Carver Grange of Omaha
Omaha resident Edgar Hicks was troubled by the rising number of children in his community struggling to graduate from high school and wanted to do something to make a difference. Hicks believes in the importance of acquiring an education to help improve one’s economic station in life, a belief inspired by the work of scientist, educator, and agricultural pioneer, George Washington Carver. With this value so profoundly imprinted into his soul, Hicks, with an extensive professional background in agriculture and as a long time supporter of the National Grange, began working on a lifetime goal to engage young people in a community Grange chapter. He felt it could be a vessel for youth to learn about leadership, self-sufficiency, and civic responsibility, and gain access to educational opportunities.
The National Grange has a rich 145 year history of supporting the family, and is a community organization with its roots in agriculture. It provides members with opportunities to learn and grow to their full potential as citizens and leaders. Hicks has served as a past member of the Executive Committee of the Nebraska State Grange, and currently serves as its Historian.
He met with Omaha Senator Brenda Council (11th District) to discuss strategies to help youth develop leadership skills through learning about public policies, and how to positively effect community change by exposing youth to opportunities in agriculture. Additionally, he felt that the Grange’s legislative focus would be an excellent way to make a meaningful impact by teaching youth about the interworking of the unicameral functions.
On October 11, 2011, nineteen individuals attended the meeting hosted by Hicks and Council to learn about the project. These individuals became the charter members. On January 3, 2012, Ed Luttrell, President of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, traveled to Omaha from Washington, DC to personally serve the Carver Grange of Omaha its charter. This charter represents the first new chapter in Nebraska in 100 years.
The national President was joined by Nebraska State Grange President, Joseph Fryman, and several members from neighboring Grange chapters, in the presentation to the Omaha chapter charter group.
To bring together resources to develop and support family and community through education, leadership, advocacy, and economic development related to food, agriculture, and natural resources.
CarGo collaborates to make husbandry relevant in modern and urban society.
Education, Leadership Development, Community Engagement, Husbandry
Download a one page fact sheet about the Carver Grange of Omaha
About Our Namesake, George Washington Carver
"Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." - George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver had a thirst for knowledge and helping people. During his lifetime, his roles included a chemist, a gardener, a plant breeder, a mycologist, an artist, an educator, an inventor, and a humanitarian. He dedicated his life to improving the lives of the poor in the south through agricultural research, and he worked to show poor farmers how to grow alternative crops, both as a food source, and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life.
Carver spent nearly four decades as a professor at Tuskegee University, and during that time, he published several widely distributed, free bulletins on practical agricultural methods, recipes, and resources for farmers. His work as a scientist produced important research findings that improved agricultural techniques, knowledge of plant diseases, and soil cultivation, and brought about the invention of several commercial products using the crops that he promoted.
Throughout his life, Carver used his notoriety to not only promote his discoveries, inventions and the University, but worked to support racial harmony, community service, environmental health, and education. He spent much of his time sharing his admiration for plants and truly believed that agriculture had a way to lift society, improve lives, and help people become self-sufficient. His goal as an instructor was to foster positive character development in his students in addition to intellectual development and use science and technology to solve broad societal needs.
For more information about Dr. Carver, visit these links:
A Teacher's Guide to George Washington Carver Online, from Black History WEB
The George Washington Carver National Monument, from the National Park Service
The Legacy of Dr. George Washington Carver, from Tuskegee University
George Washington Carver's Peanut Cookie Recipe
(modified from his original recipe that appeared in his 1916 bulletin "How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption")
3 Cups flour, all- purpose
1 Tsp baking powder
1 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Cups peanuts, skinless, ground
1/2 Cup butter, unsalted
2 Eggs, large, beaten
1 Cup milk
1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, peanuts, and baking powder. Set aside.
Using mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium to high speed until fluffy and light-colored.
Add eggs, milk and vanilla, and mix to incorporate.
Add flour mixture one cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl after each addition. Mix only until incorporated.
Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto a well-greased sheet pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes, or until desired crispness.
About the National Grange
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, and it is the oldest surviving agricultural organization in America.
In addition to serving as a center for many farming communities, the Grange was an effective advocacy group for farmers and their agendas, including fighting railroad monopolies and advocating rural mail deliveries.
Nonpartisan legislative advocacy, educational programs, service projects, and social interaction and networking are just a few of the ways local Granges serve their communities and members.
The motto of the National Grange is "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."
For more information on the National Grange, visit their website.