479 Tuscany Drive
Portage, MI 49024

Tel: 269-365-0401
Cell: 518-222-6622


​Summer is Here! Have Fun and Be Safe! Grill Food!
For many, this is the time of year to have fun. Some may travel to explore new destinations; some may attend a family reunion; some may grow a garden; some may participate in the county fair; some may play summer sports; some may be busy working in their fields; and the list goes on. In all cases, this is a time to remember safety with regard to all the activities. Sometimes we forget the “simple” things – stay hydrated, use sun tan lotion and/or insect repellant, have a first aid kit with you, wear a hat and/or sunglasses on sunny days.

​There are several of the Lecturer’s/Family Activities contests this year that revolve around summer activities. As in the past, all entries will be judged at the Michigan State Grange convention in October. All entries 
should have been completed between October 1, 2021 and by September 30. All Lecturer/Family Activities contests are open to Grange members and Grange friends. Asking a friend that you know really enjoys photography to enter the photography contest might just be the nudge to have them consider joining your Grange. Kids younger than 5 may enter contests. Entries for kids will be judged in two age groups:
1) those 8 years old 
and younger, and 2) those 9-14 years old. Kids need not be Junior Grange members. We are hoping to see more entries from children this year, as last year we had only one. You might want to designate a day with kids/grandkids/great-grandkids to create entries.

​Photography contest.
All photography classes are for photos that may be taken in summer months. These classes are: Animals, People, Farm Crops Scene, County Fair and Gardens. Remember that judges tend to like unposed photos that show some kind of action.
Home Made Food Contest.
Classes this year are quick breads, candy, bars (brownies, etc.), and canned items. Classes were determined so that all ages could participate in several of the classes.
Family Heritage Contest.
Since summer is the usual season for family reunions, you might have an opportunity to create a Family Photo Story of photos from the reunion. At least three photos are required. Portrayal of more than one generation is required, but that is not difficult at reunions.
Grilling is another great activity in the summer. I found several ideas at www.allrecipes.com. One was made with Italian sausage, red, yellow, and green peppers (mixture or one), and red onion placed on skewers. Some may want to add jalapeno peppers. When nearly done cooking, could opt to add shredded provolone cheese over top. Another idea is baby back ribs. Rub the ribs with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. After grilling for about an hour, barbecue sauce is put on for last five minutes only. I also found a basic burger recipe – Per one pound of ground beef, add one egg, ½ cup fine bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste. Make ¾ inch patties, and cook covered 6-8 minutes per side to at least 160 degrees in center. I was surprised at the number of recipes for grilling I found online. Bon appetit!

State Grange Session is soon!
Are your contest entries completed or nearly done?
I hope that everyone has been taking photographs all year for the “Farm Crops Scene”, “People“, “Animals”, and “Gardens” classes, as well as at your “County fair” to enter into the photography contest. I am looking forward to your entries in the photography contest at State Grange. We had the largest number of photography entries in the recent years at 64 last year – hoping to have even more this year.

​For those not photography-minded, consider entering the art contest in one of the following classes: two dimensional items (flat pieces) or three-dimensional objects. Three-dimensional art objects could be almost 
anything. A few examples are ceramics, paper 3-dimensional objects, or perhaps jewelry.

​For those who enjoy writing, the topic is “Past vs. Today”. Examples of your entry might include technology – what it was like 20 years ago compared to today, or it might be what cars were like in the past vs. today - 
any topic is good that compares something in the past to what that “something” is like in 2023. This contest has not had many entries recently. I hope to see at least five to ten entries this year. Entries only need to be 400 -600 words, which is only about 1 – 2 pages. This article is nearly 600 words as a guide.

​Hand-Crafted Arts classes were previously in the Family Activities classes. Note that the classes are now by 
what medium the item is constructed with as opposed to what technique was used to create it. An example might be that an entrant has a crocheted item they want to enter. Instead of the class being “Crocheted items”, the article would be entered in Class A (Yarn) or perhaps Class D (thread).

​New this year is “Jig Saw Puzzles”. This is meant to be a fun display to see what kinds of puzzles Michigan 
Grangers and friends have put together in the past year. Each entrant’s display should include one to three photos of the completed puzzle(s) mounted on card stock. For each photo displayed, a description that may include number of pieces, who participated in the puzzle, and an additional short comment about complexity of puzzle should be included in the display. These displays will not be judged, but will receive participant ribbon.
All contests are open to Grangers and Grange friends. In addition, contests are open to children through age fourteen.

​S​ee the Program Booklet for details for all contests. All entries (except home-made food) must be delivered 
to the state session by 9 am on Friday morning for display and judging. The food contest will be judged Thursday evening, so must be delivered no later than 5 pm. All entries must be labelled and each entrant should have an entry form that lists their items in the Lecturer’s/Family Activities contests. Your Lecturer should have these labels, but I will have extras at session. If you prefer to e-mail me or call, I could mail or e-mail the forms.
Special reminder to Lecturer’s: Your annual report forms are due to me by September 10, or as soon thereafter as possible. Certificates will be awarded at State Grange for completed annual reports showing Lecturer activity. I have received only about 5 annual reports so far, so hopefully this reminds Lecturers to submit the report via mail.
See you in Adrian! Can’t wait to see the talents of Michigan Grangers, Granger friends and children.