More than 50 delegates debated and weighed in on about 160 resolutions from Granges throughout the nation during the 145th Annual National Grange Convention held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Of the initial resolutions submitted ranging from internal definitions for membership to large-scale agriculture and rural access issues, more than 50 became National Grange policy through delegate action from Nov. 6 through 10.
Dairy pricing, postal reform and expansion of rural broadband were just three areas in which new policy was adopted.
During the legislating process the delegates worked intensely on updating National Grange policy on several controversial issues such as U.S. Postal Service Reform, the build-out of broadband in rural areas and dairy pricing issues whose regional diversities can prove difficult to reach consensus on.
As the U.S. Postal Service continues to press for Congressional action on needed reforms, National Grange delegates reinforced their support for six-day mail delivery but committed to actively supporting necessary reforms and business model flexibility to preserve the 200-year-old agency that is so vital to rural Americans.
Grange delegates also collaborated to produce a state-of-the-art policy supporting America’s Broadband Connectivity Plan and a new funding mechanism that will help provide the universal service of high-speed internet to all Americans regardless of where they chose to live.
National Grange President Ed Luttrell said the convention was successful, both in terms of policy creation and fraternal spirit.
“The members of our Order were able to come together and express their views on issues important to themselves and their neighbors in a very poignant manner, work witheach other to create policy for which we’ll advocate on the national level, and do so with a mutual respect and in a dignified manner,” Luttrell said.
National Grange Legislative Director Nicole Palya Wood said the actions of the delegates reflects a true focus on the betterment of rural America and quality of life for those in the field of agriculture.
“I am incredibly proud of the diligence of our members to address controversial and regional issues in such a cohesive manor. Congress could learn something from National Grange delegates and how we establish policy on such a wide ranges of issues,” Wood said. “This year we have seen some great movement in the areas of rural broadband build-out, and the preservation of the U.S. Postal Service remains a top priority for the Grange.”
Established in 1867, The National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With more
than 2,700 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nation’s leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 200,000 members across 37 states. For more information on the National Grange, visit our website at www.nationalgrange.org.