Hi Minnesota Grangers - once again Worthy Master Malaskee has labored long and hard, along with Kelley Fellows and State Directors, to produce a beautiful new Gleaner for all Minnesota Grangers to enjoy. We will be posting stories found in the printed version online. Enjoy your first installment a Letter from the Editor:
The groundswell of the Grange Protest Movement of the early 1870s had decreased to such a point by 1880 that leaders in Minnesota questioned the very survival of the Grange. By the first years of the 1880s, the State Grange would reach its lowest membership until the mid-1990s. Even then, with membership in Minnesota six times what it is today, the leaders of the State Grange of Minnesota realized the importance of presenting the Order as a professional one - not just a fad or ordinary social club.
In 1884, under the leadership of State Master, Sam E. Adams, state officers worked together to publish a professional quarterly newspaper, The Minnesota Grange Helper. The initiative came out of an understanding that the Grange needed to step up its visibility as a professional organization. Unfortunately, the Helper only lasted a year, but Master Adams and later Master Baird taking the lead from National Master Dudley Adams, grasped the need to be the best Grange we could be; something valuable and to be valued.
In 1929, the first edition of the Minnesota Grange Gleaner was published as a full page newspaper. Today, after the State Grange of Minnesota's delegate body's unanimous approval of a strategic plan at the 145th Annual State Session in 2016, the Gleaner was again revived as a bi-annual publication in magazine form, an online e-Gleaner blog, and forthcoming bi-monthly newsletter.
The work of engaging our current members is the job of Subordinate Granges with the support of the State Grange. Our publications must both fulfill the desires of our current members, but also serve as a tool to grow the Grange and bring in future members. The only way that the Grange will survive in Minnesota is by making sure we hold ourselves to the highest standards in all that we do. The Gleaner is a positive tangible achievement for the Grange as we begin the countdown to the State Grange of Minnesota's 150th anniversary and a new era of growth for the Grange in our great state.
I am proud of the hard work of the many contributions that this edition of the Minnesota Grange Gleaner one of the best yet. I hope you are too, and find not only an enjoyment in these pages, but a tool you can use to grow the Grange and see us through another 150 years in Minnesota.
Esto Purpetua - May it live forever.
Brother T.J. Malaskee,
Master & President, State Grange of Minnesota