The large crowd attending the April 30th meeting participated in discussions ranging from Grange growth to communications, agricultural advocacy and legislative efforts. Luttrell is currently visiting the Northeast states as part of a nation-wide speaking tour.
Luttrell spoke of the changing landscape of agriculture, with a new emphasis on healthy and affordable food. "Don't be embarrassed to talk about agriculture, be proud of it," he encouraged the audience.
A Sandy, Oregon native, Luttrell was elected in November 2009 to his second two-year term as National Grange President. He is a past president of the Oregon State Grange and has served on the boards of the Oregon Lands Coalition, Grange Mutual Insurance Company, and Timberland States Insurance Company.
The event, held at Good Will Grange Hall in Glastonbury was overseen by Connecticut State Grange President Jody Cameron, a member of Ekonk Community Grange in Sterling for over 30 years. Cameron is currently serving in his second year as President of the Connecticut State Grange.
"What an excellent opportunity for our members to be able to meet with the President of the National Grange. Events like this truly exemplify our grassroots tradition and holds firm to our focus and goal of 'American Values, Hometown Roots'," Cameron said.
Luttrell stressed the historical impact the Grange has made in Connecticut and nationwide while he highlighted the importance of Grange growth and revitalization. The National Grange is soon beginning a 5-year celebration culminating in its 150th Anniversary in 2017. "Make your history relevant to your community," Luttrell said.
The Grange organization has evolved along with the times. Health care, education, the importance of food safety, and communications access are just a few of the Grange's current areas of involvement, as well as legislation designed to assure strong and viable communities.
Cameron is enthusiastic about the Grange's future in Connecticut. "The Grange in Connecticut is growing. There is a renewed interest in preserving our communities through service and advocacy. We have seen remarkable growth statewide."
With approximately 160,000 members in more than 2100 local and state chapters across forty states, the Grange has nearly 60 local community Grange chapters in Connecticut. Local Granges are committed to bettering their communities through service projects and family orientated activities. But it's the Grange's interest in legislative action that sets it apart from other organizations. The Connecticut State Grange has historically been an advocate for quality of life issues, farm programs, economic development, environmental and consumer issues, and other similar topics.
For more information on the Grange in Connecticut please visit www.CTStateGrange.org.
More information on the National Grange can be found at www.NationalGrange.org.