NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The National Grange, the United States’ oldest agricultural fraternity and rural service organization, will be holding its 157th annual conference and legislative session at the Niagara Falls Convention Center in Niagara Falls, New York from November 14-18, 2023. With more than 500 elected officers, Delegates and guests attending, the annual convention serves to set and affirm national legislative policies for the organization and is also a major networking and social event for members from across the country.
While most events during the week are for members-only, one major event that is open to the public is presented in partnership with Rural Minds, a nonprofit focused on destigmatizing conversations about mental health in rural America, and NY FarmNet. The “Talk Saves Lives” program will be held on Saturday, November 18 at 9:00am in the Olmsted room of the Niagara Falls Convention Center. To help confront the rural mental health emergency happening in rural America, this presentation will provide suicide awareness and prevention training from Becky Wiseman, LCSW-R, a mental health professional with an approach that’s relevant to people living in rural communities. Among other things, attendees will learn what causes people to consider suicide, protective factors that lower suicide risk, and strategies for managing mental health and being proactive about self-care.
Other events during the convention include a Quilts of Valor presentation to local veterans on Wednesday, November 15; workshops on ideas, legislative efforts, and more for members; the Grange Honors Night on Friday, November 17; and the annual Celebration Banquet and Evening of Excellence, highlighting a year of work for Rural America.
With more than 500 attendees expected, members will be going on tours of Niagara Falls and the Power Vista, and will be performing community service in the region. A collection of socks and mittens will be collected by the region to be presented to the Community Mission of Niagara Frontier.
During the Grange Honors night on Friday, November 17, the National Grange will present the National Teacher of the Year, Firefighter/EMS Worker of the Year, and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards.
Additionally, the Grange Showcase – open to the public in the Convention Center – will feature the work of the seven host region states, contest entries from around the country, and will also emphasize the work the National Grange has completed, including partnerships with Rural Minds, USAging, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Affordable Connectivity Program, and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
“We are excited and honored to be ‘flowing into the future,’ in Niagara Falls,” said National Grange President Betsy Huber. “The northeast region in the Grange is robust with a rich tradition. The host committee has done a fantastic job in planning a convention that highlights the region’s history while helping to usher in a new era of growth and enthusiasm in the work of the Grange.”
The National Grange is the country’s largest and oldest agricultural fraternity, advocating for rural America with more than 1,400 Community Granges and 140,000 members serving their hometowns nationwide.
For additional information on this convention, please visit http://grange.biz/
November 14 – 12:00 – Advocacy Luncheon – Speakers: Mayor Robert Restaino and Assemblyman Brian Manktelow
November 15 – 12:15 – Agriculture Luncheon – Speaker: The Lamb Family and Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball
November 15 – 7:30pm – Grange Hall of Fame and Quilts of Valor Presentations
November 16 – 2:00pm – Jeff Winton, CEO and Founder of Rural Minds, and filmmaker Travis Carlson speak at session. Workshop to follow.
November 17 – 7:30pm – National Grange Honors Night
November 18 – 9:00am – “Talk Saves Lives” workshop
Each of these events is open to public, (meals with tickets, available through November 8 at http://grange.biz/