community-based organizations providing long-term trauma and grief support to those in geographic areas impacted by major weather disasters in 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, and the California wildfires, as well as significant human-made tragedies that have occurred in Parkland, FL; Las Vegas, NV; and Sutherland Springs, TX. Types of organizations eligible to apply include community centers, affordable housing programs, early childhood education and care programs, youth and family programs, etc. Applicants must have experience with trauma-informed care or grief services. A total of $750,000 in support will be provided; funded organizations will receive awards of up to $50,000. The application deadline is July 13, 2018. Visit the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to download the request for proposals.

Support for Organizations in Company Communities

Gannett Foundation: Community Action Grant Program


The Gannett Foundation provides support to nonprofit organizations that serve the communities where Gannett Co., Inc., owns a newspaper or broadcast station. The Foundation’s Community Action Grant Program’s priorities include education, neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Grants are generally in the $1,000 to $5,000 range. Grant requests are considered twice each year; the upcoming postmark deadline is August 17, 2018, for most locations. Proposals should be submitted to the local newspaper publisher or TV station general manager. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the grant guidelines and download the application form.

Technology Programs to Assist Californians with Disabilities Funded

Disability Communications Fund


The Disability Communications Fund (DCF) supports nonprofit organizations that offer technology and programs that serve the communication needs of Californians with disabilities. DCF’s funding priorities for the 2019 Grant Program include the following: Training AT and AAC Experts, Facilitating Research and Innovation, and Building Networks and Replicating Successful Models. Grants of $10,000 to $100,000 will be provided. The deadline for letters of intent is August 8, 2018; full grant applications are due October 5, 2018. Visit the DCF website to learn more about the funding priorities and the application process.

Federal Funding:

Opportunities from the U.S. Government

Program Supports Learning About Agriculture and Food Department of Agriculture


The Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program is intended to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children, and to bring together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system to increase the capacity for food, garden, and nutrition education within host organizations. The application deadline is July 9, 2018.

Funds Available to Manage Cultural Resources

National Park Service


The Cultural Resources Management Services program allows the National Park Service to work collaboratively with partners on a variety of cultural resource activities, including studies, planning, inventory reviews, exhibit design, teaching projects, and more. The application deadline is July 13, 2018.


Please welcome Gold Trail Grange #452 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Gold Trail Grange #452 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of Gold Trail Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Gold Trail Grange #452
319 State Highway 49
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Coloma, CA


Visit Gold Trail Grange Webpage

Visit Gold Trail Grange Facebook Page

Expo Director, Katie Squire has released the 2018 Grange Expo Book!

View the Expo Page



Duane Scott is going to be our National Grange representative for the re-dedication of our State Grange. Brother Duane Serves as a member of the National Grange Executive Committee.




Rich doing his magic act at Aromas Live!.

Rich was an amazing leader that just seemed to have a limitless amount of energy, passion, drive and commitment to the Grange and his community. The 4th Quarter 2017 California State Grange Board meeting was hosted by the Aromas Grange and Rich was so proud to share the Aromas Grange success story and history. The passing of Rich without a doubt will leave a void in our Grange family.

We are sure that Rich is very impressed and proud of the incredible increase of involvement and support as people are stepping up to fill the big hole that he is leaving in his community.
Rich with his youngest granddaughter, Riley Jane Saxe.

Send a message to members and family

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the California State Grange has been scheduled for Sunday June 24th at the CSG Headquarter Bldg on U Street Sacramento.
Open Session 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Location: California State Grange, 3830 U Street, Sacramento, CA

Those members wishing to address the Board of Directors must notify the State Grange Secretary by close of business on Tuesday June 19, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the State Grange Secretary, Lillian Booth, at LBooth@CAStateGrange.org or 916-454-5808.

Senate Farm Bill

As you’ve probably heard by now, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry passed their farm bill, S. 3042 , the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, yesterday with a gigantic bipartisan vote of 20-1. In my time in Washington, never has a farm bill been debated and passed out of committee in three hours! Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer have committed to schedule a floor vote on the farm bill in the Senate before the July 4 recess. ….unheard of in recent memory. Kudos go to Chairman Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Minority Member Stabenow (D-MI) for their masterful leadership and strategy through this process. They resorted to “old line” politics by consulting with committee members individually for several months and resolving issues across the party aisle long before the bill was released for markup. The 2018 bill largely mirrors the 2014 bill.

Among the amendments adopted yesterday were:

     · Sodsaver rules reducing crop insurance premium subsidies to farmers who break up native sod can now be expanded to more states upon each governor’s approval.

     · Authorization for USDA foreign market development funds to be used for ag trade promotion to Cuba.

     · Increase the USDA limits on guaranteed loans to $1.75 million from $1.39 million , direct ownership loans from $300,000 to $600,000, and direct operating loans from $300,000 to $400,000.

     · Create a “Micro EQUIP” program to that makes it easier for small farmers to receive USDA cost-share funds for working- farms environmental practices.

     · Reimburse dairy farmers for their cost of MPP premiums in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

     · Restore mandatory biofuel and biochemical programs at their 2014 funding levels.

Contentious Senate floor amendments are expected to crop insurance , nutrition programs, SNAP, the sugar program and more.

Big Two Weeks Coming

Senate leadership has committed to a full Senate vote on the farm bill before the July 4 recess, perhaps as early as next week. The full House is expected to debate and vote on two immigration bills next week. We are somewhat pessimistic that agriculture’s critical ag workforce shortage issues will be satisfactorily resolved. Unfortunately, many members of Congress are holding up ag worker relief as leverage against other immigration provisions.

House leadership says they will bring the House farm bill back to the floor following the immigration debate, possibly as early as June 21-22. As the announcer says, stay tuned.

Burton Eller
National Grange Legislative Director
1616 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 628-3507 Ext. 114
Cell: (202) 369-5036
Fax: (202) 347-1091



IN THIS ISSUE:

• Grange's Intergenerational Nature Ahead of the Curve
• HQ Tenant Leads Strategic Planning Meeting, Helps National Staff Prioritize
• Love Letter from an E-Member
• Eller Offers Senate Farm Bill Highlights
• Grange Issues Statement on Internet Regulations and the Rural Impact
• Train to Lead: Fellows Program Open to All Members
• Let's Talk
• Do You Have a Distinguished Youth Program on Your Hand?
• Even Healthy Guys Needs Health Screenings
• Toxic Exposures Among Post - 9/11 Vets in Focus
• Lecturer's Round-Up and Preview
• 3 Ambitious Interns Join National Office for Summer
• Submission of Grange Community Service Hours is Helpful Context
• Save the Date: Grange Revival July 23 - 28, 2019
• Make it a Good Day!

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Robert McFarland, Mark Ellis and the California Guild arraigned on contempt charges.

On June 9th, Judge Brown arraigned the California Guild, Robert McFarland, and Mark Ellis on contempt charges in Sacramento Superior Court. As you will recall, Judge Brown issued an order to show cause why these parties should not be held in contempt of his preliminary injunction issued in October 2015, which prohibited the Guild from using Grange funds in the Morgan Stanley asset management account. Despite this clear order, last summer, the Guild (at Mr. McFarland's direction) withdrew over $93,000 from the account to pay part of the sanctions awarded against the Guild by Judge Shubb in the federal trademark case.

To hide the source of these funds, the Guild first sent them to Mr. Ellis, who then paid the sanctions award out of his law firm's account. You can read a full description (including documentation) of the actions of the Guild, Mr. McFarland, and Mr. Ellis in the the California State Grange's motion papers, click here to read..

After reviewing the documents submitted by the California State Grange and the response offered by the Guild, Judge Brown determined that the Guild, Mr. McFarland, and Mr. Ellis should be tried for their contempt of his order. The matter has been set for trial on July 20. If convicted, Mr. McFarland and Mr. Ellis face penalties including fines and jail time.

It brings no pleasure to anybody in our fraternal order to see individuals face criminal penalties. However, the actions of the Guild, Mr. McFarland, and Mr. Ellis resulted in the loss of over $93,000 of Grange funds acquired by our Order from generations of Grange members. California law and Grange rules are crystal clear on the responsibilities of those who are in possession of Grange property. I urge everybody to make sure that they are complying with those responsibilities at all times when they are making decisions involving Grange property.

Click here to read Judge's Order



Junior Grange 130th Anniversary Fundraiser

This is a fundraiser the entire family can be a part of!

This year the Junior Grange turns 130 years old, and we need your support so that we can continue to stay strong for generations to come. For those of us who started our Grange journey wearing red tennis shoes, it is undeniable what the Junior Grange experience can do to open the possibilities up for a child. From building skills in public speaking, meeting administration, and project planning, to the early introduction of new cultures and languages (such as American Sign Language), Junior Grange is an opportunity that builds character and whose affects are felt for a lifetime

You can make a difference in the lives of today’s children just as someone helped do for you and your peers. We cannot forget that we were blessed with the gift of the Grange and Junior Grange because of the support and sacrifices of those who came before us and to honor them, we must continue that support today.

For the future of our nation and for our organization, please consider supporting the Junior Grange in a way most comfortable to you.

Make a donation now!



We have been getting the Grange HQ property in Sacramento cleaned upped in preparation for our re-dedication on June 23rd.

Here are some before and after photos!

Parking lot before being resealed and striping repainted.


A small portion of the trash and debris that were removed. A very large refuse box was filled from cleaning out the GBO building after the Theatre Company moved out.


Front of the "U" St headquarters.

Parking lot has been resealed and restripped! Now you can see where not to park and it is safer to walk across the parking lot.

Grange flag proudly flys at the Grange Triangle!.



POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS

MAY 2018 WRAP-UP

Overview


Congress returns to Washington after their Memorial Day Recess the week of June 4 to wrestle with the calendar and a plethora of unresolved legislative and public policy issues. The farm bill failed on the House floor under pressure from feeding program (SNAP) and immigration advocates who wanted leverage to address changes to these two specific issues. On the other side of the Hill, the Senate Agriculture Committee stepped up efforts to pass a farm bill out of committee by mid-June.

House members have almost enough votes to force a discharge petition to allow immigration votes on a permanent fix to the high profile "Dreamers" situation. A compromise on tougher work requirements for SNAP recipients will be necessary to get any Democrats to vote for the House farm bill. The stalemate on negotiations revising the NAFTA trade agreement threatened farm prices for agriculture commodities. New U.S. tariffs placed on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union brought threats of retaliatory tariffs on American goods and farm commodities sold abroad.

Finally, it seems everyone in Washington can spell and say rural broadband expansion. After years of lip service, new broadband providers, additional money, higher priorities, increased commitments and public policy pronouncements are targeting rural broadband deployment.

Access to affordable health care in rural and small town America is always on the agenda for the National Grange. Rural hospitals continue to close faster than local telemedicine clinics can replace them. Prescription drug pricing is a main street topic now in Washington. Profit-taking along the chain from drug maker to patient user is under scrutiny. Counterfeit imported drugs continue to pose a health risk to domestic patients.

Agriculture

Farm Bill


The House farm bill went down in flames May 18. Democrats were outraged at the increased work requirements for able-bodied SNAP recipients without dependents. Conservative Republicans used the farm bill vote attempt to leverage a vote on the 'Dreamers" immigration dilemma. It appears House leaders will have to reach a deal on immigration with conservatives before the House farm bill can be reconsidered. It's still uncertain whether the House will try to pass a farm bill with Republican-only votes or attempt a compromise on the SNAP provisions to draw Democrat votes. The Senate bipartisan farm bill meantime is nearing completion according to Chairman Roberts, R-KS., and ranking Democrat Stabenow, D-MI. Committee action on the Senate bill could come as early as the week of June 11. Roberts says he has commitments from Senate Majority Leader McConnell, R-KY. and Minority Leader Schumer, D-N.Y. for a clear pathway" to the Senate floor if the bill receives a substantial majority committee vote

Waters of the United States

The House Energy-Water Appropriations Bill is ready for floor debate. It contains a provision to repeal the "Waters of the United States "rule that redefined the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act to include practically all land and water in the country which the National Grange opposes. The appropriations provision is intended to expedite the process of replacing the rule.

Health Care

Drug Prices


The President unveiled his plan to lower drug prices. Among the biggest policy changes are the provisions to require drug companies to disclose their prices in television ads, shorten the time for cheaper generics to reach the market, and target pharmacy benefit manager "Middlemen" for increased transparency on how well (or not) they are passing drug discounts along to patients. National Grange president Betsy Huber issued a statement commending the President and his Administration for their efforts to lower drug prices for rural and senior patients across the country. However, the Grange is waiting for more clarity on several items including the price of sole-source branded drugs and possible changes to Medicare Part B which could raise specialty drugs prices and limit their availability to lifesaving treatments for seniors.

Beware of the Out-of-Pocket-Cliff

With recent Part D changes to cost-sharing incentives and a looming out-of-pocket cliff or "donut hole" coming by 2020 that could raise senior's costs by $1500, Part D beneficiaries need decisive action from Congress to protect their access to life-saving drugs. The National Grange encouraged all House Democrats to cosign a letter with Schneider (D-IL-10) and Kelly (D-IL-2) urging the House to legislatively fix this threat before it's too late. House Republicans were encouraged to cosign a similar request letter with Representative Hudson (R-NC-8).

Department of Health and Human Services Adds Rural Health Strategy

HHS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it is set to begin focusing efforts on better prioritizing the unique health care needs of rural populations. The agency says it will look at ways to improve reimbursements for rural providers, recruit and train health care workers, make health care options more affordable and advance the use of telemedicine.

Pigs and Cows Allergy Partners?

Living close to a livestock farm may lower one's risk of common allergies among adults who aren't famers or ag workers according to research published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. In fact, the closer the proximity to pigs and cattle the better the chance to lower the risk of allergenic sensitization. In addition, those who lived in an area of high farm density as a child had significantly lower allergy risks, suggesting that long term exposure may be particularly effective.

Telecommunications

Broadband


Grange president Betsy Huber wrote Representative Curtis (R-UT-3) to support his Rural Broadband Permitting Efficiency Act, H.R. 4824. Breaking down jurisdictional and bureaucratic barriers will go a long way to expedite broadband deployment. Curtis' bill would: • Delegate federal environmental compliance to a state on behalf of the relevant federal agency • Provides a categorical exclusion for any broadband project within an existing operational right -of-way • Consolidate efforts in the executive branch to create a single federal point of contact for the broadband deployment project. What does broadband have to do with the opioid epidemic in rural America? More than one might think according to Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. Some roots of the opioid crisis appear to stem from deep and challenging issues such as generational poverty, over prescribing medication, lack of economic opportunity, lack of access to quality medical care, and a sense of isolation. Eighty percent of American households that do not have access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet are in rural communities. Seventy five percent of the country's schools that lack high-speed internet service are in rural areas. Available, accessible broadband can help in the fight against opioid addiction and aid in the recovery process.

Lifeline

The National Grange continues to support the Lifeline affordability program that enables the elderly, disabled, isolated, low income, unemployed and other eligible rural citizens to access telephone connectivity to the outside world. The National Grange sometimes looks to its state Granges for help. New York State Grange president Stephen Coye recently filed formal comments with the New York Public Service Commission on behalf of the National Grange supporting a petition for TracFone Wireless to participate in the New York Lifeline Program.

Immigration

Immigration is suddenly on the front burner in Washington. Proponents of leveraging floor debate on immigration policy in the House of Representatives have 213 of the 218 signatures needed. Also, conservative Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the farm bill as a means to leverage immigration consideration; this means the farm bill stands no chance of passing until immigration is addressed in some form or fashion. The problem is that the GOP appears divided within its own ranks on an immigration strategy. Moderates want to limit debate to a pared-down bipartisan bill that would create a path forward to citizenship for those brought to the U.S. as children, referred to as "Dreamers". Another issue certain to be added is the policy of separating immigrant parents and children at the Southern border. Conservatives are demanding a more comprehensive approach to curb illegal immigration, create legal pathways to citizenship for qualified persons, close the border to illegal crossings and create a workable farm worker program. National Grange policy is to support a legal immigration process for all immigrants and create a workable, efficient, practical and relevant ag worker program.

Trade

Trade Economy


Agriculture depends on trade. No matter where one stands on the many aspects of trade, it's a fact that our agricultural economy relies heavily on the foreign consumer buying the food we produce. Threats of trade wars send shock waves through farm country, financial markets, manufacturing, the supply industry and the rest of America's production economy.

NAFTA

Most Americans appear to support free and fair trade between countries. The difficulty comes with one's definition of fair trade. Is trade fair if a country wants to carve out a special benefit, product or commodity for special treatment similar to today's dairy issue with Canada? Issues like the Canadian dairy restrictions abound as nations attempt to negotiate or renegotiate trade agreements. The brick wall on renegotiation of the Canada-Mexico-United States NAFTA trade pact is a case in point. Until all countries involved are able to reach a compromise on these "sacred cows", a new NAFTA agreement will remain elusive.

Tariffs

Then there are tariffs. Tariffs are like extra high taxes placed on the things we want to buy. These new taxes will probably cause us to buy less of that product or not buy any at all. So when America places a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, these countries lose the American market. These countries in turn place tariffs on American products and we lose market share there. This circular boxing match on trade continues until one side gives up or until an agreement is reached.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org

Click here to download this issue

The California State Grange has truly lost a valued member with the passing of Houghton "Tom" Sawyer.

Tom has been a rock star in all the hats he has worn over the years as a Grange Member. His leadership to his Subordinate, Pomona and The Grange Foundation was an invaluable gift to our organization. We will the miss his smile, whit, knowledge and commitment that filled the room! His contributions will live on and not forgotten.

Send Tom's family a message via his Facebook page

The California State Grange invites all members to CELEBRATE!

When: SATURDAY JUNE 23, 2018

Time: Program starts at 10:00 AM (See schedule below)

Where: State Grange Headquarters
3830 U Street, Sacramento

RSVP BY: June 18th to Lillian Booth, StateSecretary

Schedule:

10am Get "A Taste Of New Programs" with
Grange Expo -Katie Squire, State Lecturer
Community Service -Martha Stefenoni, Director
Secretary Fun - Lillian Booth, State Secretary

Light lunch served at noon.

1pm "Grange GROWS" - Becoming a Grange mentor.

3pm Re-dedication Ceremony of the California State Grange building

4pm Dinner is served! (Provided by State Grange!)

5pm State Grange Public Speaking & Sign-A-Song Contests

Bring your musical instruments and play or sing the evening away

Ending When we get done!

View the Flyer


May 2018

Please welcome ELK Creek Grange #441 in reactivating and returning into Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), ELK Creek Grange #441 has completed the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws with 51 NEW Members as part of the reactivation!

The California State Grange would like to thank Bob Clouse, State EC Member, Lillian Booth State Secretary and community leader Lauren Carly for making this happen and restoring our relationship with the ELK Creek Community and moving forward to provide support and interaction within their community as we have since 10/1/1929.

Thank you to all the new members of ELK Creek Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

ELK Creek Grange
145 Church St
Elk Creek, CA



Please help us welcome Hangtown Grange #464 in returning to Good Standing in the Order.

By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Hangtown Grange #464 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization.

Thank you to the members of Hangtown Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Hangtown Grange #464
2020 Smith Flat Rd.
Placerville, CA

View the Hangtown Grange Facebook Page


Welcome Grange #791 - Napa County

Please help us welcome Welcome Grange #791 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), Welcome Grange #791 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization.

Thank you to the members of Welcome Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

Welcome Grange #791
3275 Hagan Rd.
Napa, CA

View the Welcome Grange Facebook Page



May 2018

IN THIS ISSUE:


• Opioid Crisis Hits Hard; Granges Can Hit Back
• Newest Issue of Good Day! Out
• Pre-order Your "That's the Grange Way" 2019 Calendar
• Reservations Coming in Fast for 152nd Session
• Grange Challenge: Crack the Code
• Partners Offers Tips to Protect Halls
• Lecturer's Round-Up and Preview
• Save the Date: Grange Revival 2019
• Junior Grange Rocks Because of Supporters Like......You
• 'Rockin the Grange' Junior range T-shirt Fundraiser
• American Handicraft Raffle
• New Partnership Announced: Weather Ready Nation
• Quick Block Contest 2018
• Grange Foundation Mercantile
• 1 in 1,000 Club of the Grange Foundation
• Ensure the Grange Future in 4 Easy Steps

View the Latest Newsletter

A DAY OF MOVING FORWARD

A very special day is planned at the California State Grange Headquarters, 3830 U Street, Sacramento on:

• Saturday: June 23, 2018
• Start time: 10:00 am
• End time: When the music stops (about 10pm)

The day starts at 10am with “A Taste Of …” workshops. These will be round-robin style workshops with the Grange Expo/State Lecturer, Katie Squire; State Grange Community Service Director, Martha Stefenoni; and the State Grange Secretary, Lillian Booth. Come and get a taste of the new programs, ideas, promotions, and skills available through the State Grange.

At noon – a light lunch will be served for the workshop attendees.

At 1 pm – CSG, Secretay, Lillian Booth will present an introduction to “Grange GROWS”. This is a new, innovative, hands-on opportunity to be involved as a Grange coach and mentor. The full workshop will be presented around the State in the near future. This is your chance to try it out. Refresh your Grange skills and acquire some new ones.

At 3 pm – Join us for the Re-Dedication of the California State Grange building and property. It has been several decades since a Grange building has been dedicated in California. Share in this unique part of our Grange heritage. Talk and visit until dinner is ready at 4:00 pm. We are planning on some incredible Grange chefs to help prepare a delicious chicken dinner.

At 5 pm, enjoy the Public Speaking and Sign-A-Song State Contests. These competitions are open to California Grange members of all ages, Juniors, Youth, and beyond.

The winners will then represent the California State Grange at the Western States Regional Grange Conference in August, in the State of Washington. Winners from the Regional Competition will perform at the National Grange Session in Vermont in November. So, step up to the podium or use your Sign language skills and represent California.

After the competition, enjoy music, laughter, talk, refresh old friendships and make new ones. This will be an extraordinary day, so join us in MOVING FORWARD.


Act Now for the Future of Farming!


Tell your Senator to sign on as co-sponsor of "Next Generation in Agriculture Act"

Brothers, Sisters and Friends of the Grange,

Today you can help to ensure the future of American agriculture with a few simple clicks.

We support issues addressed as part of the bipartisan Next Generation in Agriculture Act (S.2762), introduced by National Grange Champion of Rural America recipient Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and her counterpart, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). These include breaking down some of the most common barriers to entry for young farmers, such as access to land, training and federal programs, to name a few.

The National Young Farmers Coalition has created an easy form that will deliver the message - become a co-sponsor of the bill - to your senator.

Click here to ask your Senator to Co-Sponsor the 'Next Generation in Agriculture Act'! We encourage you to include a line in the preview email saying you are a Grange member and that the bill is supported by the National Grange in addition to FFA and National Young Farmers Coalition (already mentioned in their standard text).

If you wish to share this with other members without email access, here is a great sample letter that they can send to their Senator by mail:

Download this sample letter

Dear Senator (Name),

As a Grange member in your state concerned with the future of agriculture and rural communities, I write to ask you to co-sponsor the 'Next Generation in Agriculture Act' (S.2762).

The average age of farmers in the U.S. is approaching 60 years old. About two-thirds of all U.S. farmland is expected to transition and need a new farmer as this older generation retires. The future of our food system depends on supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

The 'Next Generation in Agriculture Act' would address some of the top barriers young farmers face, including access to training, farmland, and federal programs. The bill would make significant progress minimizing those barriers by investing in beginning farmer training and creating new positions at USDA to assist young and beginning farmers. The bill is supported by the nation's oldest agriculture advocacy organization, the National Grange, and endorsed by FFA and the National Young Farmers Coalition.

On behalf of our nation's young and aspiring farmers, I ask you to co-sponsor the bill and advocate for its inclusion into the next farm bill.

Best Regards,

(Your Name) (Your Town,
State)





Download this sample letter

The Guild, Robert McFarland and Mark Ellis - Contempt Action

On April 20, the California Superior Court (Judge Brown) granted the California State Grange's motion for an order to show cause why the Court should not find the California Guild, Robert McFarland, and Mark Ellis in contempt. In 2015, Judge Brown entered a preliminary injunction restricting the Guild's use of Grange funds held at Morgan Stanley. Notwithstanding this clear order, in 2017, Mr. McFarland and the Guild transferred over $93,000 in Grange funds out of a Morgan Stanley account into an account held by the Guild's attorneys at the Ellis Law Group. Ellis, in turn, used that money to pay the National Grange part of the sanctions awarded against the Guild as a result its willful and deliberate violation of the order prohibiting the Guild from using the Grange trademarks entered in the federal court. In other words, the Guild used Grange money withdrawn from a Grange account in violation of Judge Brown's order to pay the National Grange its costs incurred in enforcing the federal court's order, and attempted to hide the source of those funds by transferring them through Ellis's bank account. These actions were undertaken in knowing and willful violation of the preliminary injunction -- the very essence of contempt.

The April 20 order requires the Guild, McFarland, and Ellis to appear before Judge Brown on June 7. If found to be in contempt, the California State Grange has asked for all available civil entities and also for criminal sanctions of fines and imprisonment. It is never pleasant when measures like these must be taken. But court orders have meaning, and the willful refusal to comply with them has consequences. The California State Grange has no choice but to seek all available remedies against individuals who use Grange property in violation of court orders, California law, and Grange rules.

View the Contempt Action Motion


April 2018

National Grange Fly-In

This year's fly-in to Washington April 15-18 was the largest in recent years. A total of 34 Grangers of all ages from 14 states had 30 appointments on Capitol Hill with their senators, representatives and congressional staff. They discussed matters related to broadband and telecommunications, health care, farm bill, farm policy, dairy policy, rural concerns, the opioid crisis and a slew of back-home issues. Attendees were treated to extensive in-depth briefings at the National Grange building and USDA before venturing to the Hill. A highlight was a briefing from the White House by Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance. Junior Grange members at the fly-in had the unique experience of being interviewed by RFD-TV. The major objective of the fly-in is to carry local, state and national Grange policy positions into meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Agriculture

Sign Up for New Dairy Assistance

Grangers are encouraged to sign up by June 1 at their Farm Service Agency office for the new dairy Margin Protection Program. This issue was lobbied hard by the Grange and included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (omnibus package). The new MPP offers increased protection to dairymen when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (i.e. the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. USDA has a web tool to help dairymen use data unique to their individual operations to test a variety of financial scenarios before enrolling in the new MPP. The tool is located at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool.

Farm Bill Ready for House Action


Farm bills are traditionally a bipartisan exercise on Capitol Hill. Not so this time, at least not on the House side. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson worked together for months on a draft farm bill. Then politics eclipsed policy. A version of the bill was leaked to some Democratic members who became outraged at a proposal to require stricter work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) recipients. Republicans pushed the farm bill through Committee on a party line vote over the objections of Committee Democrats who vowed to block the farm bill over the proposed work requirements. This will set up an acrimonious and bitter partisan debate when the farm bill reaches the House floor in May. Meanwhile, Senate Agriculture members still believe they will be able to craft and pass a bipartisan farm bill by fall. Here is a summary by title of the House farm bill (H.R.2) as passed by the Ag Committee as it heads to the full House:
• Title I. Commodity - An escalator provision to Price Loss Coverage (PLC) raises reference prices. Dairy adds higher coverage levels of $8.50 and $9.00 for the first 5 million pounds of production. Members of LLCs and S corporations can qualify individually for payments up to $125,000 annually. The definition of family is expanded to include cousins, nieces and nephews. Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) yields would be based on the county where the farm is located and would separate irrigated and dryland acreage.
• Title II. Conservation - The Conservation Security Program (CSP) is eliminated and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is expanded. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage is increased to 29 million acres up from the current 24 million acres. Funding for the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is slightly increased.
• Title III. Trade - Reauthorizes and funds USDA's foreign trade programs.
• Title IV. Nutrition - The most controversial section of the House farm bill is nutrition. It requires work-capable adults under age 60, including parents of children older than 6, to work or be in an approved training program 20 hours per week. The SNAP earned income deduction is increased by 10 percent.
• Title V. Credit - The maximum allowable indebtedness is increased for both guaranteed farm ownership and guaranteed operating loans. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts Pilot Program is continued.
• Title VI. Rural Development - This section adds $150 million to the $600 million in the omnibus spending bill to fund grants and loans to rural internet providers. It includes loans to develop Agricultural association health plans to benefit farmers and others on rural areas. It does not include funding for Value-added Producer Grants, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, the National Organic Cost Share Program, and several other smaller programs.
• Title VII, Research - Level funding is maintained for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. Funding for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative is increased.
• Title VIII. Forestry - Expedites approvals for logging in national forests to combat insect and disease infestations, protect municipal water sources and improve critical habitat.
• Title X. Crop Insurance - There are no major changes to crop insurance. Conservation compliance requirements added by the 2014 farm bill are continued. The beginning farmer definition is changed so that someone in business for up to 10 years can qualify for whole farm revenue insurance premium discounts, up from the current 5 year limit.
• Title X. Miscellaneous - One-time funding for a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank is approved as is authorization for Secretary Perdue's reorganization of USDA. A Food Loss and Waste Reduction Liaison at USDA is created for measuring and reducing food waste.

Health Care

Fighting Opioid Addiction

The National Grange has joined a nationwide coalition to combat our national opioid and drug abuse crisis. Coalitions will be organized by state to include community and advocacy leaders like the Grange who will work together as partners to ensure those struggling with addiction have access to high-quality care. A major focus of the campaign is the safe disposal of opioids and other addictive drugs. Partners will have the opportunity to work together at the local community level to mobile health care providers, EMT, fire fighters, law enforcement, community and civic groups, pharmacists, policy makers and more. Plans are to provide print and digital advertisements, education kits and in-person events that directly engage the community. A major initiative will be a partner-driven effort to disseminate prescription drug disposal kits to residents free of charge. Maryland State Grange was part of the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative roll-out in Annapolis April 26. Medicare Plan Finder Problems

The federal government's online tool to help seniors make decisions about Medicare Parts C and D apparently has major flaws. The independent assessment was conducted by the Clear Choices Campaign, a health care cost transparency initiative of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage and the nonprofit National Council on Aging. The report called for a retooling of the MPF plan and offers numerous recommendations to improve MPF. The National Grange is a member of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage and will monitor the retooling process.

Telecommunications

Broadband

Rural broadband deployment continues to be a major priority for the National Grange. Effective use of the additional $600 million awarded to USDA for rural broadband in the Omnibus spending package will be the focus of upcoming listening sessions around the country for the next six months. Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai kicked of the first session in Washington April 18. Participants highlighted the challenge to build strong broadband systems that are sustainable andlong-lasting for rural America. The next listening session will be in Minnesota in June.

Lifeline

The federal government's Lifeline program provides inexpensive phone connectivity to seniors, veterans, the disabled, and those in isolated rural areas. The Federal Communications Commission wants to counter allegations of waste, fraud and abuse by greatly restricting the program. The Grange strongly supports the elimination of all waste, fraud and abuse from Lifeline but urges the FCC to do no harm to this vital program.

One School Two Distinctions

The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences gives its diverse student body an education that prepares them for college as well as a career in agriculture. It is a public school set on a working farm. It is also one of eight schools from around the country, and the only agriculture school, selected in the 2017 "Schools of Opportunity" project. The project recognizes public high schools that work to close opportunity gaps by creating environments that reach every student.

Perspective

Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade. Charles Dickens

The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other. Arthur Rubenstein

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcomed. Anne Bradstreet

Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance. Yoko Ono Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org National Grange, 1616 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 View the Latest Newsletter

Summary Judgment as to Grange Property GRANTED

On April 17, 2018, Judge Brown granted the California State Grange's motion for summary judgment for declarations that certain property held by the Guild on April 5, 2013, was and is Grange property, and orders that the property be returned to its rightful owner, the California State Grange. In particular, the motion sought the return of:

(1) the California State Grange's headquarters property in Sacramento;
(2) the balance in the Wells Fargo account on April 5, 2013 ($96,026.79);
(3) the return of the balance in the Morgan Stanley restricted account on April 5, 2013 ($328,993.53);
(4) the return of the balance in the Morgan Stanley asset management account on April 5, 2013 ($2,818,367.21); and
(5) the return of receivables on loans made to Subordinate Granges before the revocation of the California State Grange Charter.


The Court granted the motion and all relief sought by the California State Grange.

Here are some highlights from the order:

-- "the California State Grange sets forth thirty undisputed facts that the California Guild possessed and controlled this property on April 5, 2013, and that the property is 'Grange property' and was held in the name of the California State Grange. The Court finds the California State Grange has met its burden ...."

-- "no objections to evidence have been filed. The California Guild does not dispute any of the material facts set forth by the California State Grange, does not dispute or argue that the property sought is Grange property, and does not argue that the property at issue in the Cross-Complaint should not be returned to the California State Grange pursuant to the declaration of rights in the Judgment."

As the Court found, the Guild offered no dispute whatsoever that the California State Grange headquarters property, funds in the Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley accounts, and receivables on loans made to Subordinate Granges are Grange property that must be returned to the California State Grange. Efforts to recover possession and control of all of this property are well underway, and we will keep you updated on the progress.

View the Entire Court Order


IN THIS ISSUE:

• Dairies hit hard. Granges can help.
• Grangers Fly In, flex advocacy muscles
• Birthday of the first Grange celebrated
• Rockin' the Grange Junior Grange T-shirt fundraiser
• Put fun on your calendar for 2019
• New medicare cards about to hit mailboxes
• Program Update and Call
• Legacy Family nominations open
• May is military appreciation month
• 152nd Annual National Grange Convention

View the April Issue of the Patrons Chain

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Yesterday, (April 17th) Superior Court Judge Brown granted the Grange’s motion for summary judgment on the Guild’s claims against the California State Grange’s holding corporation, Ed Komski, and Lillian Booth (the “CSG Defendants”) in the state court action. The Guild filed that lawsuit in 2014 claiming that the CSG Defendants had defamed the Guild and had wrongfully acquired dues from Subordinate Granges and funds from the Grange Insurance Association (GIA) paid pursuant to its contract with the National Grange. The case was consolidated with the main state court action in front of Judge Brown shortly thereafter. The Court’s order yesterday finds for the CSG Defendants on all counts, and rejects all claims of wrongdoing made by the Guild.

Some highlights: -- p. 2: “In short, the dispute centers on whether the California State Grange defamed the Guild by claiming it was no longer the true ‘California State Grange’ and wrongfully received Grange fees and GIA [Grange Insurance Association] funds, which allegedly should have been paid or delivered to the Guild. The California State Grange now moves for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication of each cause of action on the grounds that the alleged statements were true (i.e., the Guild was, in fact, no longer the ‘California State Grange’ entity chartered by the National Grange), Subordinate Granges are obligated under the rules of the Order to pay their Grange dues to the California State Grange (not the Guild), and because certain GIA funds are Grange property to which the Guild has no right or claim.

-- p. 5: “The Guild's argument that the motion fails because it does not address statements about the Guild as a corporation is rejected. The Guild argues the California State Grange's motion never addresses whether the Guild could maintain its corporate form as a corporation registered with the Secretary of State and, if it could, then it would be false for the California State Grange to make statements that the Guild is not the ‘California State Grange.’ This argument is beside the point. The incorporation status of the Guild is irrelevant to its claims. The issue is who was operating as the actively chartered ‘California State Grange,’ not whether the Guild could properly incorporate as a different corporation.

-- pp. 5-6 (defamation claim): The CSG “Defendants have presented undisputed evidence that the alleged statement that the California State Grange had been reorganized was, in fact, true. Following the revocation of its charter, the Guild was no longer a part of the Order. (UMFs 31, 35.) Upon the restoration of its charter in July of 2014, the California State Grange was reorganized as the only legitimate State Grange in California. Therefore, this alleged statement cannot form the basis for a claim of defamation.”

-- p. 6 (interference with contractual relations claim): “The Guild's second cause of action alleges the California State Grange disrupted the Guild's contractual relationships with the Subordinate Granges as set forth in the bylaws. (FAC ¶¶ 23-24.) The bylaws the Guild refers to are the California State Grange bylaws…. [The CSG] Defendants have presented undisputed evidence that the obligation of Subordinate Granges to pay Grange dues is established by the rules of the Order, and those dues are Grange property to be collected and distributed within the Grange. (UMFs 9-11.) Further, if a State Grange has its charter suspended or revoked, as occurred with the Guild, it may not operate as a Grange while its charter has been suspended or revoked and its property must remain within the Grange until a new State Grange is chartered. (UMFs 17, 19-21.) As the Guild's charter was revoked on April 5, 2013, it no longer operated as the California State Grange under the rules of the Order after that date. Based on the foregoing, [the CSG] Defendants have established there was no alleged ‘interference’ with any contractual relationship between Subordinate Granges and the Guild as the bylaws and rules of the Order and California State Grange no longer applied to the Guild following the revocation of its charter.

-- p. 7 (interference with economic advantage claims): The Guild alleges that the CSG “Defendants ‘intentionally and fraudulently’ or ‘negligently’ coerced the payment of Grange dues from Subordinate Granges. (FAC ¶ 31, 38.) As discussed above, Defendants have established the obligation of Subordinate Granges to pay Grange dues is established by the rules of the Order, and those dues are Grange property to be collected and distributed within the Grange. (UMFs 9-11.) The Guild was no longer a part of the Grange following the revocation of its charter and was, therefore, no longer entitled to receive any Grange dues. (UMFs 17, 19-21, 23, 30, 31, 37.) Further, [the CSG] Defendants' communications to Subordinate Granges accurately stated the requirements under the rules of the Order, indicating that if they wished to remain in good standing with the Order, payment of Grange dues to the California State Grange, and not the Guild, was required.

-- p. 7 (unfair competition claim): “The Guild alleges [the CSG] Defendants violated Business and Professions Code section 17200 by coercing Subordinate Granges into pay dues and using GIA funds to fund its complaint in intervention in an attempt to put undue financial pressure on the guild and to exert unlawful competitive leverage over the Guild.... [The CSG] Defendants have presented undisputed evidence that no such anti-competitive activity is present. [The CSG] Defendants have established their communications to Subordinate Granges accurately stated the requirements under the rules of the Order, indicating that if the Subordinate Granges wished to remain in good standing with the Order, payment of Grange dues to the California State Grange, and not the Guild, was required. (UMFs 40, 41.) [The CSG] Defendants have also established their entitlement to the GIA funds.

-- pp. 7-8 (constructive trust claim): The Guild alleges the Grange dues and GIA funds in possession of the California State Grange are subject to a constructive trust because they were misappropriated or acquired by other wrongful act.... As discussed above, [the CSG] Defendants have established through undisputed evidence that they have not acted ‘wrongfully’ in obtaining the Grange dues and GIA fund and the Guild has no right to the property or to impose a constructive trust.”

-- p. 8 (conversion claim): “The Guild alleges [the CSG] Defendants converted GIA funds. Conversion is the wrongful exercise of dominion over the property of another.... As discussed, above, [the CSG] Defendants have established the GIA funds are Grange property and the Guild has no right to these funds. (UMFs 9, 14.)

View the Court Order

Today, April 16th Judge Shubb (Federal Eastern District Court) issued an order to re-open post-judgment proceedings in the original trademark case (“Grange I”) because the Guild used Grange funds to pay the approximately $250,000 in sanctions awarded to the National Grange as a result of the Guild’s deliberate and willful violation of the federal trademark injunction.

After the Guild paid those sanctions in 2017, the Grange learned that the monies had come from a Morgan Stanley account holding the California State Grange’s funds that Judge Brown had ordered could not be used by the Guild, and from an account used to hold charitable funds for the California Grange Foundation. To hide the source of those funds, the Guild first sent the money to its attorneys at the Ellis Law Group, which deposited the funds into its own account and then paid the Grange with checks drawn on the law firm’s account.

The National Grange moved to set aside the judgment in Grange I on the ground that the sanctions award had not been satisfied because the Guild had in fact used funds to which it was not entitled to pay the award. Judge Shubb agreed. In particular, Judge Shubb wrote: “the uncontroverted evidence indicates that [the Guild's] partial payment of [the Grange’s] attorney fee award in the amount of $93,707.78 came from funds that [the Guild] had been prohibited from accessing. On December 27, 2017, [the Grange] discovered, through discovery in a related case, that the three checks for $93,707.78 written on Ellis Law Group’s client trust account were identical to payments paid to the Ellis Law Group from a restricted Morgan Stanley account belonging to The Grange. Relatedly, on March 21, 2018, the Sacramento County Superior Court ruled that [the Guild] had ‘willfully violated this Court’s injunction order, which specifically precluded the Guild from expending funds in an account at Morgan Stanley.’ [Citation] The Superior Court Order further explained that ‘the Guild has expended tens of thousands of dollars on attorneys’ fees in favor of a CSG affiliate in an unrelated case.’ The court recognizes that these ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ refer precisely to the $93,707.78 at issue here. Therefore, with regard to the $93,707.78 payment, it clearly appears that [the Grange] entered its Satisfaction of Judgment by mistake. [The Guild] convinced [the Grange] that the funds it used to pay [the Grange] came from [the Guild], when in reality the money came from a fund that [the Guild] had been enjoined from accessing pursuant to the state court injunction. Had [the Grange] known the true source of the money, it would not have entered an Acknowledgement of Full Satisfaction of Judgment. (Docket No. 224.) Thus, the Satisfaction of Judgment was clearly entered in error. It also appears that the remaining $145,466.82 may have been paid using money that the Guild should not have accessed as well….

[The Grange] requests sanctions against [the Guild] for its attempt to satisfy the Federal court’s judgment with funds fraudulently obtained in violation of a state court injunction…. The court agrees with [the Grange] and concludes that [the Guild] attempted to deceive [the Grange] by paying the judgment using misappropriated funds. [The Guild] offers no plausible explanation for why it used those funds from the Morgan Stanley account. At the hearing on April 16, 2018, [the Guild’s attorney Mark Ellis] attempted to argue that Judge Brown’s Order discussing ‘tens of thousands of dollars on attorneys’ fees’ referred to a different payment. However, upon inspection of the Order, this explanation was disproven.

The evidence indicates that the $93,707.78 was, indisputably, removed from a restricted Morgan Stanley account, with no credible reason for doing so. Accordingly, the court concluded that [the Grange] is entitled to sanctions in the amount of $9,000, which less than 10% of the amount of money which [the Guild] attempted to cheat [the Grange] out of. The sanctions are imposed in part to indemnify [the Grange] for its attorney fees in making this Motion.

IT WAS ORDERED that [the Grange’s] Motion to Re-Open Post-Judgment Proceedings be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED. The Satisfaction of Judgment is hereby partially vacated to the extent of $93,707.78 upon the condition that [the Grange] take the necessary steps to return the $93,707.78 to the account from which it should not have been taken.

The Guild has thirty days from the date this Order is signed to pay [the Grange] the additional sanctions in the amount of $9,000 imposed in the Order.”

View Re-Open and Sanction Order

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF BOARD MEETING The California State Grange Board of Directors Meeting

Date: Sunday, April 22, 2018

Time: Closed Session 9am to 11 am

Open Session 11:15 am to close of business

Location: California State Grange, 3830 U Street, Sacramento, CA

Those members wishing to address the Board of Directors must notify the State Grange Secretary by close of business on Tuesday April 17, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the State Grange Secretary, Lillian Booth, at LBooth@CAStateGrange.org or 916-454-5808.

Membership Matters: Targeted

Zoom meetings scheduled

Since January we have been hosting Zoom meetings on the third Tuesday of each month to discuss membership concerns and provide resources and ideas for seeking out new members.

In the coming months, we will begin hosting targeted Zoom meetings with information that can be of specific use to Granges who have answered the Grange Health Surveys. Of course, all Granges are invited to participate, but some may find specific topics more useful than others, so filling out the Grange Health Survey to determine what topics your Grange could most benefit from is recommended.

As before, Zoom meeting will be held on the third Tuesday of each month beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. We may also add a few other dates/times as necessary.

State Masters and Membership Directors should pass on the information to the leaders of Subordinate Granges that have provided their Health Surveys and encourage their attendance at meetings that pertain most to them.

Grange Up!

How Oregon State Grange Shattered a 25-Year Cycle of Losses Tuesday, April 17 @ 8:30 p.m. Eastern Hosted by Susan Noah, Oregon State Grange President

Oregon State Grange President Susan Noah will talk about the Grange Up program that helped them net a gain of more than 200 members in 2017 and their expansion of the program in 2018 that is looking to be similarly successful. She will explain what they did, how local Granges use the materials and concept and take questions. If you have not taken in at least two new members who have remained active int he past few years, this is a great meeting to be a part of.

The Future is Bright with Juniors By Our Side

Tuesday, May 15 @ 8:30 p.m. Eastern Hosted by National Junior Grange Director Samantha Wilkins

National Junior Grange Director Samantha Wilkins will discuss the Junior Grange program and the Junior 1+ program. For Granges struggling to see their own future, but wishing to encourage a new generation of members, this is an important topic. Every Grange member can be a part of growing the Grange from the youngest of members, so please plan to join us for this meeting, especially members from Granges who answered that they do not have Junior members so you can learn more about the program and how to attract Juniors and young families.

Reaping the Reward of Seeds already Sown

Tuesday, June 19 @ 8:30 p.m. Eastern Hosted by National Grange Sales, Programs, Benefits and Membership Recognition Director Loretta Washington

Loretta Washington will talk about how Granges can start or bolster their relationships with local 4-H, FFA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, NJHA chapters and other youth leadership and agricultural groups. These young people are already primed with values and concerns important to Granges and should easily see where their current service can help a Grange and where they could fit into a Grange in their community long after they've "aged out" of their youth organization. For those who answered they have no interaction with such groups, this is an important meeting to put on your calendar.

Know Your Mission

Tuesday, July 17 @ 8:30 p.m. Eastern Hosted by National Grange Lecturer Christine Hamp

National Lecturer Christine Hamp will join us to discuss mission statements for local Granges and how they can help focus a Grange and ignite new fires. This is great for all Granges who have not yet adopted a mission statement or who do not have a fairly defined identity and outreach strategy.

Meeting as a Grange

Tuesday, August 21 @ 8:30 p.m. Eastern Hosted by National Grange President Betsy E. Huber and National Grange Communications & Development Director Amanda Brozana Rios

We will talk about ways to identify public spaces for meetings in your community and other options that may make new members feel welcome and allow you to hold Grange meetings in a fashion more like that in our manual. If you said you currently meet in a restaurant or a members’ home, this is a great meeting to attend.

Have an idea for a Zoom meeting? Email betsy@nationalgrange.org


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March 2018

Motion to Compel and Sanctions awarded to the Grange

This last week, Judge Shubb granted the Grange’s motion to compel production of additional documents in the federal trademark litigation. The court found the Guild’s responses to be deficient and overruled the Guild’s boilerplate objections to producing the requested documents, ordering that responsive documents be produced. Additionally, the court sanctioned the Guild $700 for failing to provide the required discovery.

This order represents another positive development for the Grange as we work to obtain full discovery in the lawsuits. We will continue to keep you posted as to developments in lawsuits against the Guild.

Click to View the Motion to Compel


POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS


MARCH 2018 WRAP-UP

Overview

Congress is on a two-week Easter recess until April 9. Before leaving Washington, the lawmakers managed to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the government through the September, the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The bill was loaded with extraneous non-appropriations provisions as it became possibly the last legislative train to leave the station before midterm elections. Many of these add-on provisions were considered must-pass legislation by congressional leaders that would have a tough time making it through both houses the remainder of this year in the growing contentious political climate in Washington.

For the past several months, the agriculture community was guardedly optimistic that action on the new farm bill would begin by April in the House followed soon thereafter in the Senate. Agriculture committee leaders and committee staffs in both the House and Senate had been negotiating legislative details and writing a draft bill title-by title and section-by-section for months. Just days before the recess, rumors leaked out that the food assistance title of the House draft contained work requirements for able-bodied men to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Rank and file Democrats on the House committee, feeling they should have been involved earlier in SNAP discussions, announced they would not vote for the farm bill in its present form. This action brings farm bill progress to a halt for the foreseeable future. Prospects for Hill action on other priority legislative initiatives such as immigration, agriculture labor workforce, infrastructure, healthcare and telecommunications are diming and could get pushed into 2019.

Trade continues to be a contentious economic, political and diplomatic issue in Washington, around the country and among our international trading partners. As the Administration threatens to place tariffs on imports from certain countries, those countries quickly prepare restrictive retaliatory tariffs against American exports. U.S. food and agriculture exports are expected to suffer the most from a trade war.

The Omnibus Package

In addition to appropriating funds to run the federal government through September 30, the omnibus provided a legislative vehicle to pass a plethora of unrelated items deemed must-pass by congressional leadership and by the constituency of those pieces of legislation. Here is a summary of several items that interest Grangers:

Healthcare

• $1 billion in new funding for grants to states and Indian tribes to address the opioid epidemic including rural communities
• Increased funds for special education
• Increased funds for charter schools
• New funds for rural health care
• Restoration of funds for adoption and guardianship initiatives
• $32 million for telemedicine and distance learning grants in rural areas

Broadband


• $600 million for the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a new rural broadband loan and grant pilot program
• $30 million for a grant program to finance rural broadband transmission in eligible areas

Co-Op Tax Fix

The recent tax bill contained an unintended consequence known as Section 199A. This deduction was designed to give pass-through entities (the way many farms are structured) benefits similar to corporations whose tax rate was slashed to 21 percent. Farmers who sell to co-ops could deduct 20 percent of their gross sales while farmers who sell to other companies can only deduct 20 percent of their net business income. The 199A "fix" states farmers can now deduct 20 percent of net farm income regardless of the entity they sell to.

Manure Reporting Exemption

In April 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA's 2008 exemption for animal operations from reporting emissions under Superfund and other laws were illegal and animal operations should be regulated like toxic Superfund sites. Animal agriculture estimated that up to 200,000 farms and ranches would be required to report ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions from manure. This legislation exempts farms and ranches from those reporting requirements.

Relief for Truckers

A 2012 law required the Department of Transportation to create and enforce an electronic logging device rule for truckers. The rule became effective in February 2016 and required all truckers who were currently required to keep records to install and use an electronic logging device. Federal law limits maximum drive time to 11 consecutive hours followed by 10 consecutive hours of rest. For a great many livestock haulers, this is not enough drive time to move live animals safely to today's markets. This legislation delays the rule one year to allow for animal haulers, animal agriculture and the DOT to attempt a compromise.

Fire Funding Finally

For decades, our 154 national forests have needed attention, repair and funding for fire suppression. This legislation contains $2.25 billion of new budget authority available to the Departments of Agriculture and Interior for fire suppression, forest management and mitigation of the frequency of wildfires. National forests were originally envisioned as working forests with multiple objectives: to improve and protect the forests, to secure favorable watershed conditions, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber. Only 10 percent of the annual growth on national forests is currently being harvested leaving the other 90 percent to accumulate as fuel for forest fires and bug infestation. The legislation is intended to fix these problems.

The omnibus also includes a two year extension of the Secure Rural Schools program to support schools in counties with large areas of federal lands and a low real estate tax base.

Perspective

"Our character is what we do when no one is looking." H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street." Elbert Hubbard

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller

"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." Abraham Lincoln

"Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." Harper Lee

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Please join us in Washington, DC on April 15 - 18, 2018 as we begin our work with the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration on National Grange priorities.

CLICK HERE FOR HOTEL, SCHEDULE AND ONLINE REGISTRATION!

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org

Download the Latest Newsletter


Through conversation, knowledge, respect, passion, transparency and understanding, one by one, with the old and the new, we are building our fraternal order and communities, toward a positive future, utilizing the strength within the Grange, proven through a 150 year commitment to our members. American River Grange # 172

Please help us welcome American River Grange #172 in returning to Good Standing in the Order. By paying its dues and completing the required business reporting (available on the California State Grange’s website: www.castategrange.org), American River Grange #172 is in the process of becoming compliant with the rules set forth in the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The confusion created by all the "spin" and propaganda from the California Guild can be cumbersome, to say the least. The California State Grange has only our Fraternal Order in its heart, and we desire to continue to do business as we have for over 140 years as a Local, State, and National Organization. Thank you to the members of American River Grange for acquiring information and determining that they want to continue being a Grange.

American River Grange 2720 Kilgore Road Rancho Cordova, CA

Good work worthy Patrons!

Visit American River Grange #172 Facebook Page


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Today the Officers and Directors of the California State Grange met at the California State Grange Headquarters for the first time in nearly 5 years. The day was filled with pride, relief, gratitude, bittersweet feelings, and surreal reflections.

We would like thank the following people for their unflagging support. The California State Grange could not have survived and succeeded without them:


• The members of the California State Grange
• The Delegates to the National Grange from 2014 - 2017
• Ed Luttrell, Past National Master
• Betsy Huber, National Grange Master
• The current and past Officers and Directors of the National and State Grange
• Matt Johnson (Massachusetts) First Year Delegate Mentor
• Bro. Chris Heath
• Jeff Skinner, Mark Serlin, Marty Jensen, Tom Riordan, Jim Bikoff, Bruce McDonald, and Holly Lance
• All of the other Attorneys that have done SO much great, professional work in all of the various Grange lawsuits
• Cynthia Komski, First Lady

It has been a long and arduous path, and there is much more still to do to return Grange property to our Order, but we are well on the way to restoring the California State Grange and putting the conflict that has divided our fraternal organization for years behind us. Justice has been served, and the future is bright. Thank you again to all for your support through this trying time.




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Focused and to the point!

March 22nd, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over federal courts in California) issued its decision on the Guild's appeal of the injunction entered by Judge Shubb in the federal trademark litigation that prohibits the Guild from using the "Grange" name. The Guild's appeal also challenged the sanctions awarded by Judge Shubb as a result of the Guild's "willful and deliberate" violation of the injunction. (The sanctions ended up being approximately $250,000, which the Grange recently learned the Guild paid with charitable funds held by the California Grange Foundation and with almost $100,000 in Grange funds taken from the California State Grange's account at Morgan Stanley in violation of a state court order; the Grange is pursuing all available remedies for the Guild's wrongful actions with respect to these funds.)

I am pleased to inform you that the Ninth Circuit affirmed Judge Shubb in all respects, including the permanent injunction and the sanctions award. Although Mr. McFarland told you he was confident the Guild would prevail on this appeal, once again his claims with respect to legal matters were flat wrong. As always, we urge you to read the court documents themselves, and not simply rely on propaganda or "spin" from the Guild.

This decision is only the most recent of numerous orders from the state and federal trial courts granting the Grange relief for the wrongful actions of the Guild. The California State Grange is actively moving to recover control of its property at this very moment -- there will be much more information to come.

View the Court of Appeals Decision

State Grange seeks return of $80,000 paid to McFarland

As we reported earlier, you may recall that in 2016 the Guild paid $80,000 of Grange funds to Mr. McFarland as a "retirement package" or "severance agreement" (the Guild's justification for the payment changed depending on when you asked them). Of course, Mr. McFarland neither retired nor was terminated from his position with the Guild, and continues in that role to this day. Mr. McFarland deposited that $80,000 payment into his personal Morgan Stanley account.

With the appointment of the receiver, the California State Grange's efforts to recover control of Grange property continue full speed ahead.

While nobody wants to sue people individually, when individuals act brazenly to take Grange money, the California State Grange is left with little choice. Accordingly, a complaint has been filed against Mr. McFarland as an individual to recover the $80,000, plus additional damages, alleging that the $80,000 "retirement" or "severance" payment was a fraudulent transfer. We promised to pursue the return of Grange property and we will continue to do so.

View Fraudulent Transfer Motion

Receiver Appointed to Return Grange Property to the California State Grange

Today, March 21st, Judge Brown granted the California State Grange's motion to appoint a receiver to return Grange property to the California State Grange. Due to the Guild's ongoing dissipation of Grange funds in violation of court orders and the trusts placed on those funds, Judge Brown took the unusual step of granting the motion from the bench and issuing the order at the conclusion of the hearing. The receiver will now move to take possession of property held by the Guild so that it can be returned to the California State Grange pursuant to Judge Brown's judgment that was affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. More to come ....

View the Receiver Order issued by Judge Brown

California State Grange requests re-opening of Grange TM1 - Yes you read that correctly

Defendants’ alleged fraud on the court, namely, the claimed surreptitious misappropriation of funds from the Morgan Stanley and California Grange Foundation accounts to satisfy the Court’s judgment awarding the National Grange attorney fees. A copy of the Rule 60 Motion, including supporting exhibits and the proposed order, is attached. The Rule 60 Motion to Re-Open Post-Judgment Proceedings will be held on April 16, 2018. The Guild’s response will be due on April 2, 2018

Read the motion to reopen here


IN THIS ISSUE:

• Let your voice be the reason for change
• Grange Month 2018 Event Poster
• Zoom! Another way to connect for Grange
• Preserve tradition while taking the next step on your Grange journey
• Save on hotels using Grange discount codes
• Promo kit, more on sale for Grange Month events
• Legislative Fly-In 2018
• 'If you build it, they will come'
• Promote Grange with a folding display
• USDA launches webpage highlighting resources to help rural communities address opioid crisis
• 2018 Quilt Block Contest
• Grange Foundation 2018 Mercantile
• American handicraft raffle
• New partnership announced with Weather Ready Nation
• FRS Rural Youth App Challenge
• 10 things to know about your new Medicare card
• 1 in 1,000 Club of the Grange Foundation
• National Grange Building Fund Pledge Form
• Make it a Good Day!

View the March Patrons Chain

National Funding

Opportunities Throughout the U.S.

Support for Land Acquisitions to Conserve Critical Habitats


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Acres for America Acres for America, a partnership between Walmart Stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), was established to provide urgently needed funding for projects that conserve important large-scale habitats for fish, wildlife, and plants through land acquisitions and perpetual conservation easements. Preference will be given to projects that achieve more than one of the following program priorities: conserve critical habitats for birds, fish, plants, and wildlife; connect existing protected lands to unify wild places and protect critical migration routes; provide access for people to enjoy the outdoors; and ensure the future of local economies that depend on forestry, ranching, and recreation. All grant awards require a minimum 1:1 match of cash or contributed goods and services. Nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, Indian tribes, and educational institutions are eligible to apply. Applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate NFWF regional office to discuss project ideas prior to applying. Pre-proposals are due April 26, 2018; invited full proposals must be submitted by June 28, 2018. Visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website to review the 2018 Request for Proposals.

Pro Bono Financial Planning Services Funded

Foundation for Financial Planning


The mission of the Foundation for Financial Planning is to help people take control of their financial lives by connecting the financial planning community with people in need. The Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide to support the delivery of pro bono financial planning to populations who could not otherwise afford or access financial planning services. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 support programs helping many diverse groups, including active military members and wounded veterans, people with cancer, seniors and family caregivers, domestic violence survivors, general low-income families, etc. Grants are provided to organizations that engage Certified Financial Planner professionals as volunteers, include one-on-one engagements between financial planner volunteers and pro bono clients, and help people in need of financial guidance or in a financial crisis who are underserved by the market and couldn’t ordinarily access quality, ethical advice. Online applications must be submitted by April 30, 2018. Grant guidelines and application information are available on the Foundation’s website.

Grants Enhance Innovative K-12 Projects

Voya Unsung Heroes


The Voya Unsung Heroes program provides grants to K-12 educators nationwide that utilize new teaching methods and techniques that improve learning. Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff employed by accredited K-12 public or private schools in the United States are eligible to apply. The 100 finalists each receive an award of $2,000. At least one award will be granted in each of the 50 United States, provided one or more qualified applications are received from each state. Of the 100 finalists, three will be selected for additional financial awards of $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000. All awards must be used to further the projects within the school or school system. Applications must be submitted online by April 30, 2018. Visit the Voya Unsung Heroes website to access the application and learn more about the program.

Outdoor Adventure Programs Supported

The North Face Explore Fund


The North Face Explore Fund supports nonprofit organizations in the U.S. that are looking to increase participation in the outdoors and work in innovative ways to protect our environment. Grants are made in the following categories: The Enabling New Explorers category focuses on programs that introduce underrepresented communities to outdoor adventures in potentially new and interesting ways. The Protecting Our Environment category focuses on programs that work to protect our ecosystems and our ability to continue to enjoy them. Across both categories, programs with strong outdoor engagement in activities such as skiing, kayaking, backpacking, etc. are preferred. Grants generally range from $5,000 to $25,000. The application deadline is April 5, 2018. Visit the Fund’s website to submit an online application.

Regional Funding

Opportunities for Specific Areas

Assistance for Grassroots Organizations in Central Appalachia

Appalachian Community Fund: General Fund


The Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) encourages grassroots social change in Central Appalachia (eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and all of West Virginia). ACF provides support to community-based organizations working for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice. ACF’s General Fund provides operating support and project grants of up to $3,000 to grassroots organizations that are addressing the underlying causes of poverty and oppression in the region. The focus is on organizations with budgets less than $200,000 that have limited access to traditional funding sources. The proposed work must address change at a systemic level and demonstrate some understanding of forms of oppression, especially racism. The application deadline is April 12, 2018. Visit ACF’s website to download the General Fund guidelines.

Funds for Health Organizations in Utah

Utah Medical Association Foundation


The Utah Medical Association Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that strive to promote the health of the citizens of Utah. Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that work to improve or support education of physicians and nurses, improve facilities and treatment options, and support public health projects that serve to mitigate or prevent disease. The upcoming application deadline is April 13, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to download the application form.

Community Organizations in the Upper Midwest Recognized

Bush Foundation: Bush Prize for Community Innovation


The Bush Prize for Community Innovation honors innovative nonprofit organizations and government entities with a track record of making great ideas happen in the regions the Bush Foundation serves: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. The Bush Prize does not prioritize any specific issues and instead is open to community innovations that address all sorts of needs and opportunities. Prize winners will receive promotion and recognition, along with a flexible grant of 25% of the last fiscal year budget, up to a $500,000 grant. At least half of the Bush Prize winners will be organizations that address racial and economic disparities. Applications will be accepted through April 12, 2018. Visit the Bush Foundation’s website to learn more about the Bush Prize application process.

Federal Funding

Opportunities from the U.S. Government

Funds Available for Fire Departments

Department of Homeland Security


The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program provides support to fire departments to recruit, hire, and retain firefighters. The application deadline is April 27, 2018.

Urban Forestry Projects Supported

Forest Service


The National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program supports forestry projects on non-federal public land that have a national or multi-state impact and application. The application deadline is April 30, 2018.

The Board of Directors meeting scheduled for Saturday March 24th and 25th has be relocated from the Wyandotte Grange Hall to the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento. The hotel is located at 926 J Street in Sacramento.

The meeting will begin with an open session from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM, and at 3:30 PM the meeting will reopen in Closed (Executive) session.

On Sunday the 25th, the meeting will reconvene at 9:00 AM in open session, closing at 3:00 PM.

Grange to Guild: Provide the information

On Monday the California State Grange filed a motion to compel discovery and for sanctions against the Guild as it relates to the main CA State case. You can read the full motion here.

View Motion to Compel with Sanctions


Recently the National Grange started publishing a quarterly news magazine called Good Day!.

If you are interested in what is happening in the Grange, on a national level, then you should consider subscribing to "Good Day!". It is a high quality and very informative publication, with a member subscription price of $14.00 a year.

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POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS

FEBRUARY 2018 WRAP-UP


Overview

In Washington these days, everyone and everything appear to be completely off balance at times. On any given day and on any given issue, there are several competing forces in play. The liberal and conservative media report on the same topic from such differing perspectives that it's hard sometimes to believe they're talking about the same subject. Caucuses within political parties play the spoiler as much as competing parties once were. Every time a bipartisan solution begins to develop, there's a rush to discredit it no matter how good or bad it is. Unsubstantiated reporting seems to be rampant and every blogger tries to be an expert. Social media at times is as important as factual information in forming a large chunk of public opinion.

Heavy political attention and big campaign dollars are already turning toward midterm elections this fall. Primary campaigns are underway in many states for Senators and districts for Representatives. Close to 20 senior House Republicans have announced their retirement, sparking excitement among Democrats about their possibility to recapture the House majority. Democrats may be unlikely to gain control of the Senate since 26 Democrats and just eight Republicans are up for reelection. Most incumbent Republican senators continue to be popular back home. Legislation has been slow to move and will get even slower now. Unfortunately, the legislative window is closing. By Memorial Day, any action on bills will be hard to come by. By Labor Day, campaigning takes over the legislative highway and most legislation goes into neutral.

Coalitions

This is an especially active time for coalitions .The National Grange is an active member of several major coalitions in Washington concerned with health care (Medicare and Medicaid, drug availability, access to care, , telecommunications (broadband, Lifeline, net neutrality), rural schools, farm bill, immigration, infrastructure, tax reform and other coalitions on lesser issues.

Two new coalitions are depending upon the Grange to carry the message of rural and small town citizens to Congress, the media and the public. The Coalition for Paper Options was formed to assure citizens continue to have the option to receive government information, reports and questionnaires via paper if they so choose. The campaign by federal agencies to quietly force the public to go paperless before they're ready ignores the fact that over 23 million rural and small town folks lack broadband access. An op-ed by Burton Eller addressing government agencies forcing citizens to go paperless before they're ready appeared in Washington's The Hill Newsletter.

Connect Americans Now Coalition proposes to use available broadcast spectrum or "TV White Spaces" to deliver broadband to rural areas. Unassigned spectrum below 700 MHz can carry communications over far greater distances and penetrate walls and other obstacles and supposedly can wave across and around hills and mountains. The Federal Communications Commission will have to approve reallocation of this unused spectrum. The only opposition may be the broadcasting industry.

Food and Agriculture

Budget and Farm Bill

The Senate and House Agriculture Committees heaved a huge sigh of relief when the two-year budget deal won approval in Congress. Contained therein were lynchpin "fixes" for dairy and cottonproducers. Funding offsets for these farm policy revisions will not have to be accounted for in the 2018 Farm Bill baseline, thus removing a huge obstacle from upcoming farm bill negotiations. The National Grange supported this action in line with policy adopted in Spokane.

Other Provisions included in the budget deal would: • Include $2.4 billion in aid to producers hurt by last year's hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters • Lift the $125,000 payment cap for producers who sold livestock at a reduced price due to natural disaster • Remove the $20 million cap on the Emergency Assistance Program for livestock, honey bees and farm-raised fish • Double acreage eligible for the Tree Assistance Program from 500 to 1,000 acres • Revive the dollar/gallon tax credit for biodiesel

Ranking minority member of the House Agriculture Committee Colin Peterson (D-MN) is also gathering support for an additional dairy policy change that would allow dairymen to insure margins (difference between milk prices and feed costs) up to $9.50 from the current $8 limit.

We expect committee actions on the 2018 Farm Bill to move right along once they start. Agriculture is one of the few areas where bipartisanship is still possible. The big unknown will be scheduling Senate and House floor time earlier rather than later in an election year.

Waivers for Agricultural Haulers

Producers continue asking the Department of Transportation to grant agricultural haulers a waiver and limited exemption from the electronic logging device mandate because of commodity perishability. . The exemption excludes the transportation of all agricultural commodities within 150 miles of the source of the commodities. Further, longer-haul livestock truckers need hours of service waivers in order to rapidly and humanely move animals in challenging conditions. The National Grange supports these waivers and exemptions.

Health Care

IPAB


The National Grange was very active in the permanent repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) in the recent two year congressional budget package. IPAB, authorized in the Affordable Care Act, was to be a board of Presidential appointees charged with recommending cuts to Medicare if spending growth reached an arbitrary level. The HHS Secretary would implement recommendations. Neither the recommendations nor the actions would be subject to administrative or judicial review.

Medicare Part D Costs

Betsy Huber wrote Seema Vera, Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, supporting the Director's Request for Information (RFI) on lowering Medicare Part D costs. A major objective is to drive down patient out-of-pocket costs at pharmacy counters. CMS hopes to identify ways to increase accountability for Pharmacy Benefit Managers and make it harder for them to pocket rebates and discounts intended for patients.

Rural Health Care

Congress' budget deal restored funding for two critical rural health programs. Community Health Centers were allocated $3.8 billion for 2018 and $4 billion for 2019. CHCs care for about 27 million patients nationwide. Congress extended the Children's Health Insurance Program for another ten years. CHIP serves as a safety net for about 8.6 million kids nationwide. The National Grange supported these initiatives.

Opioid Help

Congress is moving to take a second crack at opioid legislation as the crisis grows to more than 42,000 deaths per year. On the House side, Energy and Commerce Chairman Walden (R-OR.) is pushing to have legislation out of the House by Memorial Day. Senators Portman (R-OH) and Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are crafting legislation in the Senate. Opioid recovery professionals stress the need to bolster the opioid addiction treatment system with infrastructure, treatment spots, more facilities and treatment professionals. The National Grange supports these initiatives.

340B Specialty Drugs

National Grange president Betsy joined 23 major patient advocacy groups to thank Senate and House sponsors of legislation to return the 340B specialty drug discount program to its original intent of helping vulnerable patients. Lack of program oversight and lax regulations have caused greater profits for hospitals and fewer discounts for vulnerable and uninsured patients. The legislation would require hospitals to disclose how they reinvest 340B revenue to increase charity care for patients.

Immigration

False Start


The Senate turned to open-ended immigration debate the week of February 12. Debate ended four days later with no immigration solutions in sight. The core objective was to see if Senators could somehow agree on a "four pillars" strategy that President Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers initially agreed to. The four pillars consisted of a fix for: • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA or "Dreamers") • A border security package • Family-based immigration ("Chain Migration") • The diversity lottery (Visas to immigrants from countries with historically low migration levels)

Ag Workers

Agriculture producers are still looking for a fix to the ag workforce crisis. Ag lobbyists (including the Grange) were hoping for an immigration package to pass the Senate so the House could include Goodlatte's (R-VA) Ag Act creating a new and simpler H-2C two year work permit program for agriculture. Frankly, any chance now for an ag worker bill to pass Congress in this election year may be slim. Complications

While most producers support Goodlatte's proposed H-2C ag worker bill, the Western Growers (fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, tree nuts) are now opposing it. The Growers object to the requirement that long-time ag workers must return to their home countries to apply for a new H-2C visa. This split among Agriculture further dooms chances for ag worker legislation for a while.

Infrastructure

Debate on the Hill now moves to infrastructure. Rural infrastructure needs are a priority for both the Administration and Congress. President Trump still insists that 25 percent of any infrastructure funding package go to rural areas. The President and Congress say rural broadband expansion is a priority corner post within rural infrastructure as is rural health care. Keeping these two priorities at the forefront of the infrastructure agenda for the President and Congress will be a challenge for the Grange.

Telecommunications

Lifeline


Lifeline is a government program, funded by the Universal Service Fund, to provide low income, elderly, disabled and disadvantaged citizens with connectivity to the rest of the world. For most of Lifeline users, service is a nominal landline or wireless monthly plan. The majority of Lifeline customers get services from wireless resellers. A 2017 GAO report found cases of waste, fraud and abuse by some resellers. Subsequently, some members of Congress and the Federal Communications Commission are proposing to remove wireless resellers from the market. Betsy Huber has written the FCC and several legislators on the Hill to say that while the Grange strongly objects to waste, fraud and abuse, there are reputable resellers in the market and let's not "throw the baby out with the bath water."

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is a tough issue, principally because of its name. Net Neutrality defines broadband as a communications service that essentially makes it a public utility. Well, everyone doesn't need the same service at the same price for the same priorities at the same speed. FCC Chairman Pai is proposing to classify broadband as an information service not subject to 1930's telephone monopoly regulations. The Grange has supported Chairman Pai's proposal at the FCC and to several members of Congress. The Grange's mission is to connect rural and small town America's schools, libraries, farms, hospitals, clinics, first -responders and entrepreneurial start-ups. Because of distance and sparse populations, the "pay-for" is not there under the utility -based system like Net Neutrality. New connectivity technology is evolving fast that can get through buildings, around hills and over mountains over longer distances. For rural America, it's all about getting connected, not how fast or how cheaply Snapchat, video games, latest movies or other apps download

Broadband Via "TV White Spaces"?

White spaces refer to unused low frequencies that operate below 700MHz. This is unassigned spectrum that can be used to deliver broadband access, services, and applications. This available spectrum is suited for delivering broadband to rural areas because it can travel over great distances, penetrate buildings and leap over hills. The cost-effectiveness of white space connectivity is appealing. The National Grange is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the use of unused TV white spaces spectrum for wireless broadband expansion.

Small Cells Are Big for Rural Internet

Small cell wireless transmitters operate 100 times faster than current wireless systems and deliver 5G broadband. Their antenna are about 3 cubic feet in volume, are unobtrusive, and can be placed on existing poles, buildings and other structures. They can be placed in existing rights-of-way without much impact. The National Grange is supporting efforts by the FCC to improve old Federal rules to expedite opening this gateway for rural internet.

Please join us in Washington, DC on April 15 - 18, 2018 as we begin our work with the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration on National Grange priorities.

Please join us in Washington, DC on April 15 - 18, 2018 as we begin our work with the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration on National Grange priorities.

CLICK HERE FOR HOTEL, SCHEDULE AND ONLINE REGISTRATION!

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org

Click here to download this issue

National Funding

Opportunities Throughout the U.S.

Support for Innovative Public Art in U.S. Cities

Bloomberg Philanthropies: Public Art Challenge


The Public Art Challenge, an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, will grant at least three cities up to $1 million each over two years to support innovative temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private collaborations, and strengthen local economies. The Challenge encourages mayors to partner with artists, elevating the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues. Submissions are encouraged from all artistic disciplines, including visual and performing arts and multimedia projects. The lead applicant should be a city of at least 30,000 residents. The application deadline is April 19, 2018. Visit the Public Art Challenge website to learn more about the program and to submit an online application. Start-up Funding for Music, Education, and Community Organizing Projects

Sparkplug Foundation

The Sparkplug Foundation primarily provides grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In Education and Teaching, the Foundation funds projects that deal with "the whole student" and with learning as a community activity. Through Community Organizing, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities and energy infrastructure, housing and community resources, and racial justice. The Foundation also provides limited support for projects in Israel that involve Palestinian communities. The first step in the application process is to complete the online questionnaire by March 28, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to review its mission and funding guidelines, as well as the online application instructions and appropriate deadlines. Fundraising Challenge for Local Nonprofits

A Community Thrives

A Community Thrives (ACT) is a social impact fundraising program, supported by the USA TODAY NETWORK and the Gannett Foundation, that is focused on empowering communities to take on local challenges and share the issues important to them around education, wellness, and culture, on a national platform. During the campaign, nonprofit organizations have the chance to raise funds for their charities through the CrowdRise platform. At the end of the crowdfunding period, the Gannett Foundation will award a total of $600,000 in grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to selected organizations. Interested organizations must apply for a CrowdRise campaign by March 15, 2018. To learn more about how to participate in the program visit the ACT CrowdRise homepage.

Grants Promote Contemporary Concert Music

The Amphion Foundation


The purpose of the Amphion Foundation is to promote excellence in, and public appreciation of, contemporary concert music, particularly by American composers. Grants are provided to publicly-supported nonprofit performing ensembles, presenters, festivals, and music service organizations that have a history of substantial commitment to contemporary concert music at a high level of excellence. In general, grants range between $1,000 and $7,500, although larger grants may be awarded to major performing organizations with an extraordinary commitment to contemporary concert music or a particularly significant project. Applying organizations must have been in existence for at least two years, and have completed two full seasons of programming prior to the time of application. Applications from performing ensembles will be accepted through April 1, 2018. (The deadline for presenters, festivals, and music service organizations is September 15, 2018.) Visit the Foundation’s website for grant program guidelines.

Regional Funding

Opportunities for Specific Areas

Direct Services for Seniors Supported in Seven States

Retirement Research Foundation: Responsive Grants Program


The Retirement Research Foundation is committed to supporting programs that improve the quality of life for older Americans. Through the Responsive Grants Program, the Foundation awards Direct Service grants to nonprofit organizations located in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, or Wisconsin. The focus is on community programs designed to maintain older persons in their homes, offer supportive services to older persons in residential settings, and improve the quality of care for older persons with chronic conditions. Grants are provided for developing, testing, and implementing direct service programs or expanding existing programs. (Advocacy, training, and research projects, all with national relevance, are considered from organizations located anywhere in the U.S.) The remaining proposal deadlines for 2018 are May 1 and August 1. (Applicants are invited to submit optional brief letters of inquiry in advance of proposals.) Visit the Foundation’s Responsive Grants webpage at www.rrf.org/grants/responsive-grants to learn more about the funding guidelines and application procedure.

Funds for Early Childhood Initiatives in Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation: Early Childhood Care and Education: Health Equity in Action The mission of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation is to make a healthy difference in communities throughout the state by advancing health equity and improving conditions where people live, learn, work, and play. The Early Childhood Care and Education: Health Equity in Action funding opportunity is intended to make a healthy difference in people’s lives by advancing health equity through projects in early childhood care and education. To achieve this goal, the Foundation plans to fund work that will increase access to and quality of early childhood care and education for children from birth to five years old. Successful applicants will focus on creating or contributing to systems change in early childhood care and education settings to decrease inequities. Organizations may apply for grants of up to $100,000 per year for one or two years. Applicants must be located in and serving Minnesota. The application deadline is April 10, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to download the funding guidelines. Grants Increase School Breakfast Programs in Massachusetts Schools

Eos Foundation: After the Bell, Breakfast in the Classroom

The Eos Foundation provides start-up grant funds to Massachusetts schools and districts that seek to increase school breakfast participation to 80% or more via the free, After the Bell, Breakfast in the Classroom (ATB BIC) programming for low-income children in grades pre-K-12. The Foundation provides one-time grant awards up to $10,000 to Massachusetts pre-K-12 schools, school districts, and charter public schools eager to make breakfast part of their school day by launching or expanding ATB BIC programming. The application deadline is May 10, 2018, for programming taking place at the beginning of the 2018/2019 school year. Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about the application process. Support for Child Centered Parent-Community Initiatives in Oregon

Northwest Health Foundation: Families Leading for Health and Education: Impact Partnership Fund

The Northwest Health Foundation and its partners are offering grants to nonprofit organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington through the Families Leading for Health and Education: Impact Partnership Fund. The Fund will support community-based organizations working to support parent leadership, voice, and resilience to improve outcomes in education, healthcare and early learning. The Fund seeks to partner with organizations committed to working with parents, families, and community members on efforts that focus on children from prenatal to age eight. Organizations may apply for Capacity Building grants ranging from $20,000 to $30,000 for up to one year or Implementation grants ranging from $75,000 to $125,000 for up to two years. Letters of intent are due on April 4, 2018; invited full proposals must be submitted by June 14, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to download the Impact Partnership Fund request for proposals.

Federal Funding

Opportunities from the U.S. Government

Pool Safety Funded Consumer Product Safety Commission


The Pool Safely Grant Program provides state and local governments with assistance to help implement enforcement and education programs, with the goal of preventing drownings and drain entrapments in pools and spas. The application deadline is April 2, 2018.

Program Supports Native Youth Leadership

Administration for Children and Families


The Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (I-LEAD) program empowers Native youth to address priorities such as economic and social self-sufficiency for Native Americans, community well-being, tribal government capacity, strong families, and culturally-appropriate strategies to meet the social service needs of Native Americans. The application deadline is April 9, 2018.

Growfund

Are you looking for a unique way to encourage donations to your organization? Growfund is a new type of donor-advised fund for nonprofits to cultivate donors. This charitable giving tool operates like a 401(k) or a personal foundation, allowing donors to make tax deductible contributions in credit, cash, stock, or checks. Donors set up an account, choose how their funds will be invested, then set aside a little or a lot at a time and watch their funds grow for the organization's cause.

Contact Us For More Information


February 2018

Hundreds of Thousands Taken

While we had hoped to have the receiver in place to collect all Grange property from the Guild and return it to the California State Grange this week, Judge Brown was not in court on Friday (2/23) and rescheduled the Motion to appoint the receiver for March 21st. The receiver action is necessary because new discovery was obtained in January that actions were taken by the leadership of both the Guild and the Foundation to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars of Grange funds in violation of the court orders and charitable trusts applicable to the funds. We look forward to the receiver being appointed when the hearing proceeds in March.

As always, we encourage everybody to read the actual court documents, and not simply rely on the Guild’s spin. We have attached the documents that are before Judge Brown.

Delaration of Jeff Skinner - With exhibits

Declaration of Jim Bikoff - with Exhibits

Notice of Motion



IN THIS ISSUE:

• National, regional events add to Grange experience
• Grange Month 2018
• Your option for information via paper is in jeopardy
• Grange enters new partnership for Vets
• Make plans to attend regional conferences
• Grange civics booklet available
• On Medicare? New card arriving in April will protect your identity
• Cash in on member benefits
• Quilt blocks, makers sought
• Grange Foundation Mercantile
• Legislative Fly-In 2018
• Proclaim Grange's great legacy in 2018!
• Celebration of the Sesquicentennial
• 2018 Quilt Block Contest
• 2018 National Grange Photography Showcase
• 2018 Evening of Excellence
• National Grange Building Fund pledge form
• 1 in 1,000 Club of the Grange Foundation

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: www.facebook.com/nationalgrange/ www.twitter.com/NationalGrange

The National Grange - 1616 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 - Phone: 1-888-4-GRANGE

View the Latest Newsletter

Preparations are well underway for the 143rd Annual Session of the California State Grange. Click on any of the titles below for more details.

Dates: Saturday, September 22, 2018 - Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Location: Redwood Empire Fairgrounds - Ukiah, CA.

View Latest On Website

February 22, 2018

Brothers and Sisters,

As many of you know, on November 30, the California Court of Appeal issued a lengthy, well-reasoned decision affirming the state trial court's judgment declaring that the California Guild must return all Grange property to the California State Grange. The Guild appealed that decision to the California Supreme Court. Its petition for review argued that the Court of Appeal had not properly stated the law applicable to fraternal organizations like the Grange, and erred in enforcing the rules of the National Grange.

On February 14, the Supreme Court denied the Guild's petition for review. In so doing, it confirmed that the Court of Appeal's reasoning and conclusion were correct statements of the facts and California law relevant to the Grange. The Supreme Court's ruling means that the appeal in the state court is now over, and the judgment entered in the trial court is final.

The California State Grange now is moving to recover control of its property, and to seek redress for any Grange property that the Guild has spent since 2013. It has filed a motion to appoint a receiver to immediately take possession of all property held by the Guild and transfer it to the California State Grange; that motion will be heard on February 23. (Editor Note: Motion will be held on March 21st, as Judge Brown will not be available on February 23rd) The California State Grange has also filed a motion for summary judgment to establish the specific amount of Grange property that the Guild should have returned following the Charter revocation in 2013. That motion will be heard on March 5. If successful, the California State Grange will be permitted to collect money from the Guild to repay funds from Grange accounts spent by the Guild since 2013 for its own purposes. Finally, the California State Grange is analyzing its options to pursue individual officers of the Guild and other third parties to recover monies that they have wrongfully taken.

The Supreme Court's ruling represents the culmination of five long years of litigation in the state court. This victory would not have been possible without the perseverance, sacrifice, and resolute faith in our Order displayed by Grangers around the country. I want to thank every one of our brothers and sisters who helped make this victory possible, from those on the front lines in California, to the many Granges in other states whose members donated their time and money to support our efforts, to the countless Grangers who sent kind words and good thoughts that helped sustain us while we waited for the lawsuit to run its course. This great result is a tribute to all of you, and it is a vindication of the fraternal values that bind our Order together.

Now, we can begin the process of bringing the state court litigation against the Guild to an end, and returning to the work of building our Order and serving our communities, as generations of Grangers have done since 1867. Actions on the two trademark cases are still pending in federal court but we hope they will soon be resolved also. I know that, when we all come together to work to advance the ideals of our Order, we can do great things.

Fraternally yours,

Betsy E. Huber
National Grange President

Wednesday Febuary 14th, the California Supreme Court entered its order denying the Guild’s petition for review of the state court judgment that all Grange property held by the Guild belongs to the California State Grange, not the Guild. By denying the petition, the Supreme Court confirmed that the appellate court’s reasoning and conclusion in affirming the judgment were correct statements of the facts and California law relevant to the Grange. You can read the appellate court’s decision here.

The Supreme Court’s ruling means that the appeal in the state court is now over, and the judgment entered by Judge Brown is final. The California State Grange is proceeding with the steps to recover control of its property pursuant to the judgment, and to seek redress for money that the Guild spent that should have been returned to the Grange. We know that many Grangers have been confused by the “spin” put out by the Guild, and were waiting on the outcome of the appeal for clarity as to their obligations and the status of their Grange’s property. The appellate courts have now spoken, and made clear that the rules of the Order have meaning.

If your Grange is not in good standing, we urge you to carefully consider the appellate court’s ruling, including by discussing the matter with an independent attorney, so that you fully understand the ruling’s meaning and import. We sincerely hope that with the conclusion of the appeal, we can continue the process of healing the Grange in California, and bringing all Granges back into good standing. If you have any questions about how your Grange can do that, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail Ed Komski or any other member of the California State Grange’s Executive Committee.

View the Published Ruling

National Grange Legislative Fly-In 2018

Registration Now Available

Please join us in Washington, D.C. on April 15-18, 2018 as we work with the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration on National Grange policy priorities. Spring is an extremely crowded and busy time in Washington, DC. Tourists and students from around the country and abroad flock to Washington on spring trips making hotel rooms are scare.

Appointments with Representatives and Senators are a challenge to confirm, therefore the National Grange encourages those members who will be attending the 2018 Fly-In to register, reserve hotel rooms, and make Capitol Hill appointments early.

--------------------------------------------------------- Schedule

Sun. April, 15 - Arrival and check-in - Evening mix and mingle dessert social at the hotel Mon. April 16 - Issue briefings and speakers at the National Grange - Agency visits - Congressional Capitol Hill appointments Tues. April, 17 - Congressional Capitol Hill appointments - Late day/evening departures for some Wed. April 18 - Finish Congressional Capitol Hill appointments - Return home

--------------------------------------------------------- Hotel

Our hotel is the Quality Inn, 1587 Spring Hill Road, Vienna, VA 22182. Phone is (703) 448-8020. Our group rate is $109 + 12% sales tax per night. The cut-off date to make a reservation is March 15, 2018.

The Quality Inn is located just northwest of the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Vienna, VA. The hotel provides free parking and is just one block from the Metro's Silver Line for travel to downtown Washington, D.C. The hotel also provides a complimentary full breakfast Monday-Friday 6:30am - 9:30am and 7:00am - 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday.

Please make your reservations directly with the hotel and mention that you would like to book with the National Grange's block of rooms.

NOTE: The National Grange WILL release any un-booked rooms on March 15th and you WILL be on your own for housing.

For more information and online registration click here

Faith, Hope & Perseverance

This has been a defining time for the members of Jacinto Grange #431 in Willows. 57 members stood up and recovered their Hall from 2 individuals who had joined the Guild and locked out the membership.

The aggressive behavior by the Guild started last year when I was invited to Jacinto Grange to speak at their regularly scheduled meeting. Apparently worried that its propaganda would not be able to stand up to facts about what was actually happening in the California State Grange, the Guild was determined to prevent me from meeting with the Jacinto Grange members. Mr. McFarland and his followers proceeded to attempt to cancel the meeting, change the locks to the Hall, and call the sheriff. Nevertheless, the members persisted, and held the meeting in the parking lot, with Mr. McFarland and his followers bunkered down in the Grange Hall. I spoke at the meeting and took questions, and we had a very interactive meeting that left me inspired by the commitment and passion displayed by these dedicated Grangers.

On September 2, Peggy Taresh and Julie Halvik (2 former members of Jacinto Grange who had joined the Guild), with the "aid" of Mr. McFarland, Sylvia Sloan, and Bob Alvarez, took wrongful possession of the Jacinto Grange Hall and bank accounts. They did so by filing a statement of information with the California Secretary of State signed under penalty of perjury falsely stating that they were the authorized representatives of Jacinto Grange, and then filing improper amended articles of incorporation that purported to make Jacinto Grange's corporation part of the Guild. We recently have discovered that these individuals thereafter sent out at least 6 checks to the Guild from Jacinto Grange's bank account without membership knowledge or approval.

Despite the efforts of the Guild to take what had been built by generations of Grangers in Willows, the Jacinto Grange membership refused to give up. Rebecca Reed and Mayford Evans led the charge to get their Grange back. Last week, with leadership and perseverance, the goal that they set out to accomplish has been reached - they have reclaimed the Jacinto Grange Hall. The Grangers in Willows once again have their Hall to serve as their home base while they fulfill their desire to serve their community as a Grange. Please reach out to Rebecca and Mayford and the rest of the members of Jacinto Grange on their Facebook page below and congratulate them and, if you can, commit to attend their Spaghetti Dinner! The courage and commitment of Jacinto Grange in the face of the Guild's aggression speaks volumes about the spirit of the Grange as we all work to restore the California State Grange.

View Jacinto Grange Facebook page

Dear Grange Member,

Are you interested in doing business or investing in Argentina? National Grange members have been invited to participate in a Trade Mission to La Rioja and San Juan Provinces, Argentina, March 20-28, 2018. This 8-day trip will visit companies and business leaders, meet with province officials, and have time for sightseeing. Led by U.S. Members of Congress, including Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez who attended the National Grange 150th Birthday Gala in December, the tour is open to a limited number of people. Participants are only required to cover their roundtrip airfare and lodging. All internal travel, meals, seminars, and activities are covered by the trade mission.

The provinces of La Rioja and San Juan offer a wide array of distinct growing business and investment opportunities for U.S. business in key industries including agribusiness, mining, renewable energy, travel and tourism, infrastructure development, and technology services. If you have any interest in joining this trip please contact President Betsy Huber right away at betsy@nationalgrange.org, (484) 459-1957.

Find out more about this opportunity (Click Here)

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POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS

JANUARY 2018

Some Good News

The U.S economy is off to a good start this year according to the major professional services and accounting from CliftonLarsonAllen. Here are several factors that will influence the 2018 economy:

Positives
• Employment is strong
• Housing market is firm
• Risk of recession appears low
• Consumer and small business confidence is high
• U.S. corporate earnings are positive

Negatives
• Stocks and bonds 7-10 year returns are expected to be lower than historical averages
• Geopolitical risks (terrorism) are present
• U.S. policy uncertainty (trade, health care, immigration, etc.)

President Trump Speaks to Rural America

In April, 2017, President Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. On January 8, 2018, the President and Secretary Perdue traveled to Nashville where the President delivered his Rebuilding Rural America address, his first major speech targeted toward agriculture and rural areas. The President and Secretary Perdue took this opportunity to unveil the task force recommendations to the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau. While there, the President also signed two executive orders making rural Broadband connectivity a priority of the Administration. Burton Eller was invited to represent the National Grange as a VIP guest of the White House for the President's speech and signing of the executive orders.

The major Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity recommendations are:
• Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America (fundamental catalyst to transform rural America)
• Improving Quality of Life (education, health services, rural housing, infrastructure, community resiliency)
• Supporting a Rural Workforce (available, reliable, trained, skilled, educated)
• Harnessing Technological Innovation (sound science, biotechnology, research, development, productivity)
• Developing the Rural Economy (access to capital, natural resources, regulatory reform, global market, infrastructure, tax reform)

Farm Bill

Work Officially Begins

The House Agriculture Committee plans to officially begin work February 14 on the 2018 Farm Bill. Unofficial work on the bill has been ongoing for months at the staff and leadership levels at both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. As Grangers know, farm bill legislation covers much more than farms and farmers; it also includes conservation, trade, forestry, energy, credit for beginning farmers, infrastructure, jobs, research, and nutrition. In fact, 80 percent of farm bill spending is for food assistance and feeding programs. The more traditional role of the farm bill protects against farm losses due to natural disasters through disaster assistance and crop insurance. It also provides a cushion for the individual producer who suffers a poor yield or low prices through a series of farm payment programs tied to specific commodities.

Dairy and Cotton "Fixes"

The safety net /loss protection programs for dairy and cotton in the last farm bill have not worked as envisioned. As a result, dairy and cotton producers have suffered disproportionate price loss compared to other commodities. Lawmakers hope to address stronger provisions for dairy and cotton in a disaster relief bill or an omnibus spending bill to get these costly provisions out of the way before the farm bill debate heats up. Should that not happen, dairy and cotton could become stumbling blocks in farm bill negotiations later on.

Food Stamps and Crop Insurance in Play

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, continues to consume the lion's share of farm bill expenditures with 42 million people receiving SNAP benefits. USDA and some Republican members of Congress are looking at work requirements for able-bodied SNAP recipients. Another large farm bill expense item is crop insurance where USDA subsidizes premium costs to the producer. Several groups and some Democratic members of Congress are calling for an annual subsidy cap of $50,000. With calls from constituents to fund new farm bill programs and expand crop insurance for beginning farmers, vegetable growers and organic producers amid tough budget constraints, Congress will be challenged to find savings wherever they can. SNAP and crop insurance will be major hurdles for farm bill negotiations. The $1.5 trillion tax cut passed by Congress last month could make passing a farm bill more difficult by starving programs of funds.

Health Care

ObamaCare Becomes More Acceptable

Congress has steadily been taking the sting out of ObamacCare. In the last two months, they have repealed the law's insurance mandate and delayed a slew of controversial taxes including the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost private health plans. More popular provisions of the law, including subsidies to help people buy coverage, expansion of Medicaid, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, remain in place. People who qualify for the subsidies can find affordable coverage but those who do not qualify face much higher premium costs.

CHIP Agreement Passed

With strong bipartisan support, Congress has extended the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2023. The $124 billion federal expenditure will provide six years coverage to nearly 9 million children and 275,000 pregnant women.

Work Requirements for Medicaid?

Guidelines could be released soon by the Trump Administration to require Medicaid recipients to work in order to receive coverage. Work requirements would only take effect if a state chooses to apply for a waiver from the federal government to impose work requirements. Currently nine states are applying to impose work requirements.

Immigration

Immigration Shutters the Government

While not readily apparent to the public, the three day government shutdown in mid-January was more about immigration than funding the government. The bottom line was that Senate minority Leader Schumer (R-NY) and President Trump reached an impasse on an immigration deal. Schumer wanted to protect 700,000 so-called Dreamer/DACA immigrants from deportation and offered the President a $25 billion border wall. We're not sure what the President's counter offer was, but it caused Schumer to pull back his border wall offer and the federal government closed down for three days.

Congress Looks for Agreement

Behind the scenes, lawmakers from both parties continue to look for common agreement ground. A bipartisan group of Senators, Flake (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), and Graham (R-SC), are working on a deal that includes legal protection for Dreamers, border security, and restrictions on family migration also known as "chain migration." On the House side, a group of 150 representatives are supporting a bill by Goodlatte, (R-VA), Labrador, (R-ID), McSally (R-AZ) and McCaul, (R-TX).

Their package would allow DACA recipients a three-year renewal of legal status, but with no special pathway to citizenship (though they could apply for citizenship through normal legal pathways). It would also reduce legal immigration by 25 percent, add border control agents, and deny certain funding to so-called "sanctuary cities". The big question is whether Congress will attempt major comprehensive immigration reform or settle for a few targeted reforms like Dreamers and border wall.

Ag Workers Included

The House bill also includes the AG Act that was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee in October and strongly supported by the agriculture and food communities. The AG Act creates a new H-2C program that authorizes a 2-year work permit for work in agriculture, establishes an E-Verify system, caps worker numbers at 450,000 and requires health insurance coverage. The National Grange is a member of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and is working to include the AG Act in any immigration legislation considered by Congress.

Infrastructure

Legislation to upgrade our nation's neglected highways, bridges, broadband, locks, dams, water systems and other public assets may have a good chance to garner bipartisan support from Congress. The tax bill is done. Next come the budget (the continuing resolution expires February 8) and immigration battles. Infrastructure brings up the rear of major legislative initiatives for 2018 and is far less partisan than taxes, budgets and immigrants. Every congressional district has serious infrastructure concerns.

President Trump pushed his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan in his State of The Union address. His plan calls for 25 percent of infrastructure funding to be devoted to rural areas defined as areas with less than 50,000 population. A key question is how much funding would come from the federal government and how much would need to be funded by public-private partnerships. The National Grange is a member of the Rebuild Rural Coalition which is pushing for several rural infrastructure priorities including rural Broadband deployment.

A Touch of Common Sense

"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire

"It is the ability to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humor." - Max Eastman

"Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings." - Publilius Syrus

"The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are hard work, stick-to-itiveness and common sense." - Thomas Edison

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people." - W.C. Fields

Please join us in Washington, DC on April 15 - 18, 2018 as we begin our work with the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration on National Grange priorities.

CLICK HERE FOR HOTEL, SCHEDULE AND ONLINE REGISTRATION!

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org


January 2018



Dear Grange Member,

Now that you've had time to build excitement for our 2018 Grange Month theme, "That's the Grange Way," it's time to place your orders for supplies and share your Grange pride with everyone! Order online now at The New Grange Store at Monroe Classic or download the order form and submit by MARCH 1.

GRANGE MONTH PROMOTIONAL ITEMS ORDER FORM

DOWNLOAD A FREE POSTER TO PROMOTE YOUR EVENT

This year, instead of a Grange Month Participation Form, we have created a Grange Health Survey and encourage every Grange to complete and return the survey as soon as possible. You will receive direct tips and suggestions based on your responses.

GRANGE HEALTH SURVEY

We'd also love to hear from each and every one of our members, and help us define the Grange in our 150th year! What is "The Grange Way?"

SUBMIT YOUR RESPONSE HERE!

Finally, don't forget to get a few copies of Good Day! magazine to share with potential members at your Grange Month event!

ORDER A GOOD DAY! MAGAZINE ONLINE TODAY!


The revised National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry Digest of Laws, 2018 Edition, that applies to all Granges of the Order, including Junior, Subordinate, State and Pomona's, is available for free download on the National Grange website. Click below to save or print the PDF.

You may also order a printed copy of the Digest through the Grange Supply Store for $20 plus shipping. It includes all 112 pages with cover hole punched and bound in a three-ring binder that allows you to quickly slip in updated pages as they become available each year.

There were few changes in 2018, mainly regarding language about trusts, now referred to as custodial accounts. Please do take time to familiarize yourself with the Digest.

Download Digital Version of Digest



IN THIS ISSUE:

• Get ready to share 'Grange Way' in 2018
• Get ready for Grange Month!
• Have you missed us? Special double issue to arrive in mail soon
• Youth Focus: Community Service Award
• Make plans to attend a region conference • Trump, Purdue make rural broadband a priority
• Program possibilities abound from Lecturer
• Legislative Fly-In 2018
• Grange Month Community Citizen and Public Service Awards
• 2018 Subordinate Grange Survey
• Proclaim Grange's great Legacy in 2018!
• Fundraiser: Grange Foundation challenge coins
• 2018 Quilt Block Contest
• 2018 National Grange Photography Showcase
• 2018 Evening of Excellence participants guidelines
• National Grange Building Fund pledge form
• 1 in 1,000 Club of the Grange Foundation

View the Latest Newsletter


POLICY UPDATES AND ISSUE NEWS

Looking Back and Looking Ahead


The nation's capital has been an interesting place throughout 2017 to say the least. Donald Trump shocked a large portion of the American public to become our 45th President. After his inauguration, it took the FBI an inordinate amount of time to run background checks on his cabinet and subcabinet appointees because of heightened security concerns. Some appointees still have not been confirmed.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue emerged as a popular and respected spokesman for agriculture and rural residents. The farmer, businessman and former governor now serving as Secretary appears to have the President's ear on USDA matters and he's very popular in the countryside. The President and Secretary are keeping campaign promises to reduce burdensome regulations and rein-in government overreach for producers and landowners.

President Trump has the most exercised thumbs in the history of the Presidency. His tweets have set a new precedent for social media, public policy, diplomacy and the presidency. He continues to keep Washington and the media off guard.

The Republicans controlled both the Senate and the House of Representatives during 2017. Yet healthcare reform went down in flames. The legislative process moved at a snail's pace all year. Tax reform eventually passed both houses along party lines and was signed by the President. The final tax package will require considerable time and expertise to analyze. The jury is still out on the new law's benefits. Several pieces of "must-do" legislation were kicked into January, including the FY'18 budget, debt ceiling and fate of the young immigrant "Dreamers" who were brought to the United States as children without documentation.

The National Grange had fun early in the year observing Washingtonians learn how to spell R-U-R-A-L again. The rural vote that pushed President Trump to victory suddenly captured the attention of writers, broadcasters, political pundits, public policy wonks and so-called "coastal elites". Farmers, ranchers, small businesses, rural residents and small town Americans suddenly were rediscovered.

It's interesting to note that numerous individuals and organizations claim to speak about rural America, speak into rural America, speak from rural America and supposedly speak for rural America. Yet the Grange is the primary organization speaking as rural America's farmer, rancher, rural resident and small town citizen.

Moving into 2018, Washington's political climate could deteriorate further as politicians focus on mid-term elections. Democrats believe they can recapture the House and are keeping their eyes on the Senate. Bipartisan compromise on the budget, federal deficit, welfare reform, infrastructure, immigration, healthcare and a farm bill could be illusive.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) will remain part of the farm bill under Agriculture Committee jurisdiction. SNAP reforms will be keenly bipartisan and are expected to be relatively modest such as preventing duplicative SNAP benefits and taking a look at able-bodied adults without dependents on SNAP benefit rolls.

Senate Republicans now have only a one vote 51-49 majority after Democrat Doug Jones prevailed in the recent Alabama election. Not all senators of either party agree on every issue. Therefore, major pieces of legislation moving through the Senate in 2018 may require bipartisan negotiation to pass.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) will remain part of the farm bill under Agriculture Committee jurisdiction. SNAP reforms will be keenly bipartisan and are expected to be relatively modest such as preventing duplicative SNAP benefits and taking a look at able-bodied adults without dependents on SNAP benefit rolls.

Government Funding, Budget, Shutdown Deadline and Disaster Aid

Congress ran home for Christmas without resolving spending battles and deadlines. That means lawmakers have to work diligently to avoid a government shutdown by January 19 when the short term continuing resolution expires. Democrats may not agree to a funding deal to keep the government running without a deal to protect young immigrants, the "Dreamers", from being exported beginning in March.

Lawmakers of both parties are also under pressure to increase the budget caps and prevent automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration. A deal will be difficult to negotiate with both sides battling over defense vs. nondefense spending increases. If a deal can be reached, congressional appropriators can work on a package to fund the government through next September.

The Senate failed to take up a House-passed disaster relief bill for hurricane, flood and wildfire victims before Christmas. Battles between states for funding levels will have to be resolved by home-state Senators before aid can be approved.

Health Care

A surprisingly high number of people signed up under ObamaCare during the recent enrollment period. Health care professionals suggest that a core group of people wants health insurance even though it is a smaller and less functional program than originally hoped for. The zeal for repealing the law appears to be fading somewhat in Congress. Congress might actually take bipartisan steps to mend the law in 2018 starting with efforts to stabilize insurance markets.

Legislation authored by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and signed into law by president Trump will add skilled nursing facilities to the Rural Health Care Program. Skilled nursing facilities provide the same services that are traditionally housed at hospitals but are often remote from doctors and sophisticated laboratory and testing facilities. This new program addition will provide vital health care services in remote areas with little or no access to many types of doctors and specialists through high-capacity broadband connectivity.

Our nation's opioid epidemic shows no signs of abatement in the drug crisis facing Americans according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths in 2016 was 21 percent higher than 2015. The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (drugs such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol) doubled from 2015 to 2016.

As we reported last month, a Morning Consult study sponsored by the American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union found that, • 74% of farmers and farm workers say they have been directly impacted by the opioid epidemic • 3 in 4 farmers say it is easy to access large amounts of opioids without a prescription • Only 1 in 3 rural adults say it would be easy to access drug addiction treatment

The AFBF and NFU have now launched a campaign to provide access to information and resources that can help struggling farm families and rural communities; see the website, www.FarmTownStrong.org.

National Grange president Betsy Huber released a statement in December commending the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on their proposed Medicare Part D rule aimed at driving down out-of-pocket costs at pharmacies. The rule will make it harder for Pharmacy Benefit Managers to pocket rebates and discounts intended for consumers and help ensure these savings actually get to patients.

Telecommunications

The National Grange is intrigued by a new possibility to close the rural broadband gap by using TV "white spaces" spectrum. These are vacant channels that use TV frequencies that are generally cheaper than fiber optic cable. Using unlicensed low band spectrum below 700 Mhz, signals can travel over hills and through buildings to deliver broadband connectivity. Of the 34 million Americans that lack a broadband connection, over 23 million live in rural areas.

Early in December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal a set of two-year-old regulations patterned after 1930's telephone utility anti-monopoly statutes. Known as "net neutrality", these rules required internet providers to treat web content equally. Under the FCC's new plan, broadband providers can tier internet speeds for websites based on user-traffic and charge extra for access to content such as Netflix and Facebook.

One of the National Grange's major policy priorities is to expand high speed connectivity to homes, schools, libraries, farms ranches, businesses, hospitals, clinics and first responders in rural and small town America. The reason rural residents don't have broadband now is because of the ole "pay for" rule; there just aren't enough of us to pay the capitol expense of getting us connected under a utility-based system like net neutrality. We may have to pay a little more for the broadband investment in rural areas that weren't financially viable before. For rural and small town America, the argument is all about getting connected, not how fast Snapchat or the latest games and music apps download.

Tax Reform

Legislation to reform the tax code is now history and becomes part of the law of the land. For tax payers, there appears to be some winners, some losers and a draw for others. The majority of new tax provisions will sunset (expire) at some point over the next ten years. If the economy stalls, the sunset provisions will likely kick in. If the economy improves, certain tax code provisions can be extended by Congress.

The agriculture community is generally pleased with the net results of the tax bill. Of course, not all agricultural producers and small business owners are affected the same way by tax law changes. The best advice is to consult your accountants and tax advisors.

Here are some key provisions of the new tax law for Grangers:


• Individual tax rates - Seven brackets, lower rates for most taxpayers (10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, 37%)
• Personal standard deduction - Doubled to $12,000 for single and $24,000 for married joint filers
• "Pass-through" business income tax treatment for farms, self-employed workers and small businesses - Deduction allowed for 20% of "pass-through income, up from 15% deduction for most tax payers, which will likely lower farmers' effective tax rate
• Estate or "death" taxes - Exemption doubled from $5.1 million to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for qualifying couples
• Child tax credit - Doubled to $2,000 credit for each child.
• Mortgage interest deduction - Threshold lowered from $1,000,000 to $750,000 for new mortgages
• State and local tax deduction - Deduction capped at $10,000
• Corporate tax rate - Lowered to 21% from 35%
• Cash accounting - Cash accounting is preserved for agriculture and small business
• Section 179 expense - Deduction raised from $500,000 to $1,000,000 indexed for inflation; allows a producer to expense rather than depreciate capital purchases of machinery, property (except structures) and software
• Net operating losses (NOL) - Allows two years carryback for farms
• Capital gains - Unchanged (up to 23.8%)

The National Grange neither supported nor opposed the tax bill as it moved through Congress. The priority for the Grange was to assure the best tax advantage possible for Grange members.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Call Burton Eller, at (202) 628-3507 ext. 114 or email beller@nationalgrange.org