Going Back to The Root of Community Living – History of the Grange
The official name of the grange is the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. The rich history attached to the society aims at promoting the importance of communities in the USA. The grange is a single organization with multiple subordinate communities spread across the entire country. A wide range of programs is promoted at the local granges that support the community’s families and ethics. The activities are tailored to cater to members of every age and ethnicity. Regular meetings are conducted to discuss any issues and strengths in the community which can be enhanced or addressed respectively. From social events to community service, the grange communities across America aim to support both itself and other communities.
The History Behind the Grange
In the year 1867, Oliver H. Kelly formed the grange. The vision that the social activist/farmer is hailing from Minnesota had stirred and firmly attached itself in the history and future of the nation’s communities. His idea of bringing all farmers from around the country to be a part of a single organization was birthed. Kelly found his inspiration in the union that industrial workers had and used the concept for farmers.
Back in the day, large conglomerations and infrastructure companies were taking advantage of farmers when they could not touch the industrial workers because of the union they had in place. The farmers were at the sole mercy of these companies and merchants to sell their crops, and for any supplies they needed. Farmers across the country were scattered and not in sync, causing much chaos and hardship. Kelly proactively addressed the issue by starting the grange with a few of his friends in the farming industry. These leaders set up and promoted cooperatives, which helped the farmers to a large extent economically.
Soon, their activism spread to promoting education in the rural parts of the country, extension service, rural free delivery and credit system on the farm. One of the notable qualities of the grange is that they are purely set up to support the community of farmers and other families in the area. They are a non-political organization and do not endorse any political parties as part of their policy. Their clean and clear mission is the reason why the concept of the Grange is still thriving in the country.
The Revolutionary Years in Grange History
While the grange as we know it now is a single organization at a community level that works as a democratic part of society, it did not get to what it is today overnight. A lot of effort and reforms have littered the history of the grange. Over the last 150 years, the grange has had several milestones that make it the significant part of a community that it is today. From the year 1876 to the present, the community has had a lot of firsts. They were the first organisation to support a voice for women over 60 years before the suffrage. The grange also were the first to come to the aid of African American farmers. Bringing electricity, telephones and water service to the rural parts of the country was one of the biggest accomplishments of the grange.