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Industry Leaders to Speak at 144th National Grange Convention

By Barbara Covington Jones, National Grange Press Release (11/2/10)

  NOVEMBER 6, 2010 --

Several dynamic industry leaders will speak at the 144 th Annual Convention of the National Grange, which is being held Nov. 9-13 in Charlotte, NC at the Hilton University Place Hotel. President/Master Ed Luttrell (Sandy, OR) says, “Our speakers are individuals who are working on the same issues as the Grange, which are the same critical issues facing all of us,” and we are pleased to have them address our members.

On Wed., Nov. 10, three speakers will address the members at the Convention. At 8:00 a.m., Johnny C. Wynne, Ph.D., dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University, will speak at the Salute to Agriculture Breakfast. He has been a faculty member since 1968 and taught plant breeding and conducted research until 1989, when he was appointed head of the Crop Science Department. He is a North Carolina native with BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees from NC State University.

At the Ag Luncheon at 12:15 p.m., Kathleen Franco, executive director of public policy, AT&T Services, Inc., will speak on “Broadband Access for Rural America.” She is responsible for regulatory policy for core retail and consumer broadband services. Prior to joining AT&T, she served as a legal advisor at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ms. Franco is a graduate of the Georgetown University Center and Boston College.

At 7:30 p.m., Amanda Nolz, contributing editor, BEEF News, will address youth members. Attracting almost 400,000 hits in its first year, her daily blog posts at beefmagazine.com have become an industry favorite. She has become one of the industry’s most recognizable and vocal advocates. Amanda was the 2006 National Beef Ambassador and led the walkout at a Carrie Underwood concert. Today, she dedicates her career to the agriculture industry, working on behalf of America’s beef producers.

On Sat., Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m., Robin Dickson, president and CEO, Dogs for the Deaf, will conduct a demonstration. She is one of the founders of Assistance Dogs International, a coalition group of Assistance Dog training centers from all around the world. Her father started Dogs for the Deaf and she joined him in business in 1981. In 1986, she became president and CEO of the company. Robin also chairs the Testing Committee of Assistance Dogs International, which developed the criteria for ensuring that dogs are safe and unobtrusive in public places and also developed the test for Assistance Dog Certification Training.

Established in 1867, the National Grange is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization and meets annually to confer the Seventh Degree, the highest Degree of the Order; to develop its legislative policy for the coming year, and to recognize the talents of its members. There are over 200,000 members in 2,700 communities in 40 states throughout the United States.


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