10/27/2012 7:00 AM
By Laurie Savage Maryland Correspondent
FREDERICK, Md. — Grangers opened the Maryland State Grange Agriculture and Awards banquet by singing the national anthem and closed by singing “God Bless America.” In between, they were reminded of the importance of American agriculture and their part in ensuring its success.
State Grange Master Maurice Wiles welcomed guests and Grangers alike to the banquet held during the 138th annual session Friday, Oct. 19, at the American Legion. He introduced National Grange Overseer Jimmy Gentry as the keynote speaker.
“We’re all touched by agriculture every day, through what we eat, what we wear, through our housing,” Gentry said. “It is so very important to all of us.”
Gentry shared some statistics he picked up while attending an agricultural biotechnology conference in Raleigh, N.C.
By the year 2050, farmers will need to supply twice as much food as they do today because of the ever-increasing world population, he said. Global population increases by 6.3 million people a month, and daily, 25,000 people die from hunger.
There are obstacles to be dealt with in order to fulfill future food demands. Those obstacles include limited labor, water and farmland.
The Grange has been active in working with immigration reform, and in Gentry’s home state of North Carolina in changing the oversight cities had over the land surrounding them.
“The Maryland State Grange is very deeply involved in agriculture,” Gentry said.
He commended members for formulating and discussing a long list of resolutions as part of their policy. The policy will be used in the coming year to advocate for agriculture.
“If we are going to be a significant organization, we have to do significant things,” he said.
Following Gentry’s presentation, Granges and individual Grangers were honored with special awards.
Cliff Newsome recognized the Leitersburg Grange for an increase in membership.
Roger Troxell awarded the top eight Granges for their community involvement efforts. Granges submitted books that were judged on a 13-category matrix, including such areas as uniqueness of community projects, school and food bank support, and news coverage.
Winning Granges were Thurmont, first; Wacohu, second; New Market, third; Linganore, fourth; Glade Valley, fifth; Calvert, sixth; River View, seventh; and Leitersburg, eighth.
Deaf scholarships were awarded to Carly Bird, Hagerstown Community College; Tyler Noterianni Stevens, Rochester Institute of Technology; Kathryn Averett, Shepherd University; and London Foley, McDaniel College.
Agriculture scholarships were awarded to Matthew Ripley, Pennsylvania College of Technology; Daniel Myers, Frederick Community College; Beth Reed, Kaplan University; Collins Lethbridge, Carroll Community College; Jordan Leveque, Potomac State College; Brittany Lethbridge, Hood College; Morgan Cole, Hood College; and Kenny Miles, Frederick Community College.
Special individual awards were presented to Sarah and Ralph Adkins, Service to Maryland Agriculture; Sheila Selzer, Youth Booster Award; and Nicole Ripley Myers, Granger of the Year.
The Adkinses are native Marylanders who were both involved in 4-H, attended the University of Maryland and worked in and with Extension throughout their lives. Selzer was honored for her never-ending supply of ideas and passion for the Grange youth. Myers joined the Grange at 14 and holds offices in both her home Linganore Grange and the Frederick County Pomona Grange. She chairs the state agriculture scholarship committee.<\c> Photos by Laurie Savage
Ralph and Sarah Adkins, left, receive the Service to Maryland Agriculture Award from State Grange Master Maurice Wiles at the Maryland State Grange Agriculture and Awards Banquet Friday, Oct. 19.
National Grange Overseer Jimmy Gentry entertains the crowd at the American Legion.
Nicole Ripley Myers, left, received the Granger of the Year award, while Sheila Selzer, right, received the Grange Youth Booster Award from State Grange Master Maurice Wiles.
Granges were honored for their community involvement. Representing their Granges are, front row from left, Nancy Wolfe, River View; Alberta May, Calvert; and Mary Bachtell, Leitersburg. In the back row, from left, are Roger Troxell, award presenter; Rodman Myers, Thurmont; Raymond Crum, Glade Valley; Helen Eyler, Linganore; Scott Burall, New Market; and State Grange Master Maurice Wiles.
Nicole Ripley Myers, left, and Maurice Wiles, right, congratulate winners of agriculture and deaf scholarships, from left, Matthew Ripley, Kathryn Averett, London Foley, Collins Lethbridge, Beth Reed and Daniel Myers.
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