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Chapter 3

Grange Guideposts:

1. All prosperity springs from the production of wealth; or anything which retards the production of wealth is unsound.
2. The compensation of each should be based on what he contributes to the general welfare.
3. The prime purpose of government is to protect its citizens from aggression-.both physical and economic.
-Albert S. Goss
(in his National Master's Address, 1942)

In the long struggle of the past 100 years to build the economy of the farmer, his community, and the nation, and to bring about equality of income opportunity for farm and rural people, the Grange has seen success after success crown its many efforts.

With the stated goal of a fuller and more rewarding country life, Grange objectives have fitted into the needs of the time-whatever they were. In all sorts of circumstances, climates, and conditions, the Grange has demonstrated a remarkable flexibility to fit itself and its pronouncements into the current situation. Today, it fits into the complex conditions of this Atomic or "Jet" Age.

In the 1860's the early Grangers found America with no adequate Department of Agriculture, no Extension Service, no agricultural education in schools, no effective agricultural press, no unified agricultural program of any kind. Big business and growing cities looked upon agriculture as something to exploit. People believed there was no end to free land and soil fertility. Those who enjoy the organization of today cannot appreciate the helplessness of the farmer in those days.

Not for Farmers Alone

Over the years, as the Grange worked for the development of America in its broadest sense, its accomplishments appealed to many who came to realize that the Grange is not an organization for farmers only. Its objectives encompass national and international needs that serve and benefit all the people.

An important paragraph from the Grange's Declaration of Purposes established this primary goal:

We desire a proper equality, equity, and fairness; protection for the weak; restraint upon the strong; in short, justly distributed burdens and justly distributed power. These are American ideals, the very essence of American independence, and to advocate the contrary is unworthy of the sons and daughters of an American Republic.

That was written nearly 100 years ago.

Today's Grange Objectives and Policies

Here in the language of today are the broad objectives of Grange action to benefit farmers, rural and urban consumers, families in the growing rural-urban areas; and Grange policies as to the national and international problems that affect all U.S. citizens:

1. We recognize the importance of preserving and protecting the integrity of the owner-operator-manager farm, as a guarantee to the Nation of the efficient and abundant production of high-quality food and fiber at reasonable prices for the domestic and world markets.

2. We seek to obtain for American farmers a return for their labor, management, risk and investment which bears a reasonable relationship to that received for these same economic factors in any other segment of our economy, as well as adequate compensation for their contribution to the general welfare.

3. We must develop and activate commodity programs which will give agricultural producers and workers maximum opportunities to freely exercise managerial ability and competitive advantage in cooperation with programs authorized and administered by Government, where necessary, which would operate within the framework of "freedom under law."

4. We must seek to achieve equitable income by placing major reliance upon the primary domestic market and, at the same time, maintain the influence and effect of competition and efficient production upon secondary markets; providing freedom of competition in world markets, within our treaty commitments and international responsibility.

5. We would avoid excessive dependence upon the Federal Government; but look to the Government for protection from economic aggression arising from extreme market fluctuations, caused by speculation and manipulation of market and distributive systems, which void natural competitive influences.

6. We would improve our supply and demand situation by carefully combining incentives to sound land management, with provisions for an equitable return from the primary American, and cash export markets; providing no profit, however, for producing for a market which does not exist.

7. We would maximize the benefits from the fabulous productive capacity and efficiency of American agriculture; continuing to support and improve programs to utilize the products which accrue from our economy of abundance, to relieve hunger and improve nutritional standards at home and abroad; and at the same time, seek to develop and expand domestic and foreign markets.

8. We would pursue trade policies which would avoid the destruction of jobs and the impairment of the integrity of capital at home; granting other nations the right to assume comparable responsibility to their own people and investment and, at the same time, seeking always to gain recognition that the true interests of all people of the world are to be advanced in progressively freer trade movements on a basis of competitive ability of the producer.

9. We would continue to develop and promote programs, both within and outside of government, to improve rural health and education, to improve the security of the family-type farm, to strengthen cooperatives, expand research, improve markets, strengthen rural communities, enhance rural living; in short, to do everything prudent and reasonable to protect and enhance the efficiency, the productive capacity, the human dignity, the economic freedom of those who produce our food and fiber; that they may have an equitable share of the wealth that they create, and enjoy the blessings which will accrue in a balanced economic society.

10. We would provide protection against excessive losses to producers due to unforeseen and unavoidable causes; thereby promoting economic stability in America and, at the same time assure that food needs of the Nation are met.

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