Maryland State Grange holds annual session

Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. (Oct. 27, 2015) — The 141st annual session of the Maryland State Grange was held Oct. 15-17 at the American Legion Hall.
Welcoming the group on Thursday, were Frederick City Mayor, Randy McClement and State Grange Master, Maurice Wiles of Linganore Grange #410.
New state officers were elected at the session on Oct. 16, and Allen Stiles of Spring Valley Jerseys in Westminster, Md., is the new State Master of the Maryland Grange.
He was also presented the Service to Maryland Agriculture for 2015 Award at the Agriculture Awards Banquet on Friday evening. Kay Stiles  of Westminster, is the new State Grange secretary.
Paul Stull, a former Maryland Delegate and a Grange member, represents the State Grange on the Maryland Ag Commission, was the keynote speaker at the Agriculture and awards banquet which was held  Friday evening, Oct. 16.
He noted to begin that he could not think of a group he would like to represent more than the Grange.
There are 30 members from agriculture, appointed by the Governor, to serve up to three two-year terms, Stull noted.
“It’s a great honor and a privilege to be on the Commission,” he said.
“We meet once a month at the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Annapolis and try to bring the latest issues up in the form of oral and written reports,
“We listen to the farmers and try to get the latest issues important to agriculture, before the commission.
“We also have tours two times a year to look at agriculture in Maryland and we listen to the farmers.
“I encourage anyone to run for the legislature about ag issues in Maryland, to talk to your legislators, to email and write letters about concerns. We need to talk to the Ag Secretary and the governor, and tell them what’s going on in agriculture. Tell them how you feel about the issues. Let them know ag is still alive and well in Maryland.”
Other awards and presentations included Brenda Ripley, Granger of the Year; New Market Grange #362 with the Most New Members, 10, and Thurmont Grange #409, second, with five new members.
Community Service Awards were presented as follows:
• 1st - Calvert (Cecil County) #425 - among other things they sponsor Citizen of the Year, Boy Scouts and Celebrate Dairy Farmers Night.
• 2nd - New Market #362 - recognizing a Foster Family every year, having a food stand at The Great Frederick Fair, and sponsoring FFA.
• 3rd - Medford - serving food at ag-related events, awarding scholarships, and donating toys.
• 4th - Wacahu - sponsoring a Community Show and Boy Scouts Trophy.
• 5th - Glade Valley - Dictionaries for third graders, “Words For Thirds”, and supporting Walkersville Land Judging.
• 6th - Linganore - sponsoring Food Bank and Ag Demos.
• 7th - Thurmont - supporting, Catoctin FFA, and Care Packages to Nursing Homes.
• 8th - Linganore Grange.
Seven scholarships were given this year and the Silent Auction that benefits the Scholarship Fund brought in $703.50 on 49 items.