KEVIN YOUNG, DIRECTOR
60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120
269-684-3870
kevin60822@sbcglobal.net


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 GRANGE NEWS

Worthy Master, First Lady, Delegates, Brothers and  Sisters: 
Welcome to the 147th Annual Convention of  the Michigan State Grange!! It is hard to believe that it is time for yet another Michigan State Grange Session. It is going to be a different State Session that we have never experienced due to COVID 19 and needing to  keep us all safe. Time sure goes by fast and for some reason this year has gone by way too fast!! I think it is  because of the pandemic and not having normal life events to attend that it has gone by way too fast. I  hope everyone has enjoyed my articles as at times I felt like I was just rambling on but at the time I was writing  them it was what was on my mind. Agriculture in our 
Great State is a very important part of life and of the  State Economy, and I feel honored to be the Director of the MSG Agriculture Department. It has been a very up and down year so far for Agriculture in our Country and it isn’t over yet. With the virus causing shutdowns at meat processing plants earlier this year, farmers are hurting because market prices have dropped pretty low, at least for hog farmers. We the Grange, need to stand strong more than ever to let everyone know that the Grange is still alive and here to help our friends in Agriculture

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I hope you will look ahead at what classes you want to enter for the 148th State Session since there are no contests to be held this year for the Ag Department. It would have been too hard to do classes for just a one day session. I know the growing season this year has been very different than in past years so it might have been a blessing to not have classes to enter. I hope to continue to bring you information on this Department that has meant so much to our Great Organization when it was first founded! I hope everyone enjoys the State Session and their stay in Grayling!!! 
AGRICULTURE
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 GRANGE NEWS

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, 2020 is in the books thank goodness and 2021 has just started! Well I am sure everyone is starting to think about Spring and winter is not even half over! I know it is important to have snow during the winter months as that helps to add moisture to our farm fields and also helps to protect the winter wheat during the cold months. So far, we haven’t had any snow in my area of Michigan which seems weird as it is Dec 13th as I sit writing this article. I haven’t heard the extended forecast yet so I do not even know if we will see snow for Christmas! I am sure we will pay for it in January and February!

Yes, snow is a part of everyday life during winter in our community. And don’t we often wish we didn’t have to live with it, but we couldn’t live without it.

So while you sit and look at the snow float from the sky, think about what you might want to plant in your gardens or yards this coming spring. Now is a great time to be looking through the seed catalogs and plant books for those special favorites you might want to plant and then share the crops with friends and neighbors.   

Here is a good reason to be planning early. Be sure to check out the Agriculture Department in the Program Book. I left all the classes that we were to have in 2020 in the program book for 2021 as we were not able to do any classes at the 2020 convention. I hope all will really look at entering something for 2021 as we need to try and get back to a little normalcy whatever that may look like for 2021. If our State Session was during the late Summer or early Fall months, we could do more classes to deal with fruits, vegetables and flowers. But, it is kind of hard to do tomatoes or raspberries in late October.

Here is a part of a clipping from the October 2015 Tennessee Granger dealing with Honey Bees. Bees of all kinds have been declining in numbers over the past few years. The reasons are many, but one of the most important is the lack of suitable plants from which bees can collect nectar and pollen all season long. About 1/3 of the food eaten by Americans come from crops pollinated by honey bees, including fruits, vegetables and nuts.

You can help honey bees and native pollinators by planting bee-friendly plants in your garden. Here is a list of perennials to help get a bee garden started: Crocus, White Sweet Clover, Catnip, Russian Safe, Mountain Mint, Snowdrops, Thyme, Purple Cone Flower, Anise Hyssop , Goldenrod and Autumn Joy Sedum.

Well that is all for now. Here is hoping 2021 is a great Grange year and way better than 2020 for all and brings bounty to our Agriculture Neighbors and Friends! I know many of our friends and family and maybe even ourselves have dealt with COVID-19 first hand as did myself. I had a mild case of the virus during the week of Nov 23rd and I am so thankful I was able to get back to my “normal” for 2020 fairly quick. Please continue to do your part no matter if you like the restrictions that could be put in place, they are for our community’s safety.