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Maryland Grange Welcomes National Master, Presents Awards

By Laurie Savage, Lancaster Farming (10/30/10)

  OCTOBER 30, 2010 --

The Maryland State Grange welcomed a national Grange master for the first time in history to the organization’s 136th annual session.

National Grange Master Ed Luttrell of Oregon gave his address during the state Grange’s Agriculture and Awards Banquet Friday, Oct. 22, at the American Legion.

He said family, community and agriculture are the keystones of America and the Grange, which is why the organization is successful and has been on the national level for 144 years.

Starting out with family, Luttrell explained that families left Europe to settle in America and from there packed their wagons and headed west.

They chose as a family to move to a new place, he said.

Next, he discussed community, saying that families settle and draw together as communities. The future of America lies in communities, not local, state or federal governments.

Our problems are going to be solved by local people coming together, he said.

The last aspect of the big three, agriculture, is important to so many even though so few are involved directly in the industry. While between 1 and 2 percent of the population are directly involved, all of us enjoy good food.

Agriculture is a part of this country, Luttrell said. It is at our peril to allow people to forget our heritage.

The national master said Grangers don’t think about what they cannot do, they think big and jump right into projects before worrying about the small details.

Young people and old people, we come together, he said, adding that he believes the future of America and the Grange are bright.

The bright future of the Maryland Grange was evident during the recognition portion of the evening program.

Nancy Wolfe, co-chairwoman of the membership committee, said the Calvert, Medford and Thurmont Granges all brought new members on board for the second year in a row.

Kay Summers said she received eight entries in the community involvement competition. Judges took three hours to deliberate over which Granges were most successful in being an integral part of the community. The results were as follows: New Market, first; Calvert, second; Thurmont, third; Wacohu, fourth; Linganore, fifth; Glade Valley, sixth; Medford, seventh; and Brandywine, eighth.

We do a lot of things, we’re a proud group, said Maryland State Grange Master Maurice Wiles.

Scholarships were presented to 13 students. They were Jessica Clarke, West Virginia University; Amber Mills, Hagerstown Community College; Ashley Stevens, University of Maryland, College Park; Karen Crum, University of Maryland, College Park; Adam Holter, Shepherd University; Sam Baseley, Oklahoma State University; Richard Stonebraker, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; Jason Talbert, Pennsylvania College of Technology; Carroll Zentz, Towson University; Karen DeLauter, Frederick Community College; Jessica Lambert, Frederick Community College; Matthew Ripley, Frederick Community College; and Ashley Smith, Frederick Community College.

Deaf scholarships were presented to Kelly Hauprich and London Foley, McDaniel College.

Paul Stull, outgoing Maryland delegate, received a certificate for 16 years of service to the state.

The Maryland Grange presented the Service to Maryland Agriculture award to Caryl Velisek, a longtime reporter for the Delmarva Farmer newspaper. Along with her husband, Augie, she raised beef and five children. She also served as secretary for the Maryland Angus Association for 18 years and in 2006 wrote a book, I Studied to be an Opera Singer — But I Married a Cowboy.

Monica Ripley of the Linganore Grange received the Maryland State Grange Youth Award for working on her local Grange’s youth night and participating in state youth activities.

The Granger of the Year honoree was Nancy Wolfe of the Brandywine Grange. Wolfe has served Grange on all levels, participated in the Grange exchange program and was even a Grange princess.

I just love the Grange, she declared.

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