News Archives - 2015

This page is the archive for news stories that appeared in 2015. As news becomes dated, it is moved to the News Archives. Click on the title to expand news article, or click to collapse news article. It should be noted that if the story contained links outside of this website that the links may no longer function. We have no control over non-affiliated websites.

Both the National Grange and the California State Grange extend holiday greetings to all of our members in California and across the nation.

The California State Grange just received its IRS determination letter granting our application for 501 (c) (10) tax-exempt status. The effective date is 2/21/14 with an accounting period ending Dec 31.

Under this provision, donors can deduct contributions they make to us exclusively for the charitable purposes specified in Section 170 (c) (4). For more information about what it means to be a 501 (c) (10) exempt organization, please visit the IRS website (Click Here).

If you want to be under our group policy, it's easy. Just write us a letter letting us know you would like to be part of the group exemption. Details on how to word the letter will be forthcomming shortly. For more information about group exemption requirements and procedures, see Publication 4573, Group Exemptions.

If you have any questions,please contact

Lillian Booth, CSG Secretary, lbooth@CaStateGrange.org

Dear California Grangers,

I have received many, many personal emails from Grangers over the past four weeks and I'm so sorry I have not been able to answer every one individually. The work load in this new job has been overwhelming and, while the California situation is vitally important to me, other duties are also important and have been demanding my time.

I know the Grange means a lot to you; I can tell from the passionate messages I have received. I know this is an emotional issue and I appreciate the pain it has caused all of us. I care deeply about all of our Grange members, but I care even more about our 148 year old organization. Its bylaws and procedures have stood the test of time, and I respect them.

I regret that the disagreements between the National Grange leadership and the former California State Grange leadership have caused so much pain and confusion for local Granges and members in California. I am trying to clear up the confusion and misinformation that continues.

Both legal cases-the State case against the former CA leadership and the Federal trademark infringement case-have been decided in favor of the National Grange. The likelihood of any appeals changing that fact is remote. The chartered California State Grange with Master Ed Komski is the official, recognized State Grange in CA. There will be no negotiation or mediation on that fact. Community Granges that wish to continue to be a Grange need to take advantage of the financial benefit that the reconciliation plan offers and return to the umbrella of the Grange organization.

The National Grange has no authority to take over any Grange halls in CA or revoke any charters. The authority to oversee Community Granges is delegated to the State Grange under our bylaws. I'm sure Ed Komski would agree with me that we do not want Grange buildings-we want vibrant, active groups of Grangers continuing to serve their communities. We want brothers and sisters working together across your state, not always agreeing on policies, but discussing and finding consensus by majority rule. There cannot be two State Granges in CA. Those who wish to be Grangers need to make the decision to return to good standing with the chartered CA State Grange.

I sincerely hope the new year will see a unified, animated, energetic, vital group of Grangers working for the betterment of all citizens of California and the U.S. May you all enjoy happy holidays with your families and friends.

Fraternally,

Betsy E. Huber, President
National Grange

Dear California Grange Member,

One of my first priorities as National Master will be to resolve the legal and managerial issues the National Grange has in the State of California. I am going to approach this very important task with three guiding principles: First, the rules of the National Grange must be respected. We are an organization of laws that have helped us govern our conduct and promote our mutual interests for almost 150 years. These rules work, and should be followed.

Second, each and every member of the Grange must be respected as well. We are an organization of people who need to be able to count on each other for honesty and fair-dealing. Third, the time for re-arguing the past is over. Much has been said and written, and re-written and said again. Nothing more can be added to the past. My interest is in putting the past where it belongs, by following our rules, the rule of law, and the rules of civility.

My largest concern in addressing this issue lies with the individual local members in California and their subordinate Granges, many of whom have been upset or confused and are looking for the National and State Grange to show a clear way to return to the regular order. Every decision I make will be with individual Grange members in mind. I want to grow our membership and return all members to a position of good standing.

In order to do this, the litigation must end. The first step toward any reconciliation is for the parties to withdraw their appeals and allow the final judgments to be entered. The National Grange is perfectly satisfied with how the courts have stated what the various parties' legal rights and interests are - and we are willing to work within the courts' rulings. I will instruct our attorneys to make this clear to the court and the lawyers representing the other side.

Second, we want to create a path to reinstatement for those individual members - and subordinate Granges - who are not in good standing in California. Again, to be forward looking means we do not have to ask why you are not in good standing with the California and National Grange: just that we are here to help you return to good standing. I am interested in everyone's ideas on the best way to accomplish this.

And last, there will need to be a very serious effort of re-integration of Grange assets in California into the National system. This will not happen overnight, and can only happen with the voluntary cooperation of others and continuing the work that has ensured the National Grange has had a continuous presence in California. By the end of this year, it is my hope that everyone who wants to be a member of the National Grange and the California State Grange is a member of the National Grange and the California State Grange. And soon thereafter, it is my goal that the assets and operations of the California State Grange will be under one roof, operated under our rules with respect and civility.

I want to end by expressing sincere thanks to former National Master Ed Luttrell for his commitment to the National Grange and its history. I also want to thank those of you who have entrusted this job to me. I will be relying on all of youin the important weeks ahead. And I say to the individual members of the Grange in the State of California: I look forward to seeing you again and working with you in 2016 as we start our 149th year together.

Fraternally,

Betsy Huber, President National Grange

During the 149th Annual Session of the National Grange, delegates from each state elected a new slate of national officers. Among this group was Betsy Huber, the newly elected President and the first woman to hold that office in the history of the organization.



Huber is currently employed by the Pennsylvania State Grange as the Government Relations Director where she works to advance the policies of the Grange within the PA State Legislature. She is a member of Chester-Delaware County Pomona Grange #3 and Goshen Grange #121. Betsy started her Grange involvement at a very young age as a member of the Juvenile (now known as Junior) Grange. She has held numerous positions with her local Grange and with the Pennsylvania State Grange, including serving eight years as President, the first woman to hold that position.

As the National Grange President, Huber will work with the National Grange staff to advance Grange policies in Washington D.C.; as well as oversee the day to day operations of the organization. The Grange, legislative work, and agriculture have always been an important part of her life. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Grange (chairperson 2007-14) and is also the executive secretary for the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Association. She has also held various positions in the agricultural community that include serving on the boards of the PA State Council of Farm Organizations (President 2011-12), the Governor's Census 2010 Advisory Panel, the PA Department of Agriculture Fertilizer Advisory Committee, the PA Department of Environmental Protection Ag Advisory Board (Chair 2007), and PA Farm Link. She was employed as district aide to State Representative Arthur D. Hershey from 1992-2002.

She has also served her community as township supervisor for Upper Oxford Township for 24 years, chairman of the Township Agricultural Security Area Advisory Committee, treasurer of the Chester County Association of Township Officials and as member of the PSATS Land Use Committee and Resolutions Committee. She has also served the Avondale Presbyterian Church as Elder, Deacon, Trustee and choir member.

Huber was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees by the delegates from agricultural societies in 2005 and serves on the Committee on Outreach, Development, and Community Relations and the Governance and Long Range Planning Committee.

The Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, non-partisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. With a strong history in grassroots activism, family values and community service, the Grange is recognized as America's number one rural family organization. There are nearly 80,000 members in 2000 local community Granges across 41 states. It is the oldest agricultural and rural organization of its kind in the United States.

This issue of the California Granger (issue #4) is being issued in an electronic format only. Because the number of copies being printed are become beyond the scope of hand folding, stuffing and labeling, we have been looking at new options for distribution of the California Granger. Instead of delaying this issue any longer, we are publishing it in a eFormat only at this time. Please feel free to forward the link to other members in your Grange. (Link to Issue #4)

Grange property in Mr. McFarland’s control be used only for routine business expenses. This injunction was necessary to protect the Grange property until it is turned over to the reorganized California State Grange pursuant to the Court’s order on the National Grange’s motion for summary judgment. As I write this, I know that as these events unfold it will be cause for mixed emotions for many California Grangers, grief and sadness for some, relief for many, uncertainty and fear for others. I understand and respect that this has been a hard fight and has stirred deep emotions.

Here is what I want to say to you. The Grange is a big fraternity, a big tent, one that has room for Grangers of many different opinions, beliefs and backgrounds, but who share a common desire to be part of the Grange family. I want to encourage as many of you as possible to stay as Grangers and keep your local work going in Grange halls all across California.

President Lincoln’s words are in my mind: “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the . . . wounds.”

I have put forward a reinstatement program for subordinate Granges that provides amnesty for all past dues that have been paid to Mr. McFarland’s organization, rather than to the Grange as required under the rules of the Order. Granges that elect to participate in the program will be restored to good standing upon payment of the current quarters dues to the California State Grange. I’m now extending that program to December 31st because I realize many Granges need to meet together, discuss what has happened and the impact of the federal and state court rulings, which are now law. I know that takes time. I want to offer myself to be available to come to meetings of Granges, answer your questions and hear from you directly. We have a road to take together here, to heal the rifts and wounds. I need your help to do that. I will shortly put out more information about how local Granges can take part in the reinstatement program and go about your business as local Granges, doing your good work in your local communities.

I welcome hearing from you,

Ed Komski, CSG President

Information regarding the California State Grange’s amnesty/reinstatement program is available to Granges that have paid their dues to the McFarland Group in the past. We are doing everything possible to ensure that the California State Grange provides Subordinate Granges with every opportunity to secure the participation of its youth Fair Participants in the Fairs throughout the State. We want without question to support and encourage every Grange’s youth participation. As you know, the youth are closely supervised and taught to follow the rules. As I am sure you can understand, it is a totally inappropriate message to send to the youth that the basic principal of actually being a member of the organization you represent does not need to be followed. Furthermore, as Subordinate Granges NOT in Good Standing have provided neither dues nor membership information to the California State Grange (as required under Grange rules), we do not know who the individual members of Granges not in good standing are and so we cannot properly verify participation.

The youth always have the ability to show as independent participants.

This decision is solely your Grange’s to make. Your Grange has every opportunity to do what is necessary to allow its youth to show as Grange members. But ignoring the amnesty/reinstatement program completely will not get you there. That program was designed not to go back and recover funds but solely to allow members to pay their dues for the current quarter and be returned to good standing immediately. There is no financial hardship in this, as the dues should have been collected 6 months prior to a Fair and been held by the Treasurer. As you very well know, a Grange must be in good standing to receive Grange benefits and the Youth Fair Program is one of those benefits.

Unfortunately, I need to remind members that in no way can any participant that shows as an independent wear the Grange Uniform, display the Grange Mark, or register, sell, correspond, or represent any involvement in the Grange Fair Program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Ed Komski President of the California State Grange.

Today, October 21th, the judge in the California State Case granted an injunction to protect a portion of the Grange property currently in possession of Mr. McFarland and his group.

The Injunction states in part: "Moving party National Grange seeks a narrow preliminary injunction to preclude the defendant Unchartered State Grange from wasting Grange assets until the case is finally adjudicated. Specifically, the request is to enjoin the transfer or encumbrance or alienation of assets to third parties, except for normal expenses and bills. In the absence of full information as to the identity of all the relevant assets, the National Grange seeks an injunction encompassing (a) the 3831 U Street, Sacramento Grange headquarters, (b) the accounts at Wells Fargo Bank and Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney and (c) real property titled in the name of inactive or defunct Subordinate Granges but held by the Unchartered State Grange."

Please view the injunction HERE.

What this means for the the National Grange and, indeed, our organization as a whole, is that Mr. McFarland now cannot use the money in the named accounts or the real property that legally belongs to the California State Grange to fund any purposes with the exception of normal business obligations and expenses.

The National Grange is pleased with the granting of this injunction as it will protect some of the assets that are currently being withheld from the California State Grange. If you have any questions about this injunction, please contact the National Grange.

Would you like to enhance your local food system? The California State Grange is looking for Subordinate Granges that would like to partner in a statewide grant working to enhance and support your local effort.

If you are a Grange in good standing that is interested in providing support to your local markets through training workshops, local marketing, a local sales event or venue, creation of a local project incubator or creating a cooperative for equipment or needed resources please contact Tacy Currey.

State Master Ed Komski announced the appointment of Tacy Currey as the California State Grange Fair Program Director. Tacy brings amazing personal assets to our well respected and valued program. Her responsibilities to the program will included but are not limited to:

* Management and Oversight
* Research and Development
* Budgeting and Business development
* Coordination and relationship development outside the Grange
* Grant Research and Application Process
* Educational Structure
* Personal Benefits to its participants
* Forward Thinking and the Future

Tacy's success with the Grange Fair Program is outstanding - she has over 125 participants currently and envisions the program developing in 2016 to have over 200 youth participants in California Fairs from her own Dixon Grange #19.

She also brings with her the relationships that she has cultivated over 20 years with Fair Managers throughout the state and the administration at California State Division of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Please join me in welcoming her as one of the Directors of the California State Grange and wish her success and your support. TCurrey@CAStateGrange.org


Meet Tacy

Tacy brings over 20 years of experience as a classroom educator, community outreach coordination, policy advocacy and partnership driven project development.

Growing up, she found a passion in the world of Animal Husbandry. She was an active member of the 4-H and FFA leadership organizations and worked to expand her knowledge in all species through showing, livestock judging, direct herd management and finally as a ag teacher. Tacy received a B.S. in Agricultural Education (1994), and a Teaching Credential in Science and Agriculture (1997) from the University of California at Davis.

Mrs. Currey served as Executive Director for the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts and served as a member of several groups including California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment, California Rangeland Coalition, NRCS State Technical Advisory Group and California Ag Vision. She is passionate about sharing and collaborating with others to promoting the rich diversity of production we have within California.

Currently, Tacy is managing parnter of Currey Ranch Consulting along with her husband John. They live on the historic family ranch in Dixon, California along with 2 sons where they can be found renovating the family Victorian home and a caring for a collection of market and breeding species.

Barbara McGrosso, member of Ramona Grange, San Diego County, was honored on October 17, 2015 for achieving 50 years of continuous membership in the Grange. Barbara has held many offices in the Grange including California State Grange Pomona. She has served on resolution committees, Youth Department and Youth Fair Committees, and is always ready and willing to say "I'd Be Delighted" when asked to help. Barbara always brings fun and a new perspective to any of her activities.

Barbara was presented her 50 year pin by John Wolfe, Master of Ramona Grange. He was assisted by Ed Komski, Master of the California State Grange and Mike Warner, Overseer of the California State Grange.

All of the Grange members in California congratulate Barbara on her achievement and look forward to the fun and fellowship she brings to the Grange family.

Pictured: Left to right, Mike Warner (State Overseer), John Wolf (Ramona Grange Master), Barbara McGroso, Ed Komski (State Master)

The Judge in the Federal Trademark suit against Bob McFarland's group acting as the former California State Grange issued a final and permanent injunction in our favor.

It applies to Mr. McFarland, his agents, and any other parties acting in concert with Mr. McFarland's group. It prohibits all these parties from using the Grange name. Any entity that aids or supports Mr. McFarland's group likewise is precluded by the Federal Trademark order from using the Grange name.

We sincerely hope Mr. McFarland works to create his own organization based on rules he develops for the purposes he chooses. He just cannot use any Grange resources for that purpose. That rather obvious proposition is all this case has been about. Unfortunately we had to get a federal judge to tell Mr. McFarland that.

Anyone can choose to affiliate with his group, but it must be clear that he is not a Grange organization. Joining and paying his organization does not satisfy your National or California State Grange membership requirements or obligation to pay Grange dues. With the injunction now final, violation of this order by the parties may be viewed as contempt by this Federal Court, which is a very serious situation. The National Grange will abide by the court's order and encourages each Grange to do the same. We prevailed, so it should be easy for all of us to follow the court's decision. We don't want any Granges to put their Charter at risk. It is time to begin the healing process in California. If Mr. McFarland wishes to appeal such a clear and understandable ruling, it is his right. However, in the interests of furthering the mission of the Grange and serving the needs of our Community Granges, the National Grange urges that he end this legal struggle now. Our precious resources should be allocated to aiding our Granges, educating our members, and expanding the reach of the Grange organization, not pointlessly challenging long-established law and clear Grange rules.

Please view the final injunction here. Judge Shubb has re-affirmed the rules of the Grange, and the ownership of the Grange name and trademarks. Our Order has the right to continue to exist as a uniquely American organization that serves agriculture and people in their local communities. (Click here to view ruling)

If you have any questions, please contact Ed Luttrell, President of the National Grange. If you want to know how your California Subordinate/Community or Pomona Grange can maintain or regain its good standing as a Grange serving your local community, please contact Ed Komski, Master of the California State Grange.

Fraternally Yours,

Edward L. Luttrell,
Master National Grange

Brothers and Sisters-

Last Thursday, I received a call from Dennis Judd, Master of the Clovis Sanger Fowler Grange # 842 (Fresno County).

Mr. Judd had spoken with a neighboring Grange member about the Bakersfield Grange email that I sent out and that member suggested that Mr. Judd contact me about the recent developments with Fowler Grange’s Hall.

Well, Mr. Judd reported to me that Mr. McFarland had given permission to the him to sell Fowler Grange’s Hall. Based on this response from Mr. McFarland, on September 11, the Fowler Grange Hall was sold. When Mr. Judd later realized that Mr. McFarland lacked authority to approve the sale, he contacted me.

The continued confusion amongst Grange members caused by Mr. McFarland’s actions and statements remains immensely disappointing to all of us. Nevertheless, I want to do everything possible to make sure that all Grange members in California understand some fundamental facts: the McFarland Group is not a Grange, it is not part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, and Mr. McFarland has no authority over Grange property. He cannot suspend or revoke any Grange’s Charter, and he cannot authorize or approve the sale of any Grange property.

When Mr. McFarland and others speak about property, including the sale, rental, encumbrance, or control of Grange property, do not listen to him. The requirements applicable to Grange property are contained in the National Digest, and the California State Grange Constitution and By-Laws. If you have any questions, you can contact me or any of the other officers of the California State Grange to get the appropriate answers, direction, and authorization.

Please be aware that the sale or encumbrance of your Grange’s Hall or other property without the authorization required in the Digest and California Constitution and By-Laws may place your Grange’s Charter in jeopardy. Nobody wants to see that happen, least of all me. So if you have any questions about or plans to sell your Grange’s property in the future, please keep the following facts in mind:

• Mr. McFarland has not been a representative or officer of the Grange at any level since August of 2012.
• The McFarland Group is NOT a Grange and is NOT part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.
• The ONLY representatives of the California State Grange can be viewed here

All property sales and or encumbrances by any Grange must have been approved by either the National Grange (8-2012 thru July 2014) or by the California State Grange (since July 2014). If you believe your Grange has sold or encumbered any property without the required authorizations since 2012, please contact me immediately so we can work to rectify the problem.
• The National Digest and the Constitution and By-Laws of the California State Grange apply to all Granges and their members per the rulings of the federal and California state courts.
• ANY Grange in violation of the rules and laws of the Order faces the possibility of suspension or revocation of its Charter. Nobody wants this.
• Neither the California State Grange nor the National Grange own your Grange’s property, but you must abide by the California State Grange Constitution and By-Laws and the National Digest of Laws per your Charter.

There are specific processes in place under those rules that are there for extremely good reasons. Please understand and follow them.

Fairfax Grange Hall:

You have seen the Secretary of State filling that Mr. McFarland made as part of his attempt to steal the property of the Fairfax Grange in Bakersfield. So that you understand the deceptive tactics that the McFarland Group is using now that it has lost in the courts, I thought it appropriate for you also see the suspension letter, Business Card and the Lease agreement presented to the Master of Fairfax Grange by Mr. McFarland’s representatives, Bob and Nancy Alvarez. Please note that the Alvareze's hold NO position within the California State Grange, and are NOT authorized to act or speak on its behalf. Again, if you have any question about who is entitled to represent the California State Grange, you can find a list of the California State Grange’s officers here.

Click Here to view: Suspension Letter, Alvarez Business Card and Lease.

/s/ Ed Komski, President, Master and CEO
California State Grange

Since mid-July, there have been two major rulings issued concerning the lawsuits between the National and former California State Grange. I am happy to say that in all the cases that we brought, or were brought against us, the National Grange prevailed on every point. This means the cases could now come to an end, provided that the other side doesn't choose to drag us through pointless appeals.

In an attempt to explain what these rulings mean and their importance to your Grange, we are writing to you. If you wish to have a copy of either of these two rulings, please download them from the website or request them from your State or National Grange Master. These cases involved disagreements between the former California State Grange and the National Grange. It is important to note that local Granges have never been involved in these cases and the National Grange is asserting no claim against local property.

Nothing in either ruling changes how you and the National Grange have operated for decades. What these opinions do is reaffirm that the rules of the Grange, and the obligations of our members, are meaningful and binding, and they are not in conflict with state or federal law. A summary of (1) the Federal case and (2) the state court orders is listed below. The upshot of the orders is that we have won every point of fact and law. According to our lawyers, it is nearly unprecedented for two separate judges to make two nearly identical rulings within weeks of each other.

The parties can now meet and confer to reach a settlement that implements this order. The National Grange is ready for that meeting. I am told, however, that Mr. McFarland is now threatening to drag this litigation out for "several more years, or until one side or the other runs out of money." They have had their day in court, and they lost. Any appeals will be fruitless. No matter how much Grange money Mr. McFarland insists on wasting on hopeless appeals, the two court rulings will not be overturned. It could take another two years to win any appeals. Every attorney who has read these decisions (and there have been hundreds) would agree that they will not be overturned. I would urge anyone who agrees with this, please ask Mr. McFarland to stop any appeals and come to the settlement table, instead. 1. Federal. On July 14, Judge William B. Shubb granted our Motion for Summary Judgment in the Trademark case in Federal District Court, Eastern District of California filed by the National Grange against Robert McFarland acting as the California State Grange. The Court agreed with the National Grange, and rejected every argument made by the former California State Grange.

• First, the judge clearly stated that the National Grange's "Grange" trademark belongs to our organization only - and its use is restricted to recognized Granges and parties authorized by the Grange. The judge found that if outsiders use it, there would be confusion among our membership and the community at large. (This is consistent with other court rulings in our favor nationwide - and is a very powerful precedent).

• Second, the Court's ruling also confirms that when a Grange's Charter is surrendered or revoked, it is no longer entitled to use the Grange name or emblems, even if it was previously authorized to do so.

• Third, the Court observed that "there is a total absence of evidence in the record that [the National Grange] failed to exercise adequate quality control over its licensing." In fact,the National Grange continuously monitors the quality of the goods and services offered by its licensees, and continues to strengthen and improve these measures.

• Finally, the judge noted that "it is not genuinely disputed that [the National Grange] was acting within its rights and in accordance with its bylaws when it revoked defendant's charter."

• The whole ruling can be summarized in one sentence: if you are a Grange you can use our name and logo, and if you are not part of our organization you may not use our name or logos without explicit permission.

2. State. On August 18, Judge Brown granted the National Grange's motion for summary judgment filed in Sacramento Superior Court. In his words, he clearly and unequivocally ruled in favor of the National Grange. The Judge ruled that because the California State Grange's Charter was revoked under the Bylaws of the Order - and Mr. McFarland and the other defendants have acknowledged their voluntary disaffiliation from the Order - they have no right to keep the real and personal property they took that belonged to the Grange.

• This means that even though the Unchartered State Grange was incorporated, the rules of the Grange have no conflict with any other California state laws.

• The Judge ruled that the reorganized California State Grange is the only Grange entity entitled to use and control State Grange property in California pursuant to the National Grange's Digest of Laws. This does not change California's structural relationships with local Granges, it just ensures that the local Granges will be working with Grange members. And there is nothing in the Judge's opinion that affects how local Grange property is owned by Community or Pomona Granges. We didn't ask for any changes - we are happy with the way things are.

• He also ruled that all the State Grange property should revert to the control of the Newly Chartered State Grange. Judge Brown relied on precedent from a Masonic court case, which held that, "the assets of a fraternal association are the property of all the members, not of any number less than all of them." This confirms our view all along: a person cannot angrily walk away from the Grange and take years and years of state Grange property with them to set up a new organization. They are free to leave, but they have to go with empty pockets and have to start their organization from scratch. This ruling boils down to common sense: if you are a member of a large group and you leave it - for whatever reason - you must leave behind the organization's property because it doesn't belong to you.

These rulings were easy for the Judges to make because they are consistent with years of settled precedent.

This victory, however, was costly, time-consuming, and could have been avoided if everyone just followed the rules that they agreed to as a Grange member. But having been forced into this situation, it was necessary to preserve our Order. These rulings in real terms mean that the rules of the National Grange, your State Grange, and your Community Granges have not changed. These judicial decisions reaffirm Grange rules that allow every Grange to own real and personal property, and use the trademarks of the Grange, while ensuring that those assets always remain within the Grange organization.

I am happy to say that we have preserved the right of our Order to exist in the same way it has since 1867. Nothing has changed. No property is being taken by the National Grange, so please do not believe anyone who says that it is. The only difference is the California State Grange Master is Brother Ed Komski and not Mr. Bob McFarland. What's left is for Mr. McFarland to give back the Grange property he took when he left the Grange. It's that simple.

I want to thank every member who aided by donating $10 or more, and every Grange that made a donation toward these legal efforts. If anyone wishes to donate at this time, it will be greatly appreciated as the National Grange has incurred substantial debt due to the litigation costs it was forced to incur protecting our name and structure.

Now I ask that you refocus on the more important issue of expanding our organization. New members in your Grange and in neighboring Granges must be our highest priority. New Granges in communities that are not currently being served by our organization are also critical. Let us begin to celebrate our 150th anniversary with increases in both membership and activity.

For your files, I am attaching the current code of conduct for web and social media sites, as well as a copy of the privacy policy of the National Grange. If the posts mentioned above appear on sites overseen by the National Grange, we will have them removed. However, for the Community and Pomona Grange sites/pages that are under your jurisdiction, I will leave that decision to your discretion.

Click here to view the National Grange Code of Conduct.

Click here for view the National Grange Privacy Policy.

Expect more information on the legal situation of the California cases in the near future. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Fraternally Yours,

Ed Luttrell, Master National Grange

Recently a group of Grange members from a Subordinate Grange not in good standing dropped in on the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Fairs and Expositions (CDFA). It seems as though the purpose for this meeting was to convince the CDFA that members did not need to be in good standing to represent The Grange in a CDFA-supervised fair, expo, or similar event. I was not involved in any way with or part of this meeting. Immediately after that surprise visit, I received a call from the administration of the CDFA asking questions about the status of the California State Grange. I responded with the same documents that I have provided to all of you: the 2 court decisions granting summary judgment against the McFarland Group. These documents are the final determinations from the federal and state trial courts on these issues.

As mentioned in previous memos, the McFarland Group is not a Grange and is not part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. As a result of the federal court’s ruling in the trademark lawsuit, the McFarland Group cannot represent that it is a Grange (hence the change of the name on the website the McFarland Group currently controls). We are the one and only California State Grange.

Part of the responsibility of the California State Grange is to administer the Youth Program for compliance and eligibility. The Fair Program is a part of a 4-entity consortium agreement between FFA, 4H, The Grange, and CDFA. The Grange has an ethical and moral responsibly to fulfill its responsibilities.

The Grange brand and trademarks bring value to Grange fair participants. Generations of people within communities have been supporting the Grange youth participants because they represent our Order. Community members and companies support The Grange because of its role in the community and it deep, rich roots in agriculture. Our brand integrity cannot be diluted in the marketplace. While a few have still chosen to confuse the market by blurring who is or is not The Grange, the courts have ruled. We are the California State Grange. The McFarland Group is not. Mr. McFarland is not a member or an officer of any Grange. Our role is critical to the integrity of the Fair Program and that role is to enforce the rules of our Order as coordinated with the Fair Program. That includes verifying Granges are in good standing and members meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the Fair Program. If a Grange is not paying dues and not completing the required reports we are unable to validate eligibility.

To participate in the Fair Program representing a Grange, a member and the Grange he or she works within must be in good standing. That means that the participant’s Grange must be no more that 2 quarters delinquent in its Grange dues and reports. Currently, there is an amnesty program on a in place that works with Subordinate Granges. This program was designed to recognize dues payments made to the McFarland Group as a result of confusion and to delete, in effect, a double payment of Grange dues, clarify membership accounting and reaffirm members understanding of their obligations to our Order.

For 2016, all Grange fair participants must: • be in Good Standing 120 days prior to the fair they are expecting to participate in; this works in conjunction with the large animal ownership rules. • The participant must be a member of the Order for no less than 6 months prior to showing. The Grange has no wish, nor desire to discourage a young person from showing at a fair. If a person chooses not to be a Grange member in good standing, the option is always available to join either FFA or 4H or simply show as an independent.

The above ruling is effective immediately 9/17/15 for participation in any 2016 Fair in and out of California where a person is expressly representing The Grange.

Friday 9/25/15 7:00 p.m. at the Bakersfield Marriott Hotel Closed Session – Board Members Only Note: Closed session is set for the purpose of discussing current legal issues. Any action taken by the Board during this closed session will be entered into the minutes accordingly.

Saturday 9/26/15 at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Fairfax Grange Hall, 4 Fairfax Road, Bakersfield Open Session – for all members in good standing with the California State Grange

Saturday 9/26/15 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Fairfax Grange Hall. Regional Meeting – This meeting is intended for ALL Grange Members regardless of who you pay dues to, or even if you do at this time.

To verify membership, please have your:
• Annual Word from 2011, 2012, 2014 or 2015 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th Degree OR
• Membership Cards from 2015, 2014 or 2012 can also be used

The ONLY individuals that will not be admitted will be Non-members including; Bob McFarland, Kathy Bergeron, Jon Luvaas, Damian Parr, Bill Thomas, Takashi Yogi, Lawrence Jaffe and Leo Bergeron through their disaffiliation letter.

Members in good standing may attend any open meeting of the Board of Directors. Members in good standing must notify the Secretary, Lillian Booth, of your intent to address the Board no later than end of business on Monday September 21, 2015, per Section 6.3.3(c) of the California State Grange By-Laws.

On August 25th, we wrote to you about the McFarland Group’s recent attempt to make Subordinate Granges sign “leases” to their Grange halls. We wanted to provide you some details of exactly what happened to one Subordinate Grange in Bakersfield.

On Tuesday, two representatives of the McFarland Group presented the Master of that Subordinate Grange with a letter signed by Mr. McFarland claiming that her Grange was “suspended.” Of course, the McFarland Group has no authority over any Subordinate Grange, and certainly has no power to suspend a Charter. Only the California State Grange may suspend or revoke the Charter of a Subordinate Grange. Nevertheless, based on these false pretenses, the two representatives presented the Master with a “lease” requiring her Grange to pay the McFarland Group (misleadingly calling itself “CSG”) $650 per month to use the Hall that the Subordinate Grange (with a Charter in good standing) already owned. When the Master refused to sign, she was presented with an ultimatum: sign by the next morning or the McFarland Group would change the locks to her Grange Hall. Then the two representatives left. Several hours later, however, they returned with a locksmith and, while the Master was in a meeting, changed the locks to the Grange Hall, without even informing the Master that they were there! Fortunately, the new keyed locks were noticed as the Grange hall was about to be shut for the night, and the Master reached out to me. The California State Grange helped her to find another locksmith to come and change the locks back that night, so that the Grange Hall remained in the possession of its proper owners. We have contacted the local authorities, and will file a police report against the two representatives of the McFarland Group reporting their trespassing and the property damage they caused.

Needless to say, this sort of behavior is despicable and goes against everything The Grange stands for. As their prospects in the courts continue to worsen, We afraid that the McFarland Group will continue to engage in these sorts of illegal tactics. If you or your Grange is threatened by the McFarland Group, or even if your Grange’s property is stolen by the McFarland Group as almost happened to that Grange in Bakersfield, please do not be intimidated and do not despair. You have recourse. The California State Grange can help. You can call or e-mail me anytime and we will do everything possible to assist you to undo what the McFarland Group has done.

We understand that the litigation to set things right in the California State Grange has been frustrating and trying for all Grange members in California. Mr. McFarland may make good on his threats to use every delaying tactic he can to drag the litigation out and waste Grange money, but the courts have spoken. And the “status quo” they established in their orders will not change, no matter what the McFarland Group does. The McFarland Group is not a Grange. It is not part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. It has no right to any Grange property. So if you receive an invoice from the McFarland Group (or CSG or whatever other name Mr. McFarland might choose) for “Grange dues,” do not pay it. Your Grange owes no dues to the McFarland Group. If the McFarland Group asks you to sign any loan agreement or “lease” or any other document relating to your Grange property, do not sign it. The rules of The Grange are clear: no Subordinate Grange may mortgage or encumber its property without the permission of the State Master. (See Article VI of the California State Grange Constitution and Sections 1.9.1 and 4.11.1-4.11.5 of the National Digest of Laws.) If you believe that you do need to sign a document relating to your Grange’s property, please contact me first to obtain the necessary permission.

We remind you that if you would like to return your Grange to good standing, the California State Grange has an amnesty program in place for a limited time that will forgive dues paid to the McFarland Group in the past. Please contact us if you would like more information about the amnesty program.

It has come to our attention that the McFarland Group (misleadingly calling themselves "CSG") has sent "Statements" to some Granges requesting payment of "Grange Dues." The McFarland Group is NOT affiliated with The Grange. The federal court has ruled that the McFarland Group may not use the name "Grange" (a ruling being violated by these "Statements") and the state court has ruled that it cannot hold Grange property. No Subordinate Grange owes ANY dues to the McFarland Group. These "Statements" are an attempt by the McFarland Group to mislead Community Granges into paying the McFarland Group under the belief that such payments are required under the rules of The Grange. They are not. Payment to the McFarland Group does NOT satisfy a Grange's dues obligation. Please disregard these "Statements."

If you have any questions about the dues that your Grange owes, please feel free to call or e-mail me. As a reminder, the California State Grange has an amnesty program in place for those Community Granges that have paid dues to the McFarland Group in the past. This program will be open for a limited time. If you would like more information, please contact Ed Komski, President and Master California State Grange.

It has come to our attention that representatives of the McFarland Group have approached several Community Granges today asking them to sign “leases” for their Grange Halls, and threatening to change the locks to their Grange Halls if they do not sign. The McFarland Group is NOT affiliated with The Grange, and has NO right or claim to property held by any Subordinate or Pomona Grange. What these representatives of the McFarland Group are threatening is illegal. Any attempt on their part to change the locks or otherwise take the property of any Community Grange constitutes trespassing and theft, among other crimes.

If any of these individuals should show up on your doorstep, please do not be intimidated. Their threats are hollow and they have no right to do anything to you or your Grange. Do not sign anything. Politely ask them to leave, and if they do not, contact your local authorities or call me, and we will get in touch with the authorities for you. Please DO NOT engage in any physical altercations with these individuals. If you have signed something because the McFarland Group threatened your Grange, please let me know ASAP. The McFarland Group knows that it has lost the court cases, and now apparently has no qualms trying to intimidate or deceive Grange members by any means necessary. This conduct is reprehensible, and contrary to all of the values of The Grange.

If you have any questions or would like to report being contacted by the McFarland Group, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail Ed Komski, CSG Master. The California State Grange has a team of experts standing by to address any concerns you may have in response to these despicable actions by the McFarland Group.

For the past three years, Mr. McFarland has insisted that he would have his day in court, and Community Granges should observe the "status quo" until then. Mr. McFarland has now had two days in two different courts (state and federal), and he lost both times. The courts have spoken clearly and emphatically. The rules of The Grange -- including the National Digest of Laws, the California State Grange Constitution and By-Laws, and the Charter -- have meaning, and apply to all Granges. Mr. McFarland and the other defendants were not free to disregard those rules, and they cannot continue to call themselves a Grange or hold Grange property acquired by generations of Grangers in California over the past 140+ years.

Now that the courts have ruled and squarely rejected all of his arguments, Mr. McFarland is no longer saying "let the courts decide." Instead, he is threatening to use every delay tactic at his disposal to drag the litigation out for several more years, "or until one side or the other runs out of money." It may take time, but these appeals will fail, and the court orders will be upheld. Mr. McFarland promises only a senseless waste of Grange money that should be used to strengthen and grow our Order.

This message is meant simply to make clear to every Grange in California that the courts have now ruled clearly that Grange rules matter. The "status quo" is that a Grange must honor the obligations it agreed to undertake when it received its Charter. We cannot stress enough to every Grange Officer and Member that they should READ the complete orders in the federal trademark action and the state court property action. They are available here and here. we would suggest that before you sign, attend, rent, sponsor, pay dues, donate, forward letters, encourage, enroll, register, invite, pay, or allow use of ANY Grange activity or property to the McFarland Group (or Guild, as they now seem to be calling themselves) that you fully understand the consequences of that action under the rules of The Grange.

The obligations of every Subordinate and Pomona Grange are spelled out clearly in their Charters, the National Digest of Laws, and the California Constitution and By-Laws. Those rules prohibit what the McFarland Group is trying to do, and taking the actions requested by Mr. McFarland in his recent communications may put the Charters of Community Granges and the memberships of individuals in jeopardy. There can be no further claims of confusion on this point going forward. Our rules are clear, as are the court rulings enforcing those rules. Please make sure that you consider those rules, and that your Granges and fellow Grangers understand that they apply, as you consider your actions going forward.

Today, Judge Brown granted the National Grange's motion for summary judgment filed in Sacramento Superior Court. In his words he clearly and unequivocally ruled in favor of the National Grange.

1. "In the first cause of action, National Grange seeks a declaration that because the Now Unchartered State Grange's Charter was revoked under the Bylaws of the Order, and Defendants have acknowledged their voluntary disaffiliation from the Order, they have no standing to retain the real and personal property belonging to the Grange."

In regard to the first cause of action, the judge answered that while the Grange By-Laws did not automatically require the corporation to dissolve upon the surrendering or revocation of the Charter in this instance, it is clear that the rules of the Grange apply. McFarland's argument that the California State Grange Constitution was superseded by the act of incorporating in 1946 was not adopted by the Court. "Based on its Charter, Constitution, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and actions, it is apparent that the Now Unchartered State Grange, whether it was specifically adopted in its incorporation documents or not, was supposed to and did recognize the National Grange's Digest of Laws as governing them as a subordinate part of the Order." The Judge also cited the O'Sullivan case from the State of Washington as authority that incorporation does not destroy the relationship between the divisions of the Grange.

Judge Brown recognized the vital role of the Digest when he ruled, "...it is undisputed that the Now Uncharted State Grange recognized and was governed by the National Grange's Digest of Laws, the supreme laws of the Order. Accordingly, based on the undisputed language of the National Grange's Digest of laws, the revocation of the Now Unchartered State Grange's charter, the subsequent inability of the Now Unchartered State Grange to operate as a Grange, and the Now Uncharted State Grange's acknowledgment that it is no longer affiliated with the Order, it has no standing to retain any real and personal property belonging to the Grange."

He also listed several reasons why McFarland's legal arguments regarding the conflict between the California Corporations Code and Grange law were unfounded.

1. "In the second cause of action, National Grange seeks a declaration that by following its rechartering rules under the Bylaws of the Order, the Newly Chartered State Grange is properly recognized as the sole chartered Grange entity entitled to use and control Grange property in California."

In deciding on the second cause of action, Judge Brown was brief and clear: "Because it is also undisputed that the Now Uncharted State Grange's Charter was revoked, it therefore could not operate as a Grange, and it acknowledged it was no longer affiliated with the Order (as discussed above), the Newly Chartered State Grange is the only Grange entity entitled to use and control Grange property in California pursuant to the National Grange's Digest of Laws."

1. "In the third cause of action, National Grange seeks a declaration that the property should revert to possession and/or control of the Newly Chartered State Grange under the Bylaws." Here, Judge Brown relied on precedent from a Masonic Case where the "... the California Court of Appeal held that the assets of a fraternal association are the property of all the members, not of any number less than all of them." This reaffirms the rules of the Grange as it relates to property belonging to the Order. Grange property belongs to the organization, which is governed by rules that apply to all.

The Judge concluded with this forceful point regarding McFarland's arguments:, "Indeed, it is a "fundamental mistake" ... "to rely solely on California corporations law in a vacuum, without reference to the articles of incorporation and bylaws" of the subordinate corporation, as well as the constitution of the larger entity."

In addition, Judge Brown summarily rejected separate legal argument advanced by McFarland uniquely against the National Grange.

This ruling is consistent with years of settled precedent both in California and elsewhere. This result is what our attorneys predicted would happen when the Court took action on our motion. Just as the recent Trademark ruling in Federal Court for the National Grange and the O'Sullivan Case in Washington, this ruling in California State Court will stand as another important victory for the rights of Grange Members and the National Grange and the Order. While the legal actions may take time to wind down, we are now, to paraphrase the great Winston Churchill, at the beginning of the end of this litigation. Mr. McFarland has repeatedly said to our members to wait until the Court rules before taking any new actions. Well, the Court has now ruled, so hopefully he will keep his promise and work with the National Grange. There comes a time when things must end. And that time is now, consistent with the sound rulings of the State and Federal Courts.

we would like to thank all of you who have stood up for the Grange rules and structure during this difficult time. Our California Brothers and Sisters who have stood with us have been much maligned and deserve our thanks. we have great confidence that a large number of our California Brothers and Sisters will be rejoining the Grange organization now that the Court has made such a clear ruling.

we will not sugar-coat today's victory: it was expensive, time-consuming and completely avoidable if the obligations of the Digest had been followed. But having been forced into this situation, it was necessary to preserve our Order.

A copy of the ruling is attached. Click here to view the full text of the court ruling.

Fraternally Yours,

Edward L. Luttrell, Master National Grange Read More and download court ruling

Today, the California state court handed down its final ruling on the parties’ motions for summary judgment. we am pleased to report that the Court has granted the National Grange’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety, declaring that 1) following revocation of the California State Grange’s Charter in April 2013, the McFarland Group is not part of The Grange and cannot retain the California State Grange’s property; 2) the California State Grange was properly reorganized in July 2014 and is the only Grange entity entitled to use and control that property; and 3) the Grange property in the McFarland Group’s possession and/or control should revert to the California State Grange. In reaching these rulings, the Court found numerous factual matters to be undisputed and true, including that the California State Grange has always been subject to and bound by the rules in the National Digest of Laws, as well as the California State Grange Constitution and By-Laws. It rejected all of the McFarland Group’s desperate and after-the-fact arguments that there was some conflict between California law and Grange rules. Mr. McFarland and the others could not disregard the rules to which the California State Grange had been bound since its formation in 1873, and that they as individuals has sworn to uphold as a condition of membership and holding office in The Grange. Simply put, the Court concluded that the McFarland Group is not free to take Grange property acquired through the blood, sweat, and donations of generations of Grangers and use it for their own purposes, in contravention of the rules of The Grange at all levels. The “status quo” means that The Grange’s rules have meaning, and no individual is free to disregard those rules to suit his or her own purposes.

The Court denied the McFarland Group’s motion for summary judgment. Although it has not yet posted its final ruling as to our motion, the Court's tentative order denied our motion on procedural grounds. Even assuming that decision stands, it is important to note that none of our claims were dismissed; the Court merely held that they must be decided at trial, not by summary judgment. The rulings as to the National Grange’s motion, however, are equally applicable to our claims, and will not be re-litigated. The only issues to be determined at trial are the amount of damages caused by the McFarland Group’s misuse of Grange property since revocation, and whether Mr. McFarland, Mr. Luvaas, and the other leaders of the McFarland Group will be personally liable for those damages. Those issues will be resolved at the trial set to begin on January 26, 2016.

There will be much more to come, but for now, we encourage you to pour a cup of coffee, sit back, and read the Court’s orders, which are available, National Grange, and McFarland.

The judge has ruled that Mr. McFarland has left the Grange....

.... and cannot use the name “Grange” in describing his group. It is not a Grange and it is not part of the Grange. The trademark case concludes that Grange Rules (National Digest and CSG Constitution and By-Laws) DO apply. There will be no further argument on that issue in the federal trial court. The only thing still to be determined in the trademark lawsuit is damages – how much Mr. McFarland owes the Grange for his misuse of the Grange name since the Charter was revoked in April 2013 (those damages currently are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars and continue to climb). That will be decided at trial in October.

What the trademark case means for Subordinate Granges and members is that there should be no further confusion as to whether Mr. McFarland represents the Grange. Via this order Mr. McFarland clearly is not in any way representing the Grange. Paying him membership dues is not required under Grange rules. Property and Grange names are not affected at this time because no Subordinate Grange has been Suspended or Revoked. A Grange is given the ability to use the Grange trademarks, including the name “Grange,” by virtue of its Charter. we would suggest that you read the Charter of your Grange, the National Digest of Laws, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the California State Grange if you have any questions about what is required to be in good standing. Where we would suggest you focus your discussion within your Grange is: what it is going to take to bring your Grange back into Good Standing? The California State Grange has an amnesty program in place for those Subordinate Granges that may have paid dues to Mr. McFarland in the past under the mistaken impression that he represented the Grange. As found by the Court, he does not. All such past dues will be forgiven for any Subordinate Grange that elects to take part in the amnesty program. We prepared to discuss the amnesty program and answer any questions you have about how we move forward.

Today (July 14th), the federal court granted the National Grange’s motion for summary judgment in the trademark lawsuit. The National Grange brought the case to prevent the McFarland Group from calling themselves a “Grange,” because they have long since left the Order. Judge Shubb found for the National Grange on all counts, and ordered that the McFarland Group “shall be permanently enjoined from using marks containing the word ‘Grange.’” In other words, Judge Shubb has ruled that the McFarland Group can no longer call itself a Grange because it is no longer part of The Grange.

The federal court’s order also makes clear that several things the McFarland Group has been saying are simply wrong. For instance, although the McFarland Group has been telling the courts in both lawsuits that the California State Grange came into existence when it created a corporation in 1946, Judge Shubb found that the California State Grange became a State Grange on July 15, 1873, when the National Grange issued its Charter. (See page 2.) From its very beginnings, then, the California State Grange has been a part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry and obliged to follow the rules of the Order. Likewise, the McFarland Group claims that the California State Grange was independent of the National Grange after 1873, but Judge Shubb found that the California State Grange held itself out to the public as being part of the National Grange’s organization until its Charter was revoked. (See page 13.) And while the McFarland Group claims that the discipline of Robert McFarland for his repeated violation of Grange rules was somehow improper, Judge Shubb found that “[r]egardless of the precise ground for revoking [the California State Grange’s] charter, it is not genuinely disputed that [the National Grange] was acting within its rights and in accordance with its bylaws when it revoked [the California State Grange’s] charter. [The National Grange] even afforded [the California State Grange] procedural due process, giving [the California State Grange] the opportunity to appeal the decision.” (See pages 17-18.)

The full opinion is available here. We strongly encourage you to pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit down and read the whole thing.

Next up on the agenda is the hearing on the motions for summary judgment in the state court lawsuit, currently set for August 7. The trademark lawsuit deals only with the use of the name “Grange,” and Judge Shubb has said that the McFarland Group may not use that name. The state court lawsuit is the one that seeks to ensure that Grange property and assets remain within the Grange. The McFarland Group has sent out messages recently claiming that it would prevail in the state court lawsuit. It also claimed it would prevail in the federal trademark lawsuit. The McFarland Group was wrong regarding the trademark action, and We confident that it is wrong about the state court lawsuit, as well. The rules of the Order – including the National Grange’s Digest of Laws and the California State Grange’s Constitution and By-Laws – that we all agreed to follow when we joined The Grange are very clear that members may leave The Grange for any reason, but they cannot take Grange property with them. As always, rather than simply listening to the “spin,” We encourage you to read the words on the Charters in your Grange Halls, the Digest of Laws, and the California State Grange Constitution and By-Laws, and decide for yourselves what being part of The Grange entails.

The 140th Annual Session of the California State Grange is one for the history books. With 63% of our Granges represented, it is one of the best attended session in the last 100 years. We are preparing a complete article with pictures, to appear in the near future.

STATE OFFICERS ELECTED: When our State Grange was reorganized in 2014, the delegate elected a Master, Secretary and three members of the Executive Committee as our Board of Directors.  They were tasked with the getting the Grange running and presenting a set of By-Laws for the delegates to adopt. The National Digest specifies that State Officers are elected for a two year period, their term of office will expire in 2016.  READ MORE...

EXPO WINNERS: Where can you view the best of the best - at the Grange Expo, that is where. Under the direction of Katie Squire, the Grange Expo is like a mini county fair (without the animals) Click to view Expo Winners

PHOTOS: Lots of photos were taken durning the session, here are a few that we got copies of. Click to view Session Photos

SPECIAL ENTERTAINMENT: Lots of photos were taken durning the session, here are a few that we got copies of. Read More...

PHOTOS: Lots of photos were taken durning the session, here are a few that we got copies of. Click to view Session Photos

April 2015 is going to be a great month to celebrate the Grange. I hope that each member is getting excited about how we can share our great organization with people in our community.

You might hold an open house or a reception for your community; invite friends and acquaintances to a breakfast, tea or dinner. Perhaps your Grange will carry out a special project or recognize outstanding achievement to commemorate Grange month.

Read More and download Grange Month Materials

Three dates and locations have been set, with additional meetings to be scheduled in the future.

Date: Saturday March 21, 2015 Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Place: Orangevale Grange Hall 5807 Walnut Avenue, Orangevale, CA (Sacramento County)

Date: Sunday, March 22, 2015 Time: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Place: Red Lion Hotel Eureka - 1929 Fourth Street Eureka, California 95501 (Humboldt County)

Date: Sunday, April 12, 2015 Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Place: Morgan Hill Grange Hall 40 E. 4th Street, Morgan Hill, CA (Santa Clara County)

These are "Members Only" meetings; Membership will be verified. The general public and disaffiliated members are not invited and will not be permitted entry. The topics for discussion will include: the status of the litigation against the McFarland group; the amnesty program for Community Granges; understanding state and federal non-profit compliance requirements; Grange programs for the future; and plans for the California State Grange’s upcoming 140th Annual Session to be held June 25-27, 2015, in Orangevale, CA. A question-and-answer period will follow the meeting.

Bring your questions and be there ready to receive honest answers about our State Grange. We look forward to seeing you in the very near future. Our goal - Bring your questions and get honest, factual, researched and supported answers back.

“Knowledge is Power” Thomas Jefferson; Empower yourself as an Individual Grange Member; Gather Information: read, comprehend, question, listen and deduct for yourself!

"Don’t drink the Kool Aid" Jonestown, Guyana reference

/s/ Ed Komski, President, Master and CEO California State Grange

The Dixon Grange #19 was reorganized and their Charter Awarded last evening 3/4/15, (sort of, the physical charter is on a plane somewhere between San Fransisco and St. Louis)

Please help us welcome Dixon Grange #19 into our Fraternal Organization by sending your well wishes and support to Congratulations to Master Dixon Grange #19 Ed LaRue