AUGUSTA -- The Executive Committee of the Maine State Grange recently convened and adopted policy to oppose Governor John Baldacci's plan to merge the Departments of Agriculture, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Conservation and Marine Resources.
After the resolution was adopted, James Owens, Master (President) of the Maine State Grange stated that, "The Maine State Grange has for many years supported agriculture in the State of Maine. We believe that the continued well being of our citizens is sustained by our agricultural base and diluting the Department of Agriculture will not be in the best interest of anyone."
In the tradition of the Grange's grassroots legislative process, the resolution had been adopted by Sabbathday Lake Grange #365 in New Gloucester, before being sent to the Maine State Grange for their support. It was cited in the resolution that combining these state departments would send a message that Maine does not consider agriculture to be a top priority.
Reasons cited in the resolution were that the Grange as the nation's oldest rural family agricultural organization believes that combining the Dept. of Agriculture with these other departments would send a the message that Maine doesn't make agriculture a top priority.
The Grange is America's oldest agriculturally based family fraternity with a special focus on community service. With over 6,000 members statewide spread over 160 Granges, there is a Grange located near you. For more information about the Grange one may visit the website at www.mainestategrange.org or call 1-800-464-3421.