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Around The Grange
Grange seeks new members

By Wally Robinson, Reminder News

  APRIL 2009 --

The Stafford Grange #1 is so-named for the simple and straightforward reason that it was the first Grange established in the State of Connecticut, way back in 1874.  Members of the long-standing agricultural organization met on Jan. 20 at the Grange Hall to discuss plans and projects for the up-coming year.
Though membership in Stafford Grange #1 has dwindled in recent years, as more and more area farms have given way to development, the current roster of 46 members is no less dedicated and enthusiastic about the organization and its activities than their predecessors.  The group now includes non-farming rural family members who either grew up on farms or are simply interested in the activities offered by the Stafford Grange.
There are now fewer than a dozen active farms in the area, the largest of which is Avery Farm on the border between Stafford and Somers.  Myron Avery is the current owner and serves as Overseer of the Grange.  “My ancestors got the property in a land grant from King George the Third,” Avery said proudly, “and it’s been family-owned and operated ever since.  At the moment, I’ve got a herd of 50 registered Herefords, imported from England.”
The National Grange, with some 3000,000 members in 37 states, was founded in the years following the American Civil War, to give farmers and rural families a unified voice in Washington, D.C.  It was one of the first organizations to admit women on the basis of equality with men, and founded the Rural Free Mail Delivery System.
Current issues important to the Grange are climate control, farmland preservation, roads and infrastructure, rural schools, dairy issues and food safety.
The Grange is also a fraternal and social organization.  Before the meeting, members enjoyed a slide show on English horticulture by Joanne Noris os Stafford Springs.  A high school biology teacher in Wethersfield, Noris put together the program while on a field trip to Great Britain.
Stafford Grange #1 is actively seeking new members.  For more information, contact Myron Avery at 749-9781.

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