News Archives - 2016

This page is the archive for news stories that appeared in 2016. Articles are by date issued in desending order.
Click on News title to display details.


October 2016

 

The California Supreme Court has denied Bob McFarland's motion to overturn the Superior Court order requiring the Guild to post an undertaking of $750,000 to stay enforcement of the state court judgment.

On August 30, 2016, a petition for review was filed by petitioner Robert McFarland in an attempt to overturn the Superior Court order requiring him to post a $750,000 bond while his appeal was being processed.

With the California Supreme Court dening the petion for review on October 26, 2016, it means that the Superior Court order stands.

The California State Grange has already taken steps to file a new complaint to enforce that judgment.

Click to view Case Summary!

The National Grange has issued the October 2016 issue of the Patrons Chain Newsletter.

Topics in this issue include:

• Food Safety and Security in Focus for Grange
• Op-Ed: Rural America, Strong, Resilient, Inspiring
• Some Reflections Before I Go
• Come See the New Convention Showcase
• Guest Editorial: Some First-Year Thoughts
• Ready to Make History, but Some Still in Need
• America's Broken Budget Process
• National Grange Seeking Brief Stories, Photos, Showing Grange in Action
• Try at Techy Scavenger Hunt!
• Music Kit Makes Grange Songs Available to All
• Discovery: Insights to Ponder
• Sesquicentennial Celebration Coin Available Pre-Order
• Got Talent? Coming to Convention?
• On the Lookout

Click here to view!

CDFA Now Accepting Proposals For 2017 Specialty Crop Grants

SACRAMENTO, October 5, 2016 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting proposals for the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). Each year, CDFA conducts a two-phase competitive solicitation process to award funds to projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Review the 2017 Request for Concept Proposals for detailed application instructions.

Phase I of the process begins with the submission of concept proposals, which undergo both an administrative review and a technical review. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a detailed grant proposal in Phase II of the process.

Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $450,000 per project and projects may last for up to two years and six months. Non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, federal, and tribal government entities; and public and private colleges and universities are eligible to apply. All applicants must register online with the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST), , to apply. Concept proposals must be submitted electronically using FAAST by Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 5 pm PST.

CDFA will present four workshops and two webinars, all featuring an overview of the program, a review of the concept proposal questions, a live demonstration of the online application system, helpful grant writing tips, and more. Visit CDFA's SCBGP website, www.cdfa.ca.gov/grants, for full details.

Workshops and webinars will be held at these locations on the following dates:
• San Luis Obispo Workshop: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
• San Diego Workshop: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
• Webinar 1: Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Merced Workshop: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
• Webinar 2: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
• Sacramento Workshop: Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

All prospective SCBGP applicants are encouraged to participate. There is no cost to attend; however, space is limited and CDFA requests that attendees register in advance. To register, email grants@cdfa.ca.gov with your name and contact information, the workshop/webinar you would like to attend, and the number of seats required. Further details will be provided with confirmation of registration.

Prospective applicants may contact CDFA’s Office of Grants Administration at (916) 657-3231 or grants@cdfa.ca.govfor additional information.

CDFA Announces Funding For The 2016 "Calagplate" Grant Program

SACRAMENTO - September 19, 2016 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture is currently accepting proposals for the 2016 California Agriculture Special Interest License Plate (CalAgPlate) grant program. This program makes available an estimated $257,000 in grant funding to promote agricultural education and leadership activities for students at the K-12, post-secondary, and adult education levels. Proceeds generated through the sales of specialized, agriculture-themed license plates through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have made this opportunity available.

"The success of the CalAgPlate demonstrates an ongoing commitment to agricultural education supported by consumers and the farming community," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "The purchase of a CalAgPlate helps to fund educational opportunities statewide which include agricultural workshops, farm tours and the State FFA Leadership Conference. As a result of the CalAgPlate program more than $475,000 has been dedicated to supporting youth educational activities since the program's inception."

Funding is available on a competitive basis for state-adopted Agricultural Education Programs (Education Code Section 52450-52454), government agencies, and non-profit organizations that administer agricultural education programs. The application deadline is October 21, 2016.

For further information and grant application materials, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/calagplate

You can help support agricultural education and the CalAgPlate program by purchasing a special interest license plate at your local DMV office or online today.

Writ Signed - Leevy, Judgement and Subpeona's Issued Against CA Guild and others

On Wednesday, October 5th, the federal court signed a writ of execution to allow the National Grange to enforce and collect the $144,715.70 judgment, plus interest, against the California Guild because of the acts of the Guild and Mr. McFarland to willfully and deliberately defy the federal court’s order prohibiting the Guild from infringing on Grange trademarks.

The writ is allows the National Grange to levy bank accounts holding non-Grange funds and any other non-Grange property until the judgment is paid in full. In addition to the writ, we are issuing subpoenas to various third parties to locate and identify the property held by the Guild that can be collected to satisfy the judgment.

Click here to view writ of execution!

A bit of National Grange Convention - Resolution news -

The California State Grange is sending 10 resolution from our 2016 convention passed by the State Delegate body onto National Grange:


1. TOMBSTONES FOR VETERANS
2. CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE
3. LESSONS FROM THE CONFLICT BETWEEN NATIONAL GRANGE & CALIFORNIA STATE GRANGE.
4. CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT OF THE US POSTAL SERVICE
5. AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR GRANGES
6. DEFINE CAMPAIGNING IN NATIONAL GRANGE DIGEST
7. LABELING FOODS CONTAINING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED INGREDIENTS
8. RENEW GRANGE FARMERS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
9. THE GRANGE AS LAND STEWARD
10. GRANGE YOUTH FAIR PARTICIPATION

Click here to view!

Grange Music Kit Now Available

We understand that many Granges no longer have a piano or pianist, but know how important music is to meetings and members.

Now there's a solution!

The MUSIC KIT includes all you need to enjoy great Grange music at your functions. Included are: 1 - Digital Grange Songbook CD (regular price $12) 1 - Grange Pianist Songbook (regular price $5) 1 - Junior Songbook (regular price $5) Get all three, plus discounted shipping and handling for the MUSIC KIT of just $5 at a 45% savings for just $14.35. Call Loretta at (202) 628-3507 ext. 109 for special pricing on additional songbooks!

Order Yours Today!

Click here to view!

As a result of the Preliminary Injuction issued by the Federal Court on September 23rd, ordering the California Guild to restrain the confusing and misleading activity of the Guild, it was ordered to turn over the following phone numbers to the California State Grange:

Office
• 916-454-5805
• 916-454-5806
• 916-454-5807
• 916 454-5808
• fax 916-739-8189

Toll Free
• 866-447-2643 or 866-4Grange

As of the start of business on Monday, October 3rd, you can again reach the California State Grange using the same phone numbers that you have always called to reach the California State Grange. Mr. McFarland and the Guild had improperly used these numbers for years to make people believe that the Guild was a part of the Grange or a successor to the California State Grange, but the federal court put a stop to that.

Please help me welcome our new receptionist Leilani. She will be the wonderful professional answering our phones and assisting our members to get to the right person to answer your questions and get you information.

Step by step we rebuild to establish our fraternal order again - Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes "We are the California State Grange"


September 2016


On Thrusday, 9/29/2016, the California Guild filed the attached declaration of Robert McFarland to inform the federal court of its response to the attorney’s fee award of $144,715.70 that the Guild must pay because of its “deliberate and willful” violations of the order prohibiting it from infringing on Grange trademarks.

In the declaration, Mr. McFarland states that the Guild is unable to pay the award. Interestingly enough, State President Komski reportedly heard some attendees at a Grange meeting approximately a month ago, were told that insurance was going to cover the award. It has now been confirmed there is no insurance to cover the $144,715.70 sanction because of the Guild’s deliberate violations of a federal court order.

You may view the full declaration, which includes some must see financial and banking information by clicking here.

The Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange #503 Agriculture Committee is proud to present the 2016 Corralitos Open Farm Tour!

When: On Sunday, October 9th from 10am –4pm, ten local organic family farms in the Pajaro Valley are opening their farms to the public. Where: Participating farms on the tour map this year include Prevedelli Farm, Lonely Mountain Farm, Discovery Program at Live Earth Farm, Terra Sole Nursery, New Natives Farm, Lakeside Organic Gardens, Blossoms Biodynamic Farm, Thomas Farm, Dos Aguilas Olive Grove and Whiskey Hill Farms.

What to Expect: This event is FREE thanks to participating farmers, sponsors, and Grange member volunteers. Many of the farms will offer activities like apple juicing, apple sauce making and U-Picks. People will be able to learn about the sustainable agriculture methods used to grow our food and spend a day outside connecting with our farming community and each other. Supporting local food production and community building is what the Grange is all about!

In between touring, stop by our Marketplace at Alladin Nursery for a cold drink, delicious lunch, and live music! We’re serving up Corralitos Sausages, My Mom’s Mole, and made to order pizza from the folks at Fired Up Fresh. Kids and grown ups will have fun carving Halloween pumpkins, silk screening their own farm tour souvenir, and checking out our line-up of food preservation demonstrations led by Grange members.

Register to participate in the tour to be entered in a drawing to receive a free lunch at the Alladin Nursery Marketplace on tour day. Carpooling is encouraged, so plan your farm tour route with friends and family in advance by downloading a free tour map (attached) and checking out the schedule of events at openfarmtours.com. We hope to see you there! PS: Grange members interested in volunteering for the Open Farm Tour event should contact Penny Ellis, Live Oak Grange Agriculture Committee Chair, at 332-1935.

The California State Grange has been invited to attend the USDA forum in San Diego - below is the agenda - if you wish to contribute any thoughts and/or ideas please do so, ASAP.

Agenda

USDA Fall Forum

9:30-9:40 a.m. Welcome Remarks Oscar Gonzales, Farm Service Agency California State Director

9:40-10:00 a.m. Morning Keynote Jenny Lester Moffitt, Deputy Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture

10:00-11:30 a.m. Panel I: “What Resources are Available for New and Beginning Farmers and Land Tenure” Lilia McFarland, USDA New Farmer Coordinator, Moderator Jenny Lester Moffitt, CDFA Ski Allender, RMA Risk Management Specialist Cori Calvert, NRCS District Conservationist Desiree Garza, FSA Farm Programs Ramiro Lobo, UC Extension Ice Murry, FSA Farm Loans

11:30-1:00 p.m. Break for Lunch

1:00-1:05 p.m. Welcome Remarks Carlos Suarez, Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist

1:00-1:20 p.m. Afternoon Keynote Elvis Cordova, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs

1:20-2:50 p.m. Panel II: “How do we Support the Next Generation of Agriculture?” Elvis Cordova, MRP DUS, Moderator Herb Aarons, California FarmLink John Crockett, San Diego State University Kelly Damewood, CCOF Jeff Dema, MachineryLink Doug Mitchell, KCoe-Isom Pierre Sleiman, Go Green Agriculture Javier Zamora, ALBA

2:50-3:10 p.m. Conclusion Oscar Gonzales, Farm Service Agency California State Director

Click here to submit ideas!

The federal court granted in part the motion for preliminary injunction filed by the National Grange and the California State Grange, providing important relief to further restrain the confusing and misleading activity of the California Guild. As a result of the order, the Guild and its agents are required to --

   • Stop using the California State Grange's telephone number (916-454-5805);
   • Include a "prominent disclaimer on all business, commercial, official, and public communications discussing ... history or achievements" that states: "NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE CALIFORNIA STATE GRANGE"; and
   • Stop referencing any history or goodwill of the California State Grange prior to October 7, 1946 in any advertising, promotional, commercial, official or public communications.

This relief is a significant step in the right direction. With yesterday’s decision we have reclaimed 76 years of California State Grange history. In particular, the ruling further makes clear that the California Guild is not the successor to, nor does it have any connection to, the California State Grange. As Mr. McFarland and the Guild have often stated, the California State Grange has existed since 1873 and is the oldest agricultural fraternal organization in California. Judge Shubb's ruling yesterday makes clear that the Guild is NOT that organization. We are.

This ruling also further undermines the false claims of Mr. McFarland and others that Subordinate and Pomona Granges somehow are required to "affiliate" with the California State Grange. Many Granges (including the Granges to which many of you receiving this e-mail belong) were formed long before 1946. Did they "affiliate" with the California State Grange in 1946? Of course not. They were part of the Grange from the moment they received their Charters, and they remain part of the Grange so long as they hold those Charters. No further action on their part is required to "affiliate" with the California State Grange. All that is required for those Granges that have not already done so is to take the simple steps required to return to Good Standing in the Grange.

Judge Shubb denied some additional requests for relief raised in the motion for preliminary injunction, but it is important to note that he did so because we are at a very early stage in this case. (The Guild has not even filed its answer to the complaint yet.) Those claims for relief were NOT dismissed from the case. The judge denied part of the motion and said that the California Guild and Mr. McFarland may have found a “loophole” that allows them to claim rights dating back to 1946, but at the same time he recognizes this as “unfair play.” The National Grange and the California State Grange intend to continue pursuing their claims on this front, and expect to be successful in obtaining full relief after presenting the evidence to close the "loophole" on which the Guild and Mr. McFarland are relying.

The deadline for the California Guild to pay the attorney’s fees award of more than $144,000 is on Thursday, September 29. If payment is not received, we can obtain assistance from the court in enforcing the fee order. Click here to view!

Federal Judge Shubb issued a decision dated September 9 awarding the National Grange $144,715.70 in attorney’s fees. McFarland and the CA Guild will have 14 days to pay this amount in full and confirm payment with the court.

This amount was awarded because there was “significant evidence” that [the Guild] willfully and deliberately continued to infringe [the Grange] trademark rights and engage in unfair competition against [the Grange] following the court’s

September 2015 injunction. (See id. at 33-36 (“The court is hard pressed to find that defendant’s acts were anything other than deliberate and willful.”)); Click here to view!

GRANGE INSURANCE ASSOCIATION
ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018

Grange Insurance Association (GIA) Chairman of the Board, D. Thomas McKern, is pleased to announce that GIA will again fund 25 scholarships for the 2017 – 2018 school year, totaling $33,500. In addition, GIA is honored to award the $1,000 Paul and Ethel Holter Memorial Scholarship, funded by a gift of Mrs. Holter’s estate, and the $1,000 Dee and Ina McKern Memorial Scholarship, funded by a gift from the McKern family.

Applicants may apply for either an academic or a vocational scholarship. Three of the awards will be for students wishing to pursue vocational studies and 22 awards will be for academic studies. The top winner in each category will receive a $2,500 award and the remaining winners will receive $1,000 - $2,000 each.

Eligibility requirements (applicants must meet one of the following):
1. Current GIA policyholder (or children of GIA policyholder)
2. Children of current GIA company employees
3. A previous recipient of a GIA scholarship

Please note that children or legal wards of officers, directors or agents of GIA are ineligible.

These scholarships may be used at any institution offering courses leading to a certificate or a degree in a recognized profession or vocation, including: community colleges, business colleges and technical institutes. Vocational scholarships are aimed specifically for those students not pursuing a college diploma, but seeking further education and/or training in a vocation often not covered by more traditional colleges or universities.

The committee will base its awards on the following:
• Complete and legible application
• Scholastic ability (official grade transcript required)
• Handwritten or typed Essay by Applicant
 Please tell us about yourself, your family and your future goals
 Also include any leadership or volunteer-related programs or projects in which you have been involved in high school, in the community, or elsewhere
 What college, university, or trade school do you plan to attend and how will this scholarship assist you

Application deadline is March 1, 2017. (Postmarked) Funds awarded for the 2017-2018 school year.

Please complete the following request form for an application for a Grange Insurance Association Scholarship: SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE Please send a GIA Scholarship Application to: GRANGE INSURANCE ASSOCIATION

Attn: Scholarship Coordinator Name: ________________________________ P.O. Box 21089 Address: Seattle, WA 98111-3089 ________________________________ ______________________________ APPLICATION FORMS CAN ALSO BE DOWNLOADED AT OUR WEBSITE: www.grange.com

The new issue of the California Granger is now available. This issue includes Convention Wrap-Up, Western States Conference News, and latest news from the National Grange Legislative Director.

Click here to view!

This is official notice of the next Board of Directors Meeting of the California State Grange.

The meeting will open on Saturday September 17th, 2016 at 9:00 AM and will close at 3:00 PM for Closed Session. On Sunday September 18th, the meeting will reopen at 9:00 AM and close at 2:00 PM.

All members in good standing may attend any open session meeting of the Board of Directors of the California State Grange. Closed session are called to discuss confidential legal or personnel matter.

If you wish to address the Board at the meeting regarding a specific issue, you must notify the State Secretary, Lillian Booth no later than than the 5:00 PM on Monday, September 12, 2016 per Section 6.3.3(c) of the California State Grange By-Laws.


August 2016


Sierra Valley Grange #466 was chartered on November 11th, 1931. On October 15th, 11 AM to 3 PM, members are invited to help the Sierra Valley Grange celebrate to take place at the Grange Hall, in Vinton, CA. (On Hwy 70, and you can't miss it)

Aren't you all getting tired of this legal stuff? I know I am but .......... you have to ask yourself why would Mr. McFarland want to defy a court judgment and waste more money and time by not returning Grange property back to the California State Grange? What's the point? Mr. McFarland continues to collect his salary while the Guild litigates to the bitter end, but the only result is the further waste of Grange assets on a hopeless fight. It is truly unfortunate. The California State Grange continues to take steps to recover the Grange property subject to the state court Judgment, notwithstanding the Guild's refusal to accept the reality that Mr. McFarland himself recognized back in 2010: Grange property was acquired by generations of Grangers and must remain in the Grange for future generations of our Order. No individual or group can take that property and use it for some other organization that has nothing to do with the Grange.

As you will see in this latest order from the state court, the California State Grange has been permitted to file a cross-complaint to recover the property subject to the Judgment. The judge spelled out for all to read that the California State Grange's cross complaint is filed "to enforce its rights under the Judgment. The record in this action reflects that the Unchartered State Grange has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of Grange property since April 5, 2012 and is planning to spend more before the appeal of the Judgment is concluded. The waste and dissipation of assets was the basis for the imposition of the $750,000 bond."

The cross-complaint will permit the California State Grange to put an end to the ongoing waste and dissipation of Grange assets by the Guild.

Click here to view!

In follow-up to the Appellate Court ruling denying the request for a stay of the undertaking order filed by Mr. McFarland and the order above granting leave to file, the California State Grange today filed its cross-complaint to recover the property subject to the Judgment that is improperly in the Guild's possession or control. In particular, the cross-complaint seeks:

1. an order that the real property described in the deed attached as Exhibit B, including the buildings located at 3830 U Street, 3823 V Street, and 2101 and 2103 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95817 be returned by the California Guild to the California State Grange;
2. an order that the California Guild pay $96,026.79, representing the balance in Wells Fargo account number XXXXXX8503 on April 5, 2013, to the California State Grange.
3. an order that the California Guild pay the amount equal to the balance in Morgan Stanley account number XXX-XXX374-040 on April 5, 2013, to the California State Grange.
4. an order that the California Guild pay the amount equal to the balance in Morgan Stanley account number XXX-XXX375-040 on April 5, 2013, to the California State Grange.
5. an order that the California Guild return the promissory notes, deeds of trust, and security instruments related to the loans to:

  •Big Valley Grange #680;
  •Chico Grange#486;
  •Corralitos Grange #487; Coyote Grange #412;
  •Honey Lake Valley Grange #825;
  •Meadow Vista Grange #721;
  •Rutherford Grange #371;
  •San Luis Obispo Grange #639

be returned to the California State Grange, and that all right, title, and interest in these loans belongs to the California State Grange. Click here to read cross-complaint!

Brothers and Sisters:

There is a group of California Grangers that are forming a travel group that intend on attending the 150th National Grange Convention in Washington D.C.November 14-20th 2016.

Depending on the number of folks and adventurous spirit, it is being determined how transcontinental transpiration will be defined (Planes, Trains, Automobiles or Wagons (lol)).

We are expecting a good size group to represent the California State Grange and if there is the desire to drive, the group might even be able to pick up other state Grange members along the way.

I am please to announce that Rich Sax, Master Aromas Grange has taken the lead as Wagon Master and going to coordinate the group. Contact Rich and let home know your thoughts -

813-726-3609 or

RichSax@earthlink.net

National Grange Sesquicentennial Anniversary

When is the National Grange’s birthday?

Oliver Hudson Kelly and the other seven founding members of the Grange discussed their new organization at length prior to the actual start of the Order. The first official meeting of the Founders as a Grange occurred in 1968, but prior to that the group had committed to creating the organization and working to write its rules and build its structure. Later, the early leaders of the Grange designated Dec. 4, 1867 as our “birthday.

The 150th birthday of the National Grange, then, is Dec. 4, 2017, however you will hold the 150th Annual National Grange Convention in 2016. How did that happen?

The early meetings of the National Grange, including the first in 1868, were held in February. As the Grange organization took hold around the country and farm members from all over joined with the excitement for social interaction with others and political voice for themselves and their industry, requiring delegates from State Granges to travel in what was one of the harshest winter months through most of the country, the early leaders decided to move the convention from February to a time post-harvest in November. In 1875 the last February session was held and another was held in November of that same year, the start of our long legacy of fall meetings. Our Digest of Laws requires that the annual convention be held in the month of November and commence on or before the 15th of the month.

Due to the multiple 150th dates, what will be the term for the Sesquicentennial celebration?

We will kick off the celebration of the 150 years of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry (#150YearsofGrange) at the 150th Annual National Grange Convention starting Nov. 15, 2016. In Spokane, Wash., at the 151st Convention, which will happen just before the official 150th birthday of the Grange, there will be an even bigger celebration and peripheral events to support our Order, its “brand” and our publicity goals. We will officially begin to wind down the celebration at the 152nd Annual Convention in 2018 in Stowe, Vt., just before we enter our 151st year that December, however, the Sesquicentennial logo with alteration to note the date of establishment, will continue to appear on several articles, supporting the continued focus on our theme of “ESTO PERPETUA” (to make sure the Grange endures and lives on for all the generations to come).

In the Federal Trademark lawsuit against the California Guild and Robert McFarland, the National Grange and the California State Grange filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, a motion for the preliminary injunction.

Click here to view!

On Friday, August 19th, the Court of Appeal denied Bob McFarland's motion to overturn the order requiring the Guild to post an undertaking of $750,000 to stay enforcement of the state court judgment. The California State Grange has already taken steps to file a new complaint to enforce that judgment.

You can read the Court's full order below. Once again, the Guild's arguments were so obviously baseless that the Court denied the motion without even asking for oral argument.

Click here to view!

The FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT filled by the National Grange and the California State Grange for:

1. FALSE DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN
2. FEDERAL FALSE ADVERTISING
3. CALIFORNIA FALSE ADVERTISING
4. TRADE LIBEL
5. INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE IN CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS
6. FEDERAL TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT
7. INFRINGEMENT OF UNREGISTERED LOGO AND TRADE DRESS
8. TRESPASS
9. CONVERSION

was filled in Federal Court August 17th against the defendant California Guild and Mr. McFarland.

Click here to view!

Congradulations goes out to the Fiddletown Grange Fair Program youth who made an excellent showing at the Amador County Fair.

• Kasey Greilich - Showing her market lamb that graded Marketable Plus(highest grade)

• Mickayla Piatnik - Showing her market lamb in class. First time showman did great.

• Mickendra Piatnik: Quilt:1st place and best of show. Junior Division. Champion Bantam Hen and also showed a market lamb.

• Mason Davie, Jordan Lee and Mickendra Piatnik in market lamb class. All lambs locally bred and raised. Mason placed 2nd in his class going back in for champion.

• Megan Lynch - Showing her market steer which placed second in its class going back in for champion.

• Jack Koll - Showing his market steer placed 4th in its class.

Visit our Facebook page to see photos

150th Annual National Grange Convention

We Can't Wait to See You!

The 150th Annual National Grange Convention is approaching fast. Please be sure to join us this year, Nov. 15-19, as a participant/attendee or a volunteer. The Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Hotel is currently taking reservations and there is plenty of free parking. We are strongly encouraging all attendees and states with bus trips planned to use the Host hotel. Like with all major conventions, we have a contractual obligation to use a number of sleeping rooms in order to receive hotel meeting space for free and other discounts. If we do not meet the minimum number of room nights contracted, we will owe the hotel thousands of dollars in "attrition."

Also, attendees who stay off property will miss a great amount of fellowship time and extra activities, many new workshops and surprises planned for this celebration year.

Save $5 by taking advantage of the Early Bird Discount if you register by Sept. 2nd.

Please come be a part of history and encourage your Grange friends to come too! You can register for the 150th Annual convention at www.nationalgrange.org or you can request a printed registration form by emailing Stephanie Tiller at stiller@nationalgrange.orgor by calling (202) 628-3507, ext. 113.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Convention Registration and Hotel Link

On August 16th, the federal court granted the National Grange’s motion to amend its complaint in the second trademark lawsuit brought against the Guild to address the ongoing confusion caused by the Guild’s legally and factually incorrect claims that it has any connection to or authority over Subordinate Granges in California. The amendment to the complaint adds new causes of action to address the Guild’s ongoing and unlawfully infringing conduct, and also adds the California State Grange as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

A few highlights from the order. Oral argument is normally permitted if the opposing party (here, the Guild) has any argument that is reasonably likely to prevail, but Judge Schubb wrote that, "[h]aving read the parties' briefs, the court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary." The Court held that "[a]lthough defendants oppose plaintiff's motion to amend, none of their arguments pass muster." In particular, the Court rejected the Guild’s claims that it should not have to defend against “evolving” theories of its wrongdoing, holding that the National Grange’s "‘newly evolving theories,’ … would not be necessary if [the Guild] did not continually find creative ways to comply with the language of the injunction while still attempting to reap the benefits of the California State Grange's former affiliation with [the National Grange]." In other words, the National Grange was justified in seeking to amend its complaint to address the Guild’s ongoing attempts to claim the history and goodwill of the California State Grange, and to claim authority over Subordinate Granges.

Click here to view Court Order!

Letter and attachments were sent August 11, 2016 to Granges that received loans from the California State Grange prior to April 5, 2013.

Those loan receivables are subject to the state court Judgment. Payments to the Guild will NOT satisfy those Granges' obligations under the loans.

The documents were sent to notify Granges with such loans so as to protect California State Grange assets.

Click here to view letter.

Click here to view related legal documents.

The following Granges have returned to Good Standing in the Month of August:

• Independent Grange #470
• Lake Earl Grange #577
• Loma Rica #802


Welcome!


July 2016


The following Granges have returned to Good Standing in the Month of July:

• Orland Grange #432
• Lucerne Valley Grange #844
• Stanislaus-Mountain View Grange #558
• Ione Grange #681
• Stonyford Grange #686
• Mad River Grange #580
• Sierra Valley Grange #466
• Palermo Grange #493
• Simoore Grange #857


Welcome!

The following Granges have returned to Good Standing in the Month of June:

• Ceres Grange #520
• Calaveras Grange #715


Welcome!

At the 141st Annual Session of the California State Grange the delegates considered 45 different resolutions, of which 25 were adopted.

Policies adopted include requirements for GMO labeling, Fracking, support for Ag Education and more. Click here to view resolutions adopted.


June 2016


At the 141st Annual Session of the California State Grange, officers were elected for the consitutional term of two years. The Executive Committee was elected for three, two and one years respectively. The following were elected.

Master (President) - Ed Komski, Rainbow Valley Grange, San Diego Co.
Overseer (Vice President) - Josh Harper of Orangevale Grange, Sacramento Co.
Executive Committee - Bob Clouse, Orangevale Grange, Sacramento Co. - 3 year term
Executive Committee - Inger Bevans, Prunedale Grange, Monterey Co. - 2 year term
Executive Committee - Jerry Allen, Sebastopol Grange, Sonoma Co. - 1 year term
Lecturer - Katie Squire, Central Union Grange, Fresno Co.
Chaplain - Barbara Geiger, Aptos Grange, Santa Cruz Co.
Treasurer - Gary Abreim, Sebastopol Grange, Sonoma Co.
Secretary - Lillian Booth, DeSabla Grange, Butte Co.
Steward - Randy Turnquist - Aptos Grange, Santa Cruz Co.
Assistant Steward - Brandon Nebitt, Rosedale Grange, Kern Co.
Lady Assistant Steward - Suzi Laskowski, Rosedale Grange, Kern Co.
Gatekeeper - Vince Scholten, Sebastopol Grange, Sonoma Co.
Flora - Jayme West - Ramona Grange, San Diego Co.
Pomona - Nola Martini, Morgan Hill Grange, Santa Clara Co.
Ceres - Ruthie King, Little Lake Grange, Mendocino Co.
Musician - Martha Stefenoni, Bellevue Grange, Sonoma Co.

We will be updating our officer contacts within the next few days. Watch for more information on resolutions etc. in the next week.

A resolution was passed at the 2015 Annual Session of the California State Grange stating:

RESOLVED That upon completion of the current litigation, if the below named individuals reapply for membership in the Grange, charges shall be filed against those individuals by the Board of Directors of the California State Grange for alleged violations of Grange law.

Lawrence Jaffe, Sonoma County and Damian Parr, Santa Cruz County, were two of those individuals named in the resolution.

It has come to the attention of the Board that Mr. Jaffe and Dr. Parr have applied for membership in Sebastopol Grange and Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange, respectively.

Therefore, the Board of Directors (excluding the Master) of the California State Grange have charged Lawrence Jaffe and Damian Parr with violating their Grange obligations of membership for their participation in the attempted disaffiliation of the California State Grange from the National Grange by Robert McFarland and certain others in November of 2013, and for working in concert with other individuals to the detriment of the California State Grange.

The Digest of Laws provides, in relevant part: 12.2.3 The Master of the level where the complaint is filed shall have the authority to offer mediation to the complainant and respondent or make a ruling on the laws of the Order to remedy the complaint. If either the complainant or respondents finds that mediation or ruling by the Master fails to solve the issue, the provisions as set forth in sections 12.2.16 through 12.2.33 will be placed into effect.

I have offered mediation to both the Board (the complainant) and Mr. Jaffe and Dr. Parr (the respondents) and have made a ruling to remedy the complaint. Both, Mr. Jaffe and Dr. Parr have made it clear that they made a mistake in interpretation and execution of Grange Law as is applied to the suspension of Mr. McFarland, the suspension of the Charter of the California State Grange, and the revocation of the Charter of the California State Grange, and in the execution of the disaffiliation letter hand delivered by Leo Bergeron to the 2013 National Grange Annual Convention and the National Delegates.

It is with respect and dignity I ask all members to welcome the return of Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Parr as members in good standing in our Fraternal Order.

Its now available, the California Granger, the official publication of the California State Grange.

Click here to view!

At the 141st Annual Session of the California State Grange, officers were elected for the consitutional term of two years. The Executive Committee was elected for three, two and one years respectively. The following were elected.

Master (President) - Ed Komski, Rainbow Valley Grange, San Diego Co.
Overseer (Vice President) - Josh Harper of Orangevale Grange, Sacramento Co.
Executive Committee - Bob Clouse, Orangevale Grange, Sacramento Co. - 3 year term
Executive Committee - Inger Bevans, Prunedale Grange, Monterey Co. - 2 year term
Executive Committee - Jerry Allen, Sebastopol Grange, Sonoma Co. - 1 year term
Lecturer - Katie Squire, Central Union Grange, Fresno Co.
Chaplain - Barbara Geiger, Aptos Grange, Santa Cruz Co.
Treasurer - Gary Abreim, Sebastopol Grange, Sonoma Co.
Secretary - Lillian Booth, DeSabla Grange, Butte Co.
Steward - Randy Turnquist - Aptos Grange, Santa Cruz Co.
Assistant Steward - Brandon Nebitt, Rosedale Grange, Kern Co.
Lady Assistant Steward - Suzi Laskowski, Rosedale Grange, Kern Co.
Gatekeeper - Vince Scholten, Sebastopol Grange, Sonoma Co.
Flora - Jayme West - Ramona Grange, San Diego Co.
Pomona - Nola Martini, Morgan Hill Grange, Santa Clara Co.
Ceres - Ruthie King, Little Lake Grange, Mendocino Co.
Musician - Martha Stefenoni, Bellevue Grange, Sonoma Co.

We will be updating our officer contacts within the next few days. Watch for more information on resolutions etc. in the next week.

A resolution was passed at the 2015 Annual Session of the California State Grange stating:

RESOLVED That upon completion of the current litigation, if the below named individuals reapply for membership in the Grange, charges shall be filed against those individuals by the Board of Directors of the California State Grange for alleged violations of Grange law.

Lawrence Jaffe, Sonoma County and Damian Parr, Santa Cruz County, were two of those individuals named in the resolution.

It has come to the attention of the Board that Mr. Jaffe and Dr. Parr have applied for membership in Sebastopol Grange and Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange, respectively.

Therefore, the Board of Directors (excluding the Master) of the California State Grange have charged Lawrence Jaffe and Damian Parr with violating their Grange obligations of membership for their participation in the attempted disaffiliation of the California State Grange from the National Grange by Robert McFarland and certain others in November of 2013, and for working in concert with other individuals to the detriment of the California State Grange.

The Digest of Laws provides, in relevant part: 12.2.3 The Master of the level where the complaint is filed shall have the authority to offer mediation to the complainant and respondent or make a ruling on the laws of the Order to remedy the complaint. If either the complainant or respondents finds that mediation or ruling by the Master fails to solve the issue, the provisions as set forth in sections 12.2.16 through 12.2.33 will be placed into effect.

I have offered mediation to both the Board (the complainant) and Mr. Jaffe and Dr. Parr (the respondents) and have made a ruling to remedy the complaint. Both, Mr. Jaffe and Dr. Parr have made it clear that they made a mistake in interpretation and execution of Grange Law as is applied to the suspension of Mr. McFarland, the suspension of the Charter of the California State Grange, and the revocation of the Charter of the California State Grange, and in the execution of the disaffiliation letter hand delivered by Leo Bergeron to the 2013 National Grange Annual Convention and the National Delegates.

It is with respect and dignity I ask all members to welcome the return of Mr. Jaffe and Mr. Parr as members in good standing in our Fraternal Order.

Its now available, the California Granger, the official publication of the California State Grange.

Click here to view!


May 2016

The following Granges have returned to Good Standing in the Month of May:

• Clovis Sanger Fowler Grange #842
• Westside Grange #473
• Gazelle Grange #380


Welcome!

On May 11, 2016, State Grange Master Ed Komski revoke the Charter of Nevada Star Grange, Rubidoux Grange, Redwood Valley Grange and Orchard City Grange, under Section 4.5.1 of the Digest of Laws of the National Grange. It was determined that these Granges were working in violation of the law and useage of the Order. These Granges may appeal the decision of Master Komski to the Master of the National Grange within 45 days.

For more details, please see the notices sent to the Granges.

View Nevada Star Grange #16 Revocation Letter

View Rubidoux Grange #611 Revocation Letter

View Redwood Valley Grange #382 Revocation Letter

View Orchard City Grange #333 Revocation Letter

You can now register for the annual session. Deadline for submitting your registration forms is June 10th.

Click on the download icon to get the registration form. This form is a fillable Adobe Acrobat Form.


April 2016

To to events beyond the control of the State Grange it was necessary to move the site of the 141st Annual Session from Morgan Hill Grange Hall to the Orangevale Grange Hall. Dates will remain the same - June 24-26, 2016

Click here for more information.

The Grange Expo Book is now available. Check it out and see what you can do!

Click here to view!

On April 20, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California granted the National Grange’s motion for post-injunctive relief in the trademark lawsuit.

The April 20 Order held that the McFarland Group was in “willful and deliberate” violation of the September 2015 permanent injunction, which prohibits it from using the name “Grange.” The Order also awarded fees to the National Grange for bringing the motion for post-judgment injunctive relief, as well as attorney fees for the National Grange’s motion to show cause why the defendant should not be held in contempt of court, which had previously been denied without prejudice. The Order requires the McFarland Group, including its “agents, affiliates, and assigns, and any party acting in concert with defendant or its agents, affiliates, and assigns” to -

   (1) remove the word “Grange” from all corporate registrations and other documents filed with any federal, state, or local government, including, but not limited, to, articles of incorporation and lobbying licenses on file with the California Secretary of State and all fictitious business name registrations with the County of Sacramento;
   (2) serve upon the California State Grange a copy of the order and file with the clerk a certificate reflecting such service within five days from the date of the Order (i.e., by April 25),
   (3) Remove the word “Grange” from all public telephone and business directory listings, on the Internet or otherwise, including, but not limited to, online business directory listings on www.Google.com and www.ZoomInfo.com;
   (4) In addition, the April 20 order permanently enjoins the McFarland Group, including “its agents, affiliates, and assigns, and any party acting in concert with defendant or its agents, affiliates, and assigns,” from
      (a) conducting business using the name “Grange,” including, but not limited to, soliciting dues using the name “Grange,” collecting checks addressed to any entity whose name contains the word “Grange,” endorsing checks using any name containing the word “Grange,” using bank accounts or other financial accounts under any name containing the word “Grange,” and endorsing, signing, or executing any document, lease, instruction, or financial instrument using any name containing the word “Grange”;
      (b) using “Grange” in any domain name or e-mail address or otherwise representing the McFarland Group’s domain name or e-mail address as containing the word “Grange”; and
      (c) referencing the McFarland Group’s past affiliation with the Grange or any other entity whose name contains the word “Grange,”including representing the McFarland Group to be the former California State Grange; successor to the California State Grange; or formerly known as, trading as, or doing business as the California State Grange;

Finally, the April 20 Order requires that within 15 days from the date of the Order, the McFarland Group shall file with the court and serve on the National Grange a report in writing, signed under oath, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which the McFarland Group, its officers, agents, servants, employees, representatives, partners, and all parties acting in concert with the McFarland Group have complied with the terms of the Order.

The April 20 Order has sweeping consequences for the dispute between The Grange and the McFarland Group, including the following:

Use of “Grange” in Corporate Documents is an Infringement of The Grange’s Trademark Rights.

The court held that that “Defendant’s use of ‘California State Grange’ as its corporate name infringes plaintiff’s registered mark and constitutes unfair competition against plaintiff,” and that to the extent the court “erred in employing the term ‘marks’ instead of ‘names’ in its order, it was a big mistake.” While the McFarland Group has repeatedly argued that the injunction does not cover its corporate registration and fictitious business name filings, the court summarized these arguments as a “game of ‘gotcha’” designed to evade the intent of the court’s September 30 injunction order.

The McFarland Group is Prohibited from Claiming the History and Goodwill of the California State Grange.

The court found that the McFarland Group’s references to its prior affiliation with the California State Grange, including claims that it is “formerly known as California State Grange” on its website and other materials, “are an attempt to do an ‘end-run’ around the court’s permanent injunction prohibiting defendant from using the word ‘Grange’ in connection with its goods or services.” The court recognized that the McFarland Group’s claim to the history and goodwill of the California State Grange have caused “actual confusion among” the members of the California State Grange. Moreover, the court suggested that by identifying itself as “formerly the California State Grange,” the McFarland Group is using the mark ‘Grange’ in violation of the court’s September 30 injunction.

The California Grange Foundation is a Related Entity Bound by the Injunction

The April 20 Order finds that Mr. McFarland controls both the McFarland Group and the California Grange Foundation, and that the latter entity is not excluded from compliance with the court’s orders because it is not a named party in the litigation. The court noted that the California Secretary of State corporate records list the same corporate address for both organizations, and both list Mr. McFarland as the agent for service of process. Because Mr. McFarland controls both entities, including their websites, the California Grange Foundation is an “agent, affiliate assign, or an entity acting in concert with defendant.” Therefore, the California Grange Foundation is required to remove the word ‘Grange” from its corporate registration and filings with federal, state and local governments, including its fictitious business name registrations filed in Sacramento County.

Non-Parties Can be Held in Contempt for Violating the Court’s Order

To further emphasize the reach of the court’s September 2015 injunction, the April 20 Order repeatedly notes that the order applies to the McFarland Group and “its agents, affiliates and assigns, and any party acting in concert with defendant or its agents, affiliates, and assigns." The court also expressly noted that the “non-parties may be held liable in contempt for violating the court’s injunction.”

The McFarland Group Cannot Use “Grange” in its Any Aspect of its Business Activities

The National Grange’s motions for contempt and post-judgment injunctive relief provided numerous examples of the McFarland Group’s continued use of “Grange” in conducting its business, including by executing leases in the name “California State Grange,” using bank accounts with the name “California State Grange,” soliciting membership dues using “Grange,” and collecting and endorsing checks made out to the “California State Grange.” Judge Shubb described these actions as a “blatant disregard for and violation of the court’s September 29, 2015 injunction.”

The McFarland Group Must Proactively Amend Business Directories that Reference “Grange.”

Prior to the April 20 Order, a simple search for “California State Grange” on Google would result in a listing with the McFarland Group’s address and telephone number, and until that time, the McFarland Group allowed “California State Grange” to appear in several online business directories. The court rejected the McFarland Group’s assertions that it “does not have control over the contents of Google or ZoomInfo,” as “not entirely true.” The order requires the McFarlan Group “to remove the word ‘Grange’ from all public telephone and business directory listings, on the internet and otherwise.”In addition, the opinion quotes the McFarland Group’s profile on ZoomInfo, which includes its prior affiliation with the California State Grange, and false claims about its history, number of members, and chapters, noting that these representations “strongly suggested that defendant was affiliated with plaintiff.”

No Further Use of “Grange” in Domain Names and E-mail Addresses Permitted.

Judge Shubb admonished the McFarland Group and Mr. McFarland for continuing to list their e-mail address on the California Secretary of State website as president@californiagrange.org, as this was included in the court’s September 30 injunction order. Accordingly, the April 20 Order reinforces that the McFarland Group, as well as its agents and affiliates, are prohibited from using “Grange” in any domain name or e-mail address.

The National Grange is Entitled to Attorney’s Fees Because this is an Exception Case.

Attorney’s fees are rarely awarded in Lanham Act cases, reserved only for those cases a court deems “exceptional” pursuant to Lanham Act § 35, 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a). Judge Shubb noted that the he is “hard pressed to find that defendant’s acts were anything other than deliberate and willful.” Given the McFarland Group’s actions and the “exceptional” nature of this case, the April 20 Order awards attorney’s fees to the National Grange in an amount to be proven in briefing to happen over the next several weeks.

We hope the summary above is useful to all members in understanding the state of the litigation. As always, we urge you to read the court order itself. Don't just take our word for it -- read the order and see exactly what the court has prohibited the McFarland Group from doing. And, of course, please do not hesitate to contact Ed Komsky by phone or e-mail if you have any questions or would like to discuss.

Click here to view Injunction Order 4/21/16

The site of the 141st Annual Session of the California State Gange has been moved to Orangevale Grange hall, in Sacramento County. Due to conditions beyond the control of Morgan Hill Grange (Health Inspectors/etc), it was necessary to move the site of the Session. Dates will remain the same.

Click here for Session Web Page.

Barbara Geiger, State Grange Lecturer, has release the application for the 2016 Grange Talent show to be held at the State Grange Annual Session. The talent contest will be held on Friday, June 24th.

There are three categories, Vocal, Instrumental and Variety.

All entries must be received on or before June 17th. See application for details.

Click here to get application.

New Programs to be Released by Lecturer's Department Monthly, Contest Announced

Thanks to my time in the National Office as a staff member from 2011-14, I had a great sense of the importance of the role of Lecturer nationally and on a local and state level in the Grange, and I was keenly aware of the massive resources the Lecturer's Department had once been able to provide to Lecturer's and members across the country.

From this, I drew inspiration from past Lecturer's and Program books to provide Lecturers with sample programs that can be used in a variety of ways to either spark new activities, outreach and advocacy of local Granges.

Starting this Grange Month, I plan to release one program each month to Lecturers for use in their meetings. These are created as "programs in a box" - with all kinds of resources, tips and tools for the Lecturer to use to provide a program that fits their Grange or stretch beyond their normal approach.

The first of these programs is a prototype that looks at the town created by the New Deal under our fellow Granger, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Green Towns of the New Deal - Download PDF | Download PowerPoint

Green Towns Song of the Lyrics - Download

Green Belt Towns of the New Deal Word Search - Download

Green Belt Towns List - Download

Transcript of Audio in New Deal Towns - Download

It has been tested by two local Granges that are very different from one another. One is very active, with many programs that engage the public in their little town. The other has been described by the Master as "exemplifying the quiet, peaceful citizens part of our ritual," often meeting in a member's home or local restaurant.

Clearly, programming would be vastly different from one meeting style to another, but the outline, suggested activities and ways to engage further on the topic offered allowed each Grange to pick what they were comfortable or equipped to introduce to their membership.

Each program is created in PowerPoint, not because I expect that any Grange will have the technology or inclination to show it as such, but because it allows the key information and notes to be printed in a very easy-to-use and understand fashion. For Lecturers looking at the material at home, preparing to present in their meetings, they can link to the internet if available to get more resources that are provided or they can sometimes see and hear more information in audio or video clips embedded into the program file. There are activities such as a word search for Granges who like to have puzzles and tip sheets or fact sheets for distribution for Granges that like to have folks take something home.

For those Lecturers who shy away from computers, State or Pomona Lecturers - or State Masters - can provide a printed PDF of the PowerPoint that still gives all the necessary information, tips, engagement and advocacy options to the Lecturer without ever touching the computer.

The topics will be varied and by no means are they suggestions on policy or mission of your or any other Grange. Instead, they come from members' suggestions, questions or areas of expertise. Often these will be created by members or committees who have agreed to assist in this endeavor, truly creating a Lecturer's Department for full-service support.

Should you use a program created and distributed by the National Lecturer and create additional resources or materials, you can send or email them to me and we will include them on the web page dedicated to Lecturer's programs.

To download the first program and content materials, and to find other programs as they are released, please click here.

Contest

Alone, any Lecturer can only create so much, find so many experts and come up with so many ideas, but with more than 2,000 Lecturers around the country, there are innumerable opportunities for great programs to be shared around the Grange nation. For this reason, we are announcing a new contest from the Lecturer's Department called "Lecturer's Program in a Box."

Amanda Leigh Brozana National Grange Lecturer lecturer@nationalgrange.org

National Grange vs. CSG

Court Case in Favor of the National Grange

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2016. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a 39-page order today in favor of the National Grange, holding that an unauthorized former state affiliate of the Grange led by Bob McFarland "has willfully and deliberately continued to deceive the public by infringing" the National Grange's name, and has defied previous court orders in a willful manner.

Calling this an "exceptional case" the federal judge wrote that several sworn statements made by Mr. McFarland "do not appear to be true" and that the defendant's "actions amount to a blatant disregard for and violation of the court's" previous decisions. Even though the Court found that Mr. McFarland "exercises control over" the organizations doing business as CSG and "CSG Foundation," it warned that "non-parties may be held liable in contempt violating the court's injunction."

The court further stated that it "is hard pressed to find that defendant's acts were anything other than deliberate and willful" and that its arguments were "no more than a game of 'gottcha'" or an "end-run" around the court's previous injunction in favor of the National Grange.

"I believe this is the third time we have won this case," said Betsy Huber, Master of the National Grange. "The court has awarded us our attorney's fees and has written that Mr. McFarland and those working with him could be held in contempt of court. We have tried to negotiate, but defendant has filed an appeal. So, we are prepared to win a fourth time, especially if Mr. McFarland's group will be responsible for the National Grange's costs."

Today's decision reinforced an earlier court order that the corporation currently conducting business as CSG is violating federal trademark law by continuing to use the name "California State Grange" in its California corporate registration and by claiming to be the successor to the California State Grange. The court held that CSG's actions, including its claim to be the "former California State Grange," continued use of "Grange" in the course of conducting its business, and its references to the history and goodwill of the California State Grange make this an "exceptional case" under U.S. trademark law, justifying an award of attorney's fees incurred by the National Grange in bringing an action for contempt of court and otherwise enforcing the permanent injunction. The order, which applies to CSG and its agents, assigns and affiliates, as well as non-parties acting in concert with them:

• Requires removal of the name "Grange" from "all corporate registrations and other documents filed with any federal, state or local government, including, but not limited to, articles of incorporation and lobbying licenses on file with the California Secretary of State and all fictitious business name registrations with the County of Sacramento";
• Prohibits CSG from holding itself out as the "successor" to the California State Grange or representing itself as the "former California State Grange," or "formerly known as, trading as, or doing business as the California State Grange";
• Prohibits CSG from conducting any business using the name "Grange" or "California State Grange," e.g., endorsing, signing or executing any documents or leases, soliciting dues, collecting or endorsing checks, or using "Grange" in any domain name or email address; and
• Requires CSG to remove the word "Grange" from "all public telephone and business directory listings, on the internet or otherwise."

The court's order provides CSG with fifteen days to file a written report under oath setting forth in detail the manner in which it has complied with the order. The National Grange is very appreciative of the court's order, which will prevent further violation of the injunction granted to the National Grange on September 30, 2015, and will enable the National Grange and the chartered California State Grange to carry on their missions of supporting farmers in the State of California.

The National Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. The National Grange is part of more than 2,100 hometowns across the United States.

The latest issue of the National Grange Newsletter, now called the "The Patrons Chain" is available.

Click here to view!

The Grange is announcing an exciting new fundraising program. The Grange now has it's own URL featuring thousand of partner stores like Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond. Members may also sign up for "Keep It Local" and expand their sales as a local partner. Members shop online similar to Amazon, and Grange members get cash back.

To visit the Shop.com website and learn more, click here.

As we approach the deadline for all Granges to submit their 1st quarter dues for 2016, State President Komski wanted to take an opportunity to clarify a few points.

As many of you are aware, two different courts – the California Superior Court in the state court lawsuit and the Federal District Court in the trademark lawsuit – have entered judgment against Mr. McFarland and his organization (the McFarland Group). Both judgments make the same fundamental finding: the McFarland Group is not a Grange. It is not part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. Mr. McFarland and the McFarland Group have no authority over any Grange or Patron. Copies of both judgments are available at the links below, if you want to read exactly what the courts said.

According to those judgments, the rules of our Order, and California law, the McFarland Group has no right or authority to collect Grange dues from any Grange. Nevertheless, Komski said he understands that Mr. McFarland is still attempting to convince Granges to pay dues to his organization. You should not do so. If you receive an invoice for Grange dues from the McFarland Group, ignore it. If Mr. McFarland or one of his followers asks you to pay dues to his organization, politely decline. Payment of dues to the McFarland Group does not satisfy your Grange’s obligation to pay dues under the rules of the Order. If you have any questions about this, make your check to the McFarland Group out to “California State Grange,” or any name with the word “Grange” in it, and see what the response is.

The rules of our Order, from the National Grange on down, have meaning and are binding on all members under California and federal law. Mr. McFarland and some others chose to violate those rules, and the oaths they swore in order to be installed into office in The Grange. Those actions resulted in years of litigation. But we have prevailed in the trial courts in both the state and federal court lawsuits. The McFarland Group’s appeals of both judgments will fail. We have taken steps to protect the property and assets of the California State Grange pending the appeal, and intend to do everything we can to recover control of that property as soon as possible.

Our Order has suffered tremendously as a result of the actions of Mr. McFarland and the McFarland Group. But we are moving steadily toward reconciliation and the healing of the rift that tore our Order asunder over the past several years. Reconciliation means returning to good standing. In the past few months, many dozens of Granges have returned to good standing, and we have recently been in touch with many more that wish to do so. It is my sincere hope that every Grange will do what it takes to return to good standing, and that we will soon put the unpleasantness of the past few years behind us so that we can focus on the good work of our Order in our communities in the years to come.

If you have any questions about what your Grange should be doing under the rules of the Order, or what it needs to do to return to good standing, you can reach Komski anytime ekomski@castategrange.org.

Click here to view Trademark Judgement

Click here to view Property Judgement

As we begin the preparation for what we can all be assured will be an exciting and constructive June 22 - 26 convention @ Morgan Hill Grange. Please go to our website to see the complete schedule and usefull tools. Committee requests need to be submitted prior to April 13th.

We are currently taking names of interested members in good standing to be involved with the following committees: ▪ Agricultural
▪ Audit & Budget
▪ Citizenship
▪ Conservation
▪ Grange Law
▪ Growth & Development
▪ Health & Education
▪ Labor & Judiciary


Any resolution written after 2011 but not as part of an official (1873-2011 and 2014-2015) California State Grange Convention is not part of the Journal of Proceedings of the California State Grange and therefore is not recognized as a resolution of any kind. We encourage members that have worked on draft resolutions for unofficial meetings after 2011 to submit those resolutions to the CSGrange as early as possible to be included in our work. This could mean a great deal of work prior to convention by committees and chairs.

Click here to view more session information.

Click here for Committee Assignment Requests


March 2016

When you walk into your local Costco or Sam's Club, you need to show that you are a member in order to purchase there. So to with the Grange, you need to be a member (in good standing) in order to take part in the benefits of membership.

One of the benefits of Grange membership is the ability of our Grange Youth to show in local fairs in the Grange Youth category. This is part of a long standing agreement with the California Fairs and Expositions Branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The California Superior Court has been very clear in its rulings that the McFarland Group - AKA Guild, the California State Guild etc. is not a Grange. As such, any group following the "Guild" is not a Grange in Good Standing, and can not show with the Grange Uniform.

Recently, a Grange, not in good standing, attempted to show at the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival. Fair officials would not allow these youth to show in Grange uniforms because of their affiliation with the "Guild". The decision of the local officials was supported by the State Fairs and Expositions.

However, the youth were permitted to show as Independent Exhibitors. If you have Youth, in the Grange Fair Program, don't put your youth in this position, by not being a Grange in Good Standing!

Click here to view!

We extend congratulations to Helen Bartow for her 75 years of membership and to Little Lake Grange Leadership for the wonderful celebration of those years of service to her Grange and community!

Photo by Kate Maxwell - TWN. Although she was only 12 when the Little Lake Grange was founded, Helen Bartow received an honorary award for being a Little Lake Grange founder at the Grange Elders event held March 26. Here pictured from L- R are grange officers Richard Jergenson, Ruthie King, Annie Waters, Helen Bartow (receiving her certificate) and Rachel Britton, who interviewed Bartow during the event, presenting Bartow with her honorary award.

Here is a reprint of that story.

By Kate Maxwell, kmaxwell@willitsnews.com Posted: 03/30/16, 9:44 AM PDT | Updated: 17 hrs ago Life in the Little Lake Valley is much different now than it was when Helen Bartow was a girl, learning how to operate her family’s sheep ranch as the third generation of her family farming in the valley. Some of the same buildings and landmarks remain—the old Farm Bureau building that is now a church, the former school that is now the Little Lake Grange - but for most residents in town, everyday life has changed a lot since the days when every working farm had a team of horses, and residents canned fruit to make it last through the winter.

At the Little Lake Grange this weekend, Bartow shared many of her recollections growing up in Willits as part of the ongoing “Grange Elders” series, started several years ago. For the series, a series of long-time residents, mainly farmers and ranchers, recorded their memories of life in Willits’ past, in order to share them with current and future inhabitants of the valley.

The evening with Bartow held special significance for many grange members, both young and old, since Bartow’s father was one of the original 20 residents who formed the Little Lake Grange in 1938, and served as the first grange master. Although she has just turned 90 and was only 12 years old at the time—having previously attended school in what is now the grange hall—grange officials presented Bartow with a “founder” certificate to commemorate her early involvement with the local institution. At different points in her life, Bartow served as the assistant steward as well as several other grange positions, as her parents had done, though she noted she hadn’t attended a membership meeting in some time.

The event also served to highlight the long history of the national grange movement, which began 150 years ago, explained Little Lake Grange President Annie Waters, who organized the event. Waters noted this year was a “Heritage” year for the national grange, making the event particularly timely as members reflect on and celebrate the populist agrarian movement still flourishing in many small towns. Although membership has dropped since it’s peak, the organization currently includes over 3,000 grange halls and over 300,000 members across the country, with at least four active grange halls in the county.

Taking the stage with cameras from Willits Community Television rolling, Bartow entertained the crowd with tales of the Willits of yore, ranging from seasonal harvesting work to rowdy town dances. Rachel Britton, the current Grange Speaker who also made the steak pies for the event’s dinner, acted as interviewer during the event, warning the crowd beforehand that Bartow would easily dismiss questions she didn’t want to answer with a quick joke.

Luckily for the crowd, there weren’t many topics she wasn’t willing to take on, and jokes were peppered throughout the conversation. Beginning with the years when few valley residents had automobiles, Bartow described life in the valley as one where every farm had a team of horses, and journeys to a neighbor would often result in staying overnight. “I don’t know how I got to school, my legs were too short,” she cracked in response to one question.

Bartow still lives in the house her grandfather built in the valley, and her family still raises sheep on the same property that are now recognized as their own breed. Many aspects of daily life have long since disappeared. Some aspects of farming during that time are being rediscovered by newer generations of farmers seeking a more sustainable and diversified agricultural life in the county. Local farmers young and old listened attentively to the stories she shared.

Describing a time when trucks would carry feed and chickens back and forth to Petaluma, “the chicken nest of the world,” Bartow told the crowd that many valley residents raised sheep primarily for wool, bringing their goods to a single wholesale buyer in Ukiah, Many families raised chickens and turkeys, and grew a wide range of crops to feed their families throughout the year, including potatoes, onions, and apples to store, since supermarkets didn’t exist. She detailed some of the different types of grain grown throughout the area, remembering the families who shared their threshers to make sure grains were harvested on time, and how milled grains were valued as both a source of food and something to barter with one’s neighbors.

She also recalled how local youth worked in the fruit orchards outside Ukiah, and families would purchase peaches and other fruit wholesale from central valley farmers who would travel through the area selling goods for canning. Bartow explained to the crowd how some daily routines, such as hand-washing clothes and using the local smokehouse, were now rendered a part of history. Bartow also shared stories that illustrated some of the particularly exciting times of life in the valley: the severe snow storm of 1937, and annual Christmas parties where women would sell their “fancywork,” all the kids received an orange, and dance parties went on all night. Seeing many familiar faces in the crowd, she shared stories referencing many long-time Willits families and traditions, including a Frontier Days tale involving a very young Lee Persico demonstrating his riding skills. Although she had plenty more to share, the presentation concluded after an hour with the awarding of her founder’s certificate by grange officials Annie Waters, Richard Jergenson, Ruthie King, and Rachel Britton.

After the presentation, the group enjoyed a dinner including steak pies and salads prepared with food from local farms, during which many shared stories of their memories of Willits’ past. For those that missed it, Bartow’s interview will be aired on Willits Community Television, which is currently running four other interviews in the “Grange Elders” series. Those videos can also be found on Vimeo.com, an online video hosting service, under the “Willits Community Television Inc” account.

The following is a recent article from the National Grange Membership Director.

Think Inside the Box

Yes, that's right! Think inside the box! The talent contest box that is. This idea was pioneered by Aromas Grange #361 in Aromas, Calif. This began as them hosting "Aromas Live" a talent and variety show for their whole community. Grange membership was not a requirement for participation, but they do use the evening as a chance to share the Grange with their community and invite community members to join the Grange.

This is a simple event to plan and execute, but it is a highly efficient way to bring the community into your building and have an opportunity to invite them to be Grange members. Don't have a hall? Consider partnering with another organization in your community who has open space or speak to elected leaders about using public spaces in your community and bring the Grange to your community's central space!

The leadership of Aromas Grange has been generous to share the materials necessary to plan and execute your own community variety/talent show. I encourage each of our Granges to use these materials to plan their own event and remember to have applications at the ready when you ask attendees to join the Grange! For a copy of these materials, please contact Membership/Leadership Director Joe Stefenoni by email atmembership@nationalgrange.org.

Membership Contest

We are now more than two months into our new membership contest. For those who haven't heard, the membership department will be recognizing those individuals that recruit at least one new member into the organization. Subordinate Grange Secretaries should have received the reporting form from their State Grange, if you have not please contact your State Grange.

Beyond the national side of the contest, think about ways that your Subordinate Grange could add a component to the contest. This will be an added level of recognition and encouragement for members to participate. As you go out and share the Grange with those who are not yet members remember that there are various aspects to our organization. Share with them how Grange membership will benefit them personally, what programs, services and/or contests are most relevant to them. Be familiar with everything the Grange has to offer from the community to the national level. Good luck recruiting!

Did You Know April is Grange Month?

The National Grange recently released the Grange Month 2016 materials and announced the theme of "access." In this spirit, we encourage you to use Grange Month as a chance to evaluate what your community or area needs access to. Is it access to information, healthcare or communication mediums? Ask yourself, "Does our community know who we are and what we do?" Grange Month is a special time to help educate and inform your communities about our organization. Throw open your doors and invite the community in!

Every day is an opportunity for us to share the Grange with those who have not yet joined our great organization, but Grange Month is the perfect opportunity to make a hard push to put the name of your Grange into the community and recruit new members. I encourage each of our Granges to make a membership push this year and use Grange Month to have your membership committee create a plan for a membership recruitment event to be used sometime later in the year from what you learn during Grange Month about your Grange, your community and the desires of community members who have not yet become Grangers. When you hold the event, be sure to publicize it. Have flyers and brochures with Grange information ready to hand out. Most importantly, have membership applications that are ready to be filled out and signed. Don't forget...ask them to join!

Associate Membership

Associate membership is often the forgotten class of membership. Associate membership is defined as "a person or business with an interest in the advancement of agriculture and improvement of rural life." Within each of our communities, there are numerous business and individuals that fit this description. While associate members cannot vote in Grange meetings or hold office, they're still valued supporters to our organization.

I encourage each of our Granges to go into their communities and recruit new associate members as well as fraternal members. Take these new associate members and build strong partnerships that are beneficial to both your Grange and your community.

Contact: Joseph Stefenoni National Grange Leadership/Membership Director membership@nationalgrange.org

We are able to report that the rental income from the California State Grange’s buildings leased to the University of California is now PROTECTED from dissipation by the McFarland Group (a/k/a the California State Guild).

On Thursday, March 24, the University of California, Davis filled an ex parte (emergency) application to the California Superior Court requesting a ruling on who it should pay rent to. As you know, the McFarland Group continues to “squat” in on our property and has to this point refused to return our assets to the California State Grange. Among other things, the McFarland Group has continued to receive rent checks from UC Davis, and spend that rental income. The application was heard on Monday morning. While the McFarland Group argued that it should be able continue to cash rent checks totaling nearly $11,000 per month and spend this Grange property without restriction, the Judgment in the state court lawsuit is clear that the California State Grange’s headquarters property belongs to the Grange. The judge rejected the McFarland Group's argument and ordered that the rental checks must be placed in an escrow account. The only monies that may be withdrawn from the escrow account are those necessary for maintenance and upkeep of the property.

This is a substantial victory in assuring that our Grange property is protected from dissipation and improper use during the time until the McFarland Group’s appeal is denied. The McFarland Group has spent most, if not all, of the rental income that it has received since the revocation of the California State Grange’s Charter in April 2013. This order ensures that the McFarland Group will not be able to continue to freely spend this Grange property, notwithstanding the Judgment.

Motions and Exhibits

Order Placing Rents in Escrow

The following is a ruling issued by the Master of the National Grange.

Ruling: Virtual Attendance at Grange Meetings

March 25, 2016

I have been asked to make a ruling on the ability of Grange members to participate, and specifically to be allowed to cast votes,in meetings of Subordinate/Community Granges without being physically present; i.e. via telephone, audio or electronic video means such as computer. After studying the National Grange Digest of Laws, I find no mandate that members must be physically present in the room to participate and/or to cast a vote in a Grange meeting. I also find that Grange members who personally cast their vote via electronic participation in a regular Grange meeting are not casting a proxy vote, as that term is generally understood. Proxy voting is the assignment of a right to vote by one person to another. Proxy voting is clearly prohibited by the Digest of Laws. Participating in a Grange meeting via electronic means is not assigning one's right to vote to another person. It is exercising one's right to vote via a different medium of communication and participation.

In today's world, people are much more mobile than in 1867 or even 1967. Grangers are required to travel for their employment or even move to another part of the country or world. Grange members proudly serve in the armed forces or the Peace Corps, far away from their communities. Some Grangers temporarily relocate to warmer climates for several months of the year. Our youth may live at college for 8 months out of the year. Grangers may be nursing home residents or may be temporarily home-bound. Many of these members would like to remain connected to their home Grange while they may be unable to attend in person, and certainly their home Granges would appreciate their participation and input. Today's technology has improved so that there is little chance of someone fraudulently attempting to participate in a meeting as a nonmember or pretending to be someone else using telephone or other audio and/or audio and video technology. Our meetings are no longer secret; we encourage future members to visit meetings in order to learn what the Grange is about. Virtual attendance at a Grange meeting could provide another means of interesting prospective members in a non-threatening manner. The Grange for many years has allowed committee meetings in which members conduct the business of the Order via telephone or computer with no negative consequences. Even portions of the National Grange Session are broadcast via computer to members far and near.

I am not saying that virtual meetings should take the place of members meeting together for fellowship and activities in a Grange hall or meeting place. This is still the mainstay of our Order. I also rule that the Digest does not require any local, county or State Grange chapter to invest in and employ the technology necessary to allow remote participation at every meeting or any meeting, for that matter. Therefore, the scope of this ruling clearly allows each Grange to determine the method and means of remote participation in their meetings as necessary to accommodate the technological comfort level and traditions of their local Grange. However, members who are separated by distance or disability should not be prohibited, as a matter of Grange Law, from fully participating in Grange meetings by electronic means to keep them part of our family.

Betsy E. Huber, Master
The National Grange

On March 7, 2016, the federal court denied the National Grange's motion to hold the McFarland Group in contempt for violating the injunction preventing it from using any "Grange" names or trademarks. Judge Shubb, however, said that he believed that there were numerous problems with the McFarland Group's actions since the injunction was issued, but said that the problem was the original injunction was not sufficiently clear. Accordingly, he invited the National Grange to submit a motion to modify that injunction to clarify it.

Last week, the National Grange submitted its motion, requesting that the injunction be modified to deal with the McFarland Group's continued violation of trademark laws. Among many other things, the motion addresses the McFarland Group's refusal to return the corporate name to the California State Grange and the McFarland Group's claims that it is the successor organization to the California State Grange that has existed since 1873. The National Grange also submitted a request that the motion be heard on an expedited basis. The McFarland Group opposed the request to expedite. On Monday, Judge Shubb granted the request to expedite the hearing, and the motion for the clarified injunction will be heard on April 18.

In the meantime, please find attached the following documents for you to read: 1. The transcript of the 3/7/16 hearing before Judge Shubb. 2. The National Grange's motion to clarify the injunction that was filed on 3/24/16. 3. The National Grange's motion filed on 3/25/16 to expedite the hearing. 4. The order granting the request to expedite that was issued on 3/28/16.

It is unfortunate that yet more motions have had to be filed on this matter. But the court rulings on the claims against the McFarland Group have meaning and effect, notwithstanding any appeals (that will ultimately be fruitless). Those rulings establish that the McFarland Group is not a Grange and has no authority over any Grange or Patron in California. This motion is part of the ongoing effort to prevent the McFarland Group from falsely claiming otherwise.

03/07/2016 Hearing Transcript

03/24/2016 Motion for Permanent Injunction

Request for Shortened Time

Order Granting Shortened Time

Major portions of rural America have no access to broadband. Fewer than one in five Americans (17 percent) can't access what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines as broadband, but that level is three times higher - a whopping 53% - when it comes to rural America. And what about those parts of rural America with broadband access? According to the 2015 State of the Internet Report, the average connection speed in many rural areas is slower than those in Estonia, Uruguay, and Thailand.

That's why the millions of us who live in rural America can muster no more than two cheers for the Lifeline Reform plan recently drafted by the FCC that shifts the focus of the federal Lifeline program to broadband. It's a good move that makes sense in the long term, but it doesn't have to be done with such haste that it severs the wireless Lifeline now helping millions of low-income residents in rural America.

The problem is that the FCC timetable for shifting Lifeline from a wireless focus to "broadband only" is out of sync with the reality of the availability of adequate broadband in rural America. The FCC wants to start a phase out of wireless Lifeline almost immediately and then hang up on it altogether in 2019. After that, Lifeline would only subsidize broadband and landlines phone service.

That's the wrong timetable for rural America. The FCC's own data show that as many as 22 million rural Americans lack access to connections to broadband at download speeds of 25 megabits per second (mbps). The Commission also has reported that one in five rural Americans lacks access at the even slower speeds of 4 mbps. The access gap is even worse for people living on Native American tribal lands, where the lack of access surges to 63 percent.

While there is much to admire in the FCC's plan for a $9.25-a-month subsidy focused over time on broadband, the truth is that it probably won't result in one new mile of broadband cabling in rural America. All signs are that our communities of non-urban areas will lag for decades when it comes to access to essential broadband. The FCC knows this and so the unfortunate appearance is that the Commission's current Lifeline reform plan is a calculated slight to rural concerns.

In less than 45 months the current wireless Lifeline service will vanish. For rural Americans who have no way to use a broadband subsidy, the demise of Lifeline by 2019 will mean that they are effectively cut out of the program. Their only sin: living in rural America.

To make matters even worse for those living in rural America, the FCC wants to impose minimum standards on wireless Lifeline that almost certainly would force a co-pay arrangement for subscribers. This would make participation in the program burdensome, if not completely unaffordable, for many low-income rural dwellers. Many of the poorest people with the least access to help live in rural America, these are not consumers who will be able to continue using Lifeline if they have to pony up cash that they just don't have.

By phasing out wireless Lifeline and offering only a broadband program they can't access, rural Americans will not be helped by Lifeline reform. Instead, will we rural Americans become the first and perhaps largest group of disconnected victims of the reforms? I ask the FCC: What good is Lifeline reform in rural America if broadband is not available now and you are killing wireless service?

Let us know if you've personally experienced difficulties with access to internet broadband and high speed connectivity". Email Us!

By Betsy Huber, President
The National Grange

As we continue to move forward in the process of healing our Order, others continue to do everything they can to tear us apart.

On March 14, Takashi Yogi, representing himself as president of something that he calls the Marshall Grange Non-Profit, filed a complaint in El Dorado County against Linda Chernoff, alleging that her actions as Acting Master of Marshall Grange were somehow improper. Mr. Yogi also filed an ex parte (emergency procedure that permits a party to seek relief from the court without normal notice procedures to the other side) Application for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent Mrs. Chernoff from performing her duties as Acting Master. This new legal action followed attempts by former members of Marshall Grange to access the Marshall Grange Hall and bank accounts to withdraw funds that they had no right to access.

The ex parte application was heard today (March 16). The judge denied the application in its entirety, ruling among other things that Mr. Yogi and his followers showed no likelihood that they would prevail on the merits of their complaint against Mrs. Chernoff. This is entirely consistent with the Sacramento Superior Court's decision against the Guild (a/k/a the McFarland Group): the Grange's rules have meaning and apply to all Granges in the Order. We expect the Court to reach the same conclusion when it rules on the merits (or lack thereof) of Mr. Yogi's claims.

Today's legal ruling represents a sad waste of Grange assets on legal fees. The ex parte application had no hope of succeeding. Likewise, Mr. Yogi's complaint against Mrs. Chernoff has no merit. I continue to hope that Grange money will no longer be spent on this foolishness, but spending vast sums of Grange money on lawyers to file losing motions in the face of well settled California law is unfortunately commonplace in this litigation. Indeed, the McFarland Group has spent in excess of $750,000 in Grange funds on attorney's fees since 2012. Mr.

Yogi's baseless complaint and ex parte application continues to run up this tab.

View Our Opposition to ex parte application!

View their Temporary Restraining Order application!

The Youth Fair Program continues to move forward with the signing of the Official Youth Agreement. This agreement becomes effective July 1, 2016. This document is signed by 4H, Future Farmers of America, California State Grange and the California Department of Food & Agriculture. Please share with all participants. Please include this document as a part of the Youth Fair Program Handbook.

Click here to view!

The 7th National Conference for Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) will be held July 29-31, 2016 at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

This year's theme highlights the growing demand for inclusive and critical approaches to sustainable agriculture and food education at the post-secondary level.

The conference will focus on social justice and equity oriented educational programming and activities within the broader field of food systems. Click here to view poster, Or visit SAEA website for updated information

On Tuesday the California State Grange filed a motion to require the California State Guild (a/k/a the McFarland Group) to post a bond to insure the real and personal property that is the subject of the Judgment on appeal.

The spirit of the law requiring the bond – which serves to make sure that an appealing party cannot threaten the winning party that it will spend all the money and property that has been awarded to it during the course of appeal – plainly requires a bond here.

The Judgment is still in place. It will not be overturned on appeal. Under well settled California law, as the trial court recognized, organizations like The Grange are permitted to have rules that are binding on its lower levels (a fact that Mr. McFarland himself recognized many times before the litigation began). The McFarland Group is not a Grange, and it has no authority over any Grange. Reconciliation means returning to good standing, and I hope that all Granges, Grangers, and Patrons in California choose to remain in the Grange rather than joining the Guild.

Click here to view!

IMPORTANT RESOLUTION DATES for the 141st Annual Session of the California State Grange

Dates to Submit Resolutions are:

Deadline to submit resolutions to amend the By-Laws of the California State Grange is Sun 4/24/2016. (Per By-Laws Section 21.1.3). Deadline to submit resolutions to amend Section IX - Fees & Dues is Sun 4/24/2016 (Per By-Laws Section 21.1.5) Deadline for submission of any other resolutions to be included in the packet and retain the identity of the Grange is:

▪ Postmark or submit through the CaliforniaStateGrange.org website - Weds 6/1/2016. This will allow for formatting, printing, and preparing for the packets.

▪ Resolutions submitted by mail, must have the Grange Seal and signature of the Secretary.

▪ Resolutions submitted via the website will be verified by the membership number of the submitter and contact with the Grange Secretary of record. No resolutions will be accepted by direct email.

If you have any questions, please contact State Grange Secretary, Lillian Booth.

The Grange has received some notoriety. We thought you might like to see Leroy’s editorial that appeared in the daily Washington (DC) Examiner yesterday. Go to the link below.
Click to open or close this article.
It’s about the extreme amount of damages levied against Samsung for what appears to be frivolous design infringement and its potential effect on cellular technology development. Click here to view!

Dear Grange Member,

April 2016 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.

Our organization is nearing 150 years of sharing American Values while never forgetting our Hometown Roots. This year would be a wonderful opportunity to begin looking forward to this historic milestone by reflecting on the ways our Order has been a positive impact in your community.

Across our nation, Grange hands are joined for education, social connection, business that benefits our members, legislative advocacy, and service to others. We believe each must learn and grow as individuals, become connected with others through the Grange in order to provide a true grassroots voice to aid our legislators and serve others through cooperation and caring. Click here for downloadable materials!


February 2016

Brothers and Sisters:

The below letter was sent to us via Burton Eller, Legislative Director of the National Grange. I would like to get you to weigh in on this letter. How do you feel about the CSG adding our signature to this?

A simple yes or no would do?

Fraternally,
Ed Komski, Master / President
California State Grange
760-310-6500
ekomski@castategrange.org

(2016 Date)
The Honorable Charles Grassley
U.S. Senate
135 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Heidi Heitkamp
U.S. Senate
502 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Charles Boustany, M.D.
U.S. House of Representatives
1431 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mike Thompson
U.S. House of Representatives
231 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators Grassley and Heitkamp and Representatives Boustany and Thompson:

On behalf of the undersigned businesses, national, state and local trade associations, and organizations representing millions of American workers and their families, we write in support of the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (S. 1697/H.R. 2911). We appreciate your leadership in introducing this legislation, which will allow small businesses to provide Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees with health insurance. These HRAs will permit businesses to offer pre-tax dollars to insured employees to help pay premiums and/or other out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care and services.

In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance dictating that all employers that fail to offer a group health plan, but provide tax preferred dollars through an HRA for their workers to pay health insurance premiums or other direct medical expenses, will be fined $100 per day, per employee. Over the course of a year, that’s $36,500 per employee and up to $500,000 in total. This $100 per day penalty went into effect on July 1, 2015.

The Small Business Healthcare Relief Act will allow small businesses that are not subject to the shared responsibility provision to provide HRAs to help their workers and families pay for premiums and/or other medical expenses. This provides small employers with necessary additional flexibility and allows those small companies – the majority of whom do not have human resource departments or benefits specialists – a simpler, easier way to help their employees with rising medical costs.

This is a bipartisan opportunity to improve affordable health care options for small businesses, and we urge Congress to move swiftly to pass this vital legislation so that more small employers can help their workers defray the high cost of insurance premiums and/or other out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

American Farm Bureau Federation
American Rental Association
Associated Builders and Contractors
Associated General Contractors
Auto Care Association
Council for Affordable Health Coverage
Evolution1, Inc. – a WEX Company
Family Business Coalition
Healthcare Leadership Council
Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration
Distributors International
International Franchise Association
The Latino Coalition
National Association for the Self-Employed
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Towns and Townships
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
National Club Association
National Federation of Independent Business
National Grange
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
National Small Business Association
Padgett Business Services
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Small Business Council of America
Small Business Legislative Council
Small Business Majority
Tire Industry Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Zane Benefits
State and Local
Alabama Tire Dealers Association
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers – Minnesota
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers – Missouri
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania
Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Carolinas and Tennessee, Inc
Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast
Builders Association of Northern Nevada
California, Nevada, Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association
Home Builders Association of Delaware Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati
Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans
Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina
Michigan Automotive Parts Association
Michigan Tire and Vehicle Repair Association
Midwest Automotive Parts & Service Association
Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association
Montana Equipment Dealers Association
Montana Tire Dealers Association
New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, Automotive Association
New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, Inc.
New York State Automotive Aftermarket Association
North Carolina State Grange
North Carolina Tire Dealers Association
North Coast Building Industry Association
North Dakota Association of Home Builders
Ohio Home Builders Association
Oregon Home Builders Association
Pennsylvania Association of Automotive Trades
Southern Arizona Home Builders Association
Southwest Car Wash Association
Texas Independent Automotive Association
Texas Tire Dealers Association
Virginia Automotive Association
Volusia Building Industry Association
Washington Automotive Industry Association
Washington Maryland Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association
Wisconsin Automotive Care Association
Wisconsin Automotive Parts Association

Every so often, a Grange will step outside the box and innovate something unique and special. In this case it is the Grange Farm School, which had its origins in Little Lake Grange # 670. Read more in their own words.

Innovative Education for the Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders Mission - The Grange Farm School is training the next generation of farmers to address the challenges of farm-business success, community food security, and ecological stewardship. The Farm School is building on the rich agricultural heritage of Mendocino County and the Grange in its diverse and holistic educational programming for farmers, aspiring farmers, and youth.

While our program has moved from our founding to become a fiscally sponsored project of a local 501c3 here in Mendocino County, we do all that we can here to honor and highlight our founding roots with the Grange. Our organization has many diverse Grangers on our staff and Board of Directors but has decided to stay strictly non-political in these tumultuous times of legal definitions of our Granges. We feel that we all must take the time to prioritize this positive, active, and important program founded and initially supported by the Grange!

Here at the Grange Farm School we have seen a herculean amount of energy put into developing this program. Volunteers have poured out of the woodwork to help with construction and organization development, and donations of cash, equipment and materials have come from all corners of the globe, and across demographic lines. We humbly and gratefully thank you all for helping to see this project to fruition. Our team consists of Anderson Valley, Laytonville, Redwood Valley, Little Lake, and Marshall Grangers and so far we have received scholarship funds from Anderson Valley, Aromas, Little Lake, and Sebastopol. Donations in all forms come pouring in from across the state and we are so grateful for the support!

Two 12-week immersive programs were completed in 2015, with 10 students graduated. These students have mostly gone directly into jobs and new businesses in agriculture having learned about soil science, animal husbandry, and plant crop science. They also learned about marketing, financing, leasing, record keeping AND carpentry, plumbing, welding, auto mechanics... and the list goes on. Perhaps the most important skill sets taught here are communication and relationship building, community building, networking, and leadership. We all know how important these skills will be for these aspiring farmers. Thankfully the rain is pouring or snowing over much of our thirsty state, and as Grangers we are reminded that this is the season to be "noted for fidelity." We feel so fortunate to have the Grange as our extended family network, and we hope you feel proud of the work you have supported. For those of you who share our passion for this important work, there are many ways to show your support.

First of all, we need students. Look around your community for eligible and promising potential farmers who might need a boost through education. Sponsoring a student within your own community will benefit your broader community through increased food security and economic development.

Secondly, donate to our scholarship fund. This donation will certainly help one of m qualified students afford the program and living expenses. We also have a significant amount of infrastructure development to complete next year and general donations will supp efforts to create a high quality program for 2016.

Finally, we always need materials and equipment at the school and you might have many of the items lying around looking for a home! Contact us for a copy of our Wish List.

Please visit our new website: www.grangefarmschool.org and check out our student blog: www.grangefarmschool.wordpress.com To stay abreast of developments, subscribe to our monthly Newsletter by sending a us with the Subject: “Newsletter request” to email info@grangefarmschool.org

If you have any questions or thoughts about the Grange Farm School, please do contact us at info@grangefarmschool.org or give Program and Fundraising Director Tim Ward, a call on his cell phone: (831) 332-5131.

Thank you for providing the foundations for us to stand on, and for being active in the community. We are inspired by all of you, and would love to give you a tour if you w see the campus.

From the entire staff and students of the Grange Farm School,

Thank You!

The first Community Grange sponsored low-power FM radio station is here! Well, almost here. They’re in the early throes of bringing this station on-the-air.

If they can raise the needed startup costs (about $20K) by Jan 2017, the FCC will grant us the license for KLLG—that’s for Little Lake Grange #670. (Alert: Little Lake Grange is confident that they will raise the necessary funds!)

It’ll also take about $15K-$20K per year to maintain. They think we can do that through membership (Grange and non-Grange), underwriting, and two or three major fund raisers a year.

The studio will be in a remodeled 40’ shipping container situated in the back parking lot of LLG. The tower is only 60 ft high—no problem. This will give us an on-air studio, a production studio, an office, and an 8x8 extra storage space for LLG use.

Of course, the Grange will have an official weekly hour to apprise the town (pop. 10K) of all Grange and Hall events. In our town, our Grange Hall is the prime defacto community center. But, as is the Grange way, our main purpose is the serve the citizens of our community—Willits and the Little Lake Valley. You can see from the brochure (see attached), all the many ways a LOCAL radio station can support its citizens.

A low-power FM radio station is limited in power and range. But this is GOOD, as all of their programming will be exclusively of, by, and for our local citizens. Local focus! It means that we can help our community communicate with itself and create forums for discussing democratically diverse even disparate issues. We’re also there immediately in times of emergency or disasters.

They are seriously into raising of startup funds right now. Any chance there are Grange(r)s out there who’d like to contribute to our startup costs? While our signal won’t reach you, eventually we will offer live streaming.

I think we are the first Grange to have a local radio station! An exciting moment in the long history of the Grange.

Direct any comments to Lanny Colter of Little Lake Grange. (lanny@kllg.org)

The following is the text of a letter sent to Master Komski by National Master Betsy Huber.

February 18, 2016

Worthy Master,

I have been asked to review a document called “Retro-active collection of Dues of the state portion” dated September 7, 2014 by past National Master Ed Luttrell to rule on its correctness and enforceability. Regardless of whether the document was properly perfected as a ruling, I find that the document made some valid and sensible points.

That document poses the question of whether dues that were to be paid between the suspension of the California State Grange’s Charter (on September 17, 2012) and the reorganization of the California State Grange (on July 12, 2014) should be collected by the California State Grange. Former members of the California State Grange incorrectly and improperly sowed doubt among Subordinate Granges and Grange members in California as to whom their dues should be paid and the rules of the Order. Some Subordinate Granges sent their dues directly to National Grange. Others sent dues to the revoked Grange under ex-Master McFarland. Additionally there were two active court cases proceeding against the former California State Grange for their unauthorized use of the Grange name and their collection and use of prior and current dues. Therefore, still others paid no dues at all because they did not know to whom to send them. The document answered many people's question as to what the consequences should be for Subordinate Granges that paid their dues to Mr. McFarland’s organization between the suspension of the Charter and the reorganization of the California State Grange.

First, the document reaches the sensible conclusion that, “[u]ntil the current case in the State Court is resolved, the issue of delinquent dues should not be the sole cause of suspension or revocation of a Community Grange Charter once the CSG [California State Grange] is reorganized.”

The National and State Grange have abided by this ruling at all times since it was written. But now, the state court case has been resolved in the National Grange's favor so there should not be any confusion from here forward as to whom a Subordinate Grange should pay their dues: To the California State Grange led by Mr. Ed Komski. Dues paid to any other organization do not qualify as "dues" under the laws of the Grange. Those monies have not been paid to any authorized organization and no portion of them has been remitted to the National Grange for a Subordinate Grange to be kept in good standing.

Nevertheless, I agree with the statement that no Community Grange should have its Charter revoked only because it is delinquent due to the mis-payment of dues. Revocation may occur if additional factors are present, such as the delinquent Grange’s active participation in unauthorized efforts to defy the rules of the Order and undermine the authority of the California State Grange. In such a situation, the Master of the California State Grange could properly revoke a Subordinate Grange’s Charter if, in his or her discretion, the good of the Order required such action.

Second, that document states that, prior to the reorganization of the California State Grange, “Community Granges that have reported and paid back dues to [Mr. McFarland’s organization] shall not be liable for those back dues to the reorganized CSG upon rejoining the reorganized CSG. The Community Grange must provide amounts, dates and prove payment of said dues paid to [Mr. McFarland’s organization] to the reorganized CSG.”

The policy of the National Grange has been to not seek the repayment from Subordinate Granges of dues paid to the McFarland Group between September 2012 and July 2014, when there was no State Grange in California. My understanding is that the California State Grange similarly has chosen to forgo seeking repayment of such dues. These decisions are fully in keeping with the spirit underlying the language in this document.

Following the reorganization of the California State Grange, the National Grange and the California State Grange have repeatedly made clear that payment of dues to the California State Grange is now required. Subordinate Granges that chose to continue sending dues to Mr. McFarland’s organization did so at their own peril. Those dues were owed to the California State Grange under the rules of the Order, and a portion of those dues were to be passed on to the National Grange. No dues that were sent to Mr. McFarland’s organization have been sent on to the National Grange.

Accordingly, all dues required to be paid after July 12, 2014, were required to be paid to the chartered California State Grange. Under the rules of the Order, the California State Grange is entitled to collect those dues. Payment of those dues to a non-Grange entity is not an excuse for withholding payment to the California State Grange.

In recognition of the potential financial hardship to Subordinate Granges that had mistakenly paid dues to Mr. McFarland’s organization even after July 2014, the California State Grange created an amnesty/reinstatement program, under which Subordinate Granges could be reinstated to good standing by paying the current quarter dues only. All past dues paid to Mr. McFarland’s organization would be forgiven, and the California State Grange would be responsible for paying to the National Grange its portion of those forgiven dues. I believe that this program represented a commendable attempt to deal with the confusion sowed by Mr. McFarland and his organization, and am very pleased that many dozens of Granges took advantage of it. Of course, the Master of the California State Grange may choose to extend the program on a case-by-case basis, if circumstances warrant. Any Subordinate Grange that has not taken advantage of the reinstatement program, however, now faces the potential prospect of repaying past dues in order to return to good standing. I encourage the officers and members of all Subordinate Granges that are not in good standing to reach out to Master Ed Komski to discuss the steps that they might take to return to good standing in the Order.

In closing, I would like to remind everyone that we can disagree without being disagreeable. Some of the email language I have read has been filled with personal attacks, unnecessarily harsh and even cruel. I would like everyone to pause for a moment to consider before they react to something they read or see. People are certainly free to comment about issues and events, but we should not be critical of our brothers and sisters. I believe following this code of conduct will help all of us achieve resolution of these matters.

Fraternally,

/s/Betsy E. Huber

Betsy E. Huber
Master

February 16th, the California State Superior Court entered its final order denying Robert McFarland’s motion for summary judgment as to the claims asserted against him by the California State Grange.

Mr. McFarland’s motion was premised on two general arguments: that his actions in defiance of Grange rules were (1) protected by the “business judgment rule” and (2) protected by the “litigation privilege.” Beyond these two general arguments, Mr. McFarland also asserted various arguments as to each of the five causes of action in the California State Grange’s complaint.

The Court denied each of Mr. McFarland’s arguments as a matter of law, meaning that even if everything Mr. McFarland said was true (which was far from the case), the California State Grange’s complaint stated valid causes of action against him. Moreover, the Court said that even if Mr. McFarland could have shown that he might win as a matter of law, the facts supporting his motion were not undisputed and so could not support a ruling in his favor.

The Court ruled emphatically in the California State Grange’s favor on each of Mr. McFarland’s seven arguments.

Item #1 (Business Judgment Rule): McFarland – argued that he acted in good faith and was protected under the rule. CSG – claimed that McFarland violated his oaths of membership and office, and acted in defiance of the rules of The Grange and the governing documents of the California State Grange’s corporation (its articles of incorporation, Constitution, and By-Laws). Order – McFarland’s argument was denied; the business judgment rule does not bar the CSG’s claims.

Item #2 (Litigation Privilege): McFarland—__argued that all of his actions in defiance of Grange rules were actually “communications” about litigation involving the National Grange. CSG – claimed that McFarland has stolen Grange property by violating his oaths and the rules of the California State Grange and the National Grange. Such theft is not subject to any “privilege.” Order – McFarland’s argument was rejected; his conduct in violation of Grange rules is not privileged.

Item #3 (Declaratory Relief) McFarland – argues that this claim fails as a matter of law because he does not have possession of any Grange property. CSG – claims that McFarland continues to hold Grange property and collect significant personal benefits by refusing to follow Grange rules, including a salary and expenses paid from Grange funds since he ceased to be Master of the California State Grange. Court Order – McFarland’s argument denied; the CSG’s claim for a declaration against McFarland is valid.

Item #4 (Breach of Fiduciary Duty) McFarland – asserts that he owes no duty to the CSG because it is a separate organization from the California State Guild, and an adversary in litigation. CSG – claims that McFarland owes a fiduciary duty to The Grange, including the California State Grange, because he swore oaths to “faithfully comply” with Grange rules as a condition of his admission to membership in The Grange and installation into office in the California State Grange. As a result of those oaths and Grange rules, a fiduciary relationship was created. Order – McFarland’s argument denied; the CSG’s claim that McFarland has acted in defiance of these rules since 2012 may serve as the basis for its breach of fiduciary duty cause of action.

Item #5 (Accounting) McFarland – asserts that no accounting is proper because he has no relationship with the California State Grange. CSG – claims that McFarland is the former Master of the California State Grange, and has refused to return Grange property after he left that office. Order – McFarland’s argument denied; the CSG’s claim for an accounting based on Mr. McFarland’s status as a former officer is valid.

Item #6 (Conversion) McFarland – argues that the conversion (theft of personal property and money) claim fails because he does not have personal control of any Grange property. CSG – claims that McFarland has retained control of Grange property since leaving The Grange, and has also continued to collect a salary and reimbursement of expenses from Grange property since that time. Order – McFarland’s argument denied; the conversion claim has a valid legal basis.

Item #7 (Ejectment) McFarland – argues that the ejectment (theft of real property) claim fails because he does not have personal control of any Grange real property. CSG – claims that McFarland has retained control of Grange real property since leaving The Grange, including the California State Grange’s headquarters property in Sacramento. Order – McFarland’s argument denied; the ejectment claim has a valid legal basis.

Click here to view!

As we begin the preparation for what we can all be assured will be an exciting and constructive June convention @ Morgan Hill Grange.

We are currently taking names of interested members in good standing to be involved with the following committees:

▪ Agricultural
▪ Audit & Budget
▪ Citizenship
▪ Conservation
▪ Grange Law
▪ Growth & Development
▪ Health & Education
▪ Labor & Judiciary

Any resolution written after 2011 but not as part of an official (1873-2011 and 2014-2015) California State Grange Convention is not part of the Journal of Proceedings of the California State Grange and therefore is not recognized as a resolution of any kind. We encourage members that have worked on draft resolutions for unofficial meetings after 2011 to submit those resolutions to the CSG as early as possible to be included in our work. This could mean a great deal of work prior to convention by committees and chairs. Additionally, while it is always preferred that a Pomona support a resolution submission by one of its Subordinates, that is not a requirement.

Click here to request an assignment to one of the convention resolution committees.

Click here for form to submit a resolution to the California State Grange.

Click here to volunteer at the State Grange Annual Session.

The state court denied the National Grange’s motion to require the California State Guild (a/k/a the McFarland Group) to post a bond to insure the real and personal property that is the subject of the Judgment on appeal. A copy of the tentative ruling (which will be entered as the final order shortly) is available here. This motion was denied on strictly procedural grounds.

The statute that permits the court to require such a bond provides that a bond is appropriate when “Appellant was found to possess money or other property belonging to respondent.” (“Appellant” is the party that filed the appeal – here, the Guild – and “respondent” is the party responding to the appeal.) The court found that the statute was not satisfied because the Judgment ruled that the Guild must return property to the California State Grange, and not the National Grange, which filed the motion. As the Court stated, “[t]he motion is denied on this basis alone.”

The California State Grange’s legal team is looking into ways to cure this procedural problem. The spirit of the law requiring the bond – which serves to make sure that an appealing party cannot threaten the winning party that it will spend all the money and property that has been awarded to it during the course of appeal – plainly requires a bond here. It is simply a question of fixing the procedural defect the court noted in its order. President Komski will keep you posted on any further action on this front.

In the meantime, please rest assured that the Judgment is still in place. It will not be overturned on appeal. Under well settled California law, as the trial court recognized, organizations like The Grange are permitted to have rules that are binding on its lower levels (a fact that Mr. McFarland himself recognized many times before the litigation began). The McFarland Group is not a Grange, and it has no authority over any Grange. Reconciliation means returning to good standing, and President Komski said "I hope that all Granges, Grangers, and Patrons in California choose to remain in the Grange rather than joining the Guild."

Click here to read ruling.

The Sacramento Superior Court has entered judgment on the defamation claims brought by Mr. McFarland against the National Grange and Ed Luttrell. In addition to dismissing all of Mr. McFarland’s claims, the court assessed costs against Mr. McFarland, personally, in the amount of $14,125.16. Click to view judgment!

On January 8, 2015, the National Grange filed a motion to Require an Undertaking to Stay Enforcement of the Judgment against the California State Guild (a/k/a the McFarland Group).

Why was this filed and what does it really mean?

An “Undertaking” is a bond to ensure that property that has been awarded to a party is still there following the end of an appeal. Since the vast majority of appeals in California are denied (just as the Guild’s will fail), there are rules to make sure that losing parties cannot spend or threaten the property that they hold while the case is on appeal. To protect this property, the Court may order that the losing party take out a bond (essentially, an insurance policy) to ensure that the full value of the property can be collected by the winning party after appeal. If the losing party cannot or does not post the required bond, then the winning party can move immediately to take possession of the property at issue, even while the appeal is pending.

In layman’s terms, I would define the effect of an Undertaking in this case as: "either hand us the keys and all assets that were awarded as of April 5 2013, or take out a bond or insurance policy that will ensure that those assets are 100% available when they are returned to the California State Grange after the appeal is denied." Simply put, the Court declared that Grange property held by the Guild must be returned to the California State Grange, and the Guild is not free to spend or dispose of that property while its baseless appeal is pending.

Several months ago, Mr. McFarland threatened to litigate “until one side or the other runs out of money." Of course, the Guild is funding all of its operations, including its legal bills (which apparently are NOT covered by insurance) with Grange property that must eventually be returned to the California State Grange. Mr. McFarland’s threat needless to say does not sit well with our membership. Thus far, the Guild has refused to comply with the Judgment and return the Grange assets in its possession. The Guild evidently needs to be convinced that the court orders are binding and enforceable, and the assets of the Grange cannot be used to finance this new, non-Grange enterprise, the Guild. That enterprise is a completely separate venture not tied or connected to The Grange in ANY way.

The undertaking motion is intended to protect us against actions by the Guild that result in any decrease in value or spending of Grange assets including real property and Grange financial assets. The California State Grange continues to do everything it can to ensure that Mr. McFarland cannot make good on his threat and spend all the Grange money the Guild has taken while the appeal process plays out.

Click here to view motion!

The National Grange filed a motion for contempt against the California State Guild (aka the McFarland Group) for its ongoing violations of the trademark judgment entered by the federal court on September 30, 2015.

As set forth in the attached motion, the Guild's alleged actions include, among other things:
▪ Continued registration of the corporation under the Guild's control with the California Secretary of State under the name “California State Grange.”
▪ Continued registration of eleven Fictitious Business Names in the name of “California State Grange” with Sacramento County.
▪ Soliciting dues using the name “Grange,” collecting checks addressed to the “California State Grange,” and endorsing checks using this name.
▪ Distribution of direct mail to members of the California State Grange purportedly on behalf of the “California State Grange” and falsely identifying Robert McFarland as the President of the California State Grange.
▪ Continued use of the names “Grange” and “California State Grange” on the Guild's Facebook page.
▪ Continued use of the name “California Grange Foundation.”
▪ Continued use of the name “California State Grange” in business directory listings.

Regarding the motion, State President Komski said "I encourage you to read the entire motion, as well as the supporting documents. As I have said before, the courts have spoken on this dispute, and the Guild is not a Grange. It is not a part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. It has no authority over any Grange. To the extent the Guild's actions since the entry of the trademark judgment led anybody to think otherwise, this motion will help to correct that."

Click here to view contempt motion.


January 2016

When the McFarland Group tells you that the National Grange’s rules never applied to the California State Grange, that the Courts got the decisions wrong, and that they will be reversed on appeal, you can refer back to Mr. McFarland’s own words to understand the truth of the matter. In an article written by Bob McFarland and published in the Spring 2010 issue of California Grange News (CGN), he so eloquently wrote in 2010, “We take great pride in knowing that many of our halls were built by the hands of our Grange ancestors. And they must have felt great pride in knowing they created a marvelous resource to be enjoyed by generations of Grangers yet to come. With respect for their original intention and purpose, it is our responsibility to see that these halls remain in the Grange family.” I continue to do my utmost to see that every Grange remains in the Grange family.

Those that wish to change their affiliation and become a “Guild” and join the McFarland Group are free to do so, but as Mr. McFarland wrote, those Granges must “abide by the National bylaws” and follow the rules pertaining to Grange property set forth in Article XI of the Digest of Laws. The Superior Court has ruled, that Grange Laws apply.

Click here to view 2010 Article.

Find out what is happening at the Sebastopol Grange #306 in January! Click here to view!

Today, the federal court denied the McFarland Group’s motion to lift the trademark injunction preventing it from using the name “Grange” pending its appeal to the Ninth Circuit. In particular, the federal court ruled that the McFarland Group has not shown that it has “a substantial case for relief” on appeal, and held that The Grange and the public would be irreparably harmed if the McFarland Group were permitted to call itself a Grange when, in fact, it is not part of the Order. As the federal court noted, since July 2015, the McFarland Group “has changed its name and has been publicly referring to itself as ‘California State Guild.’” In other words, the federal court held that the McFarland Group is unlikely to win its appeal, and that it is not a Grange. It is a “Guild.” As always, I encourage you to read the documents for yourself – the federal court’s order is available here.

Contrary to what the McFarland Group has been telling some Grange members, the judgments entered in the federal trademark and the state court property actions are not stayed pending appeal. The McFarland Group tried to convince the federal court to stay the trademark judgment, and lost. In the state court, the National Grange has filed a motion to require the McFarland Group to post a bond to ensure that the Grange property it holds is not spent or sold before its appeal is denied. If the state court grants the motion, then the McFarland Group must post the bond. If it does not post the bond, then the state court property judgment may be enforced. The California State Grange and the National Grange stand ready to enforce the judgment if no bond is posted.

The recent ruling from the federal court confirms a fundamental fact: the courts have spoken on the central issues in this dispute. The McFarland Group is not a Grange. It is not a part of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. It has no authority over any Grange or its property. I regret the continuing confusion caused by the McFarland Group’s misstatements about the law and the facts. But I urge all Granges to get the information for themselves, and not to rely only on “spin.” I hope that all Granges will consider the court rulings, the rules of the Order, and their own Charters and by-laws, and that soon we will be able to put the legal actions behind us so that we can focus on restoring and growing our Order in California. As always, if you have any questions or would like discuss anything, you can call or e-mail me at any time.