What is the Grange?
Ask members and you’ll discover a Grange is a community service focused, agriculture rooted, family encompassing, ceremonial styled traditional or modern-day styled, grassroots-activism, leadership teaching, work ethic inspired, fraternal, networking, character developing, community organization focused on education, deaf awareness and health, legislative policy, fun, food, veterans, education, crafts such as canning, preserving, baking, quilting, leatherworking, art and much more. Our Halls are used for community events, markets, haunted houses, meals of all types, classes, clinics, voting (not so much today in Oregon), community forums, dances and concerts, inexpensive rentals for memorials, families and community groups and numerous other purposes. Grange is non-partisan, non-sectarian and has always treated women equally.
No one Community Grange is all these things. The values are shared, the style and focus of a Grange is defined by each Grange’s members. “The” Grange is all these things.
The Official Answer
The Grange is a family, community organization with its roots in agriculture. Founded in 1867, the Grange was formed as a national organization with a local focus. Our members are given the opportunity to learn and grow to their full potential as citizens and leaders.
“I must call your attention to the domestic animals that are committed to our keeping by the Great Author of our being. We are dependent upon them, for without their aid man could never have risen from barbarism to civilization. Practice mercy and compassion toward them. Never overwork nor overload them, and guard against haste in reprimanding them. Treat them with kindness and affection, and they will learn to love you. It is one of the objects of our Order to protect dumb animals from abuse, and any member who countenances their ill-treatment is liable to censure, suspension, or expulsion.”
Steward’s charge to initiates in the First Degree
Grange ceremonies are based on lessons learned from farm life and agriculture, as initially the organization was focused on advocating for farming concerns, primarily railroad monopolies. Today the lessons of the seasons, and of growing things, and the cycle of life still offer wisdom. Grange ceremony intends to create bonds of belonging through shared experience and to provide principles of character and integrity.
As the role of the family farm declined throughout the twentieth century, the focus of the Grange shifted focus to rural families and communities. The need for secrecy lessened, and the requirement of using the Degree ceremonies was relaxed. Some Community Granges find the historic Degree ceremonial language archaic or denominational and have replaced it with the Welcoming Ceremony, while some Granges enjoy the link to tradition and continue to practice the first four Degrees.
The Oregon State Grange honors the right of each Community Grange to make this choice but does wish to impress the value of the lessons conveyed in the Degrees to Community Granges.
Patrons of Husbandry Motto
In necessariis unitas
in dubiis libertas
in omnibus caritas
In essentials, unity
in non-essentials, liberty
in all things, charity
Patrons of Husbandry Slogan
May it be eternal