Christopher D. Johnston
6241 Grand River Road
Bancroft, MI 48414
(989)634-9350 (H) (989)666-6648 (C)

404 S. Oak Street
Durand, MI 48429


The National Grange Building
A couple years ago we had a discussion at our convention about the possible sale of the National Grange Building at 1616 H St NW in Washington DC. After a few years of the building being on the market, an agreement has been reached. We have sold the building to an investor from Texas that is looking to refurbish the building for its original purpose of multiple office spaces. The building was sold for $10.3 million. Many Grangers and staff have spent the last couple weeks volunteering their time to bring everything up from the basement and sub-basement and clearing out the offices on the eleventh floor. We will have six months of rent-free space on the first and second floor while they look for a new location. While it is the end of an era we are reminded that the National Grange doesn’t live at 1616 H. St. NW it lives in every Grange member in the country.
Part of this move, they have been unearthing a lot of Grange history and memorabilia and there is starting to be a push for a Grange Museum. Something that is open to the public, near lodging and an airport. You may be hearing more about this down the road, right now it’s just in the wishful thinking stage. And a shout out to Roland Winter on his Grange Museum in the basement. We heard several compliments on his collection while at the Leadership Conference!

​April 20, 2024
A day of Grange learning

​Saturday April 20 we will be hosting a day of Grange learning at the William J Brake Community Center located in Grange Acres in Haslett. This will be from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm with a potluck lunch. There will be presentations from several Department Directors and yours truly. We will discuss this year’s program and maybe a return of the Jeopardy game we had at convention. Come for the learning, come for the fun, come for the fellowship, but mostly come for what Grangers are known for. the food. Coffee will be provided throughout the day.

​Grange Month
April is Grange Month. This is a fantastic time to celebrate all things Grange. Most Granges give out their community citizen of the year, law enforcement, firefighter, teacher, VIP (Very Important Patron). Please utilize these awards to recognize the individuals in your community that are making a difference. 
National Grange Leadership Conference
Formerly know as the Masters Conference then Presidents Conference, this is now the NG Leadership Conference open to Grange leaders from across the country. We met Presidents Day weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with over 80 leaders in attendance. There was a lot of strategic planning, leadership training, mission statement, and vision statement work.  
The updated National Grange Mission Statement is:
 “Strengthening individuals, families and communities through service, education, nonpartisan grassroots advocacy and agricultural awareness.” 


​Welcome to 2024
This is the time of year we make plans for the new year. So to start I would like to make plans for a department directors conference in the spring. I will work with the department directors and set a date for that conference. I will be looking for a more central location somewhere in the middle of the state for hosting this conference. For many years we had these conferences and the attendance was usually well represented. I feel that in the last few years we have lost this moment of communication with our local Granges, let's work together to get this back. Watch for more information on this conference.
This is also the time to make plans for your Grange activities for the new year! Review what worked well and what might need some tweaking in 2023 and build on those activities for 2024.
National Session Update
I’m happy to report that the two resolutions that passed at our State Session that went onto National passed. Those two resolutions were regarding the US Postal Service and cash as payment at all establishments. This shows you that our local voices can be heard. Even though our session is many many months away yet, it is never too early to start writing the resolutions for things we feel need to be addressed and/or changed.
You’ve probably already seen that there is new leadership in the National Office. Christine Hamp from Washington was elected as the new National Master/President. There will be some changes coming with a new president and already there are some changes coming to the Junior programming and I’m expecting to see more with the other programs as things are set into motion.
Other National Officer changes are: Overseer/Vice President - John Benedik from New Jersey; Lecturer - Tom Gwin from Washington; Steward - Chris Johnston from Michigan; Assistant Steward - Walter Hartley from Rhode Island; Chaplain - Kay Stiles from Maryland; Gatekeeper - David Allen from North Carolina; and Pomona - Barbara Foster from West Virginia.

​​​National Session Hosting
We are now heavily involved in the planning stages of our region hosting the National Grange Session in Bettendorf, Iowa. As always, we are looking for volunteers that can assist in many ways. If you are planning to attend and willing to help, please let us know. We will be in charge of the hospitality room one day and could use the extra help there as well as a few other things that will need done.
As you may have seen, Kevin Young has agreed to take on the task of heading up the Fundraising Committee reestablished at the State Session. He’s joined on his committee with Russ Hoag at the moment and they are already off running with their first two fund raising projects. See his article here in the Grange News to get more information regarding the Tupperware fundraiser and the Afghan raffle as well as a few other ideas they have. Please consider ordering some Tupperware. It’s shipped right to your door! We just got our order yesterday. The links for the Tupperware are on the State Grange Website and Facebook page. If you have any ideas on other fundraisers, please reach out to Kevin.