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Grange Members Hashing Out Advocacy Focus

OPB | Nov. 12, 2012 12:11 p.m. | Updated: Nov. 13, 2012 3:46 a.m.

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Grange members from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are spending this week at their national Convention in Boise. After fending off an investor group that appropriated the Grange name for a failed casino project in Portland, Oregon’s grange is turning its thoughts toward post-election advocacy.

Mark Noah is a delegate to the conference from Lane County, and a 30-year Grange member.

“The committee I’m involved with,” Noah said, “was just recently looking at the H2a Farmworker Visa Bill and whether sheepherders are included. Our committee agrees that they should.”

Grange advocacy at the state level has focused in the past on issues like water policy and forest management issues. Noah says he expects the Grange will take an interest next year in Gov. John Kitzhaber’s proposed agenda for education reforms.

The Grange is unusual in that it offers full membership and some voting rights to people as young as 14. Noah says that brings in a great diversity of issues at the convention, from women’s health issues to rural broadband access. The convention continues through Saturday, November 17.

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