Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

Grange Has Deep Roots in Promoting Co-Ops as a Key to Strong Rural America

Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

Grange Has Deep Roots in Promoting Co-Ops as a Key to Strong Rural America

Article excerpt

The Grange, founded in 1867 and officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. With a strong history of grassroots activism, family values and community service, the Grange is part of more than 2,100 hometowns across the United States.

The Grange, with more than 80,000 members in 37 states, is a family organization with members of all ages and focuses on building family and friendships through local community outreach, service and improvement.

The Grange is the oldest agricultural advocacy organization in the United States and has a long history of bringing the voices and needs of rural America to the attention of state and federal governments.

One of the core goals for the inception of the Grange included working, buying, and selling farm products and equipment collectively. The Grange was instrumental in the development of rural America in the late 19th and early 20th century with the passage of the Granger Laws and the establishment of rural free mail delivery. After the American Civil War, the "Granger movement" was a coalition of Midwestern U.S. farmers who fought against the monopolistic grain transport practices of the railroad companies at the time.

Starting in the 1920s, the Grange was instrumental in organizing rural electric cooperatives, telephone cooperatives, water cooperatives, public utility districts, volunteer fire departments and state police programs across the nation. …

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