Pa. Grange puts first woman at helm

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Harrisburg, Pa. – Betsy Huber of Lincoln University, Pa., has been elected president of the Pennsylvania State Grange. Huber, a member of Goshen Grange #121 in Chester County, is the first woman to serve in the top position in the 130-year history of the state organization.

Huber was elected during the 130th state session of the Pennsylvania State Grange that met in Washington, Pa., in October. She succeeds William A. Steel.

Legislative experience. Huber has been a longtime standing member of the Pennsylvania State Grange with approximately 40 years of membership. Upon accepting the top state position, Huber resigned as legislative aide to Rep. Art Hershey, a position she held for 10 years.

While serving the 13th District, Huber was involved with many of Hershey’s legislative activities, including the House of Representatives’ Agricultural Committee and Environmental Resource Committee.

“Legislatively, the Pennsylvania State Grange represents its members as well as the rural community on the state level,” Huber said. “My professional experience has helped prepare me to take the reins for our organization.”

Grange background. Throughout her years at the Grange, Huber has served in many capacities. Early on, the Hubers were the Grange Young Couple. Currently she is secretary of Goshen Grange and a member of the executive committee of her Pomona Grange.

In 1978, she was elected the first female master of Goshen Grange and was pomona master from 1994-96. Prior to State Master, Huber was state overseer for six years. Previously, she served six years as state pomona. From 1989-92, she worked in the Harrisburg state office as office manager for past master William Ringler.

On a national level, she was secretary to Mary Buffington when she was National Grange director of women’s activities.

In 1991, she was elected the first female supervisor of Upper Oxford Township. She will complete her second term in 2003.

Focus on organization. As the first woman to serve in the top state leadership role for the Pennsylvania State Grange, Huber doesn’t necessarily feel she has entered a new frontier.

“Since the 1800s, women have always been well accepted in our organization. To the best of my knowledge, I was the first woman to run in Pennsylvania. In fact, many other states have women as masters. Becoming the first woman isn’t an issue for me; however, doing my best for the organization is what counts.”

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