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National Grange: Healthy Granges

By Betsy Huber, National Grange President/Master

  APRIL 3, 2018 --

The annual National Grange conference for State Masters took place in Oregon the first weekend of March.  The theme that developed was Healthy Granges – both Community and State Granges.

The State Masters were given a list of signs of a healthy State Grange to assist them in setting goals for the year.  They also reviewed the 2018 Subordinate Grange Survey that was part of the Grange Month materials on our website and was included in the last couple issues of Patron Chain (and available in the current issue of Patrons Chain).  You can fill it out online at tiny.cc/GrangeHealth.

This is a survey for you to use to take a look at your Grange and measure some qualities and characteristics that make it healthy or show a need for intensive care.

Check out this survey, fill it out and send it to National Grange, 1616 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006.  Some State Granges have also said they will participate and wish to receive survey results as well to provide more direct assistance or feedback for Granges in their states.  Any surveys sent to National Grange will automatically be forwarded to your State Granges as well.

After you send your survey to us, you will receive a response from us with ideas on how to improve those negatives to make your Grange healthier.

Nobody likes to be sick, and likewise nobody wants to belong to an organization that is ailing.  Reviewing this survey, taking a fresh look at your Community Grange, may help you to take some small steps to improve and help you be more attractive to new members.  

Some of the items may be obvious signs of health – taking in new members in the past few years, or not struggling to have a quorum of 7 present.

But others may not be as clear.  Why do you need a regular change in leadership to be healthy?  When a leader is in office for a long time it is a deterrent to others, making them doubt if they can do the job.

The same projects may be repeated every year even if they are less successful as time goes on.  New leaders bring new ideas, a fresh outlook, excitement, and new connections to your Grange.

Sponsoring a Junior Grange is a sign of health – but so is a relationship with our local FFA, 4H, NJHA, Scouts or other youth service club.  Families may be attracted to the Grange because they can participate together, rather than sending the kids off to a club on their own.

One thing to know is while there are certainly answers that are cause for concern, there are no wrong answers – only the trust as your Grange lives it.  And answering the question like “do you have fewer than 13 members” affirmatively will not result in negative action to your Grange.  Instead, it will allow us to start a dialogue about what we can provide (National and State Granges) to you and what you see as your biggest challenges and greatest potential.

With Grange month upon us, why not take a few minutes at your Grange meeting to review the survey with your fellow members and decide on one or two items to improve on to make your Grange healthier this year.

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