John R. Thompson was born on July 28, 1834, in Littleton, New Hampshire. He became a member of the United States Department of the Treasury after his service in the American Civil War. He is believed to be the first to whom Oliver Hudson Kelley talked about his dream of setting up a fraternal organization of farmers. Thompson’s Freemasonry training became a valuable tool in developing the ritualistic work of the The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, revolving the ritualistic teachings around the farm and farm family.
Sapphire: Research one of the seven degrees and think about how you can apply the lessons from this degree to your daily life. Write a short essay about what you have learned and sent it to the National Youth Director.
Emerald: Memorize the Master, Overseer, or Chaplain’s charges in the opening ceremony of your subordinate/community or Pomona Grange and recite them to the appropriate Master/President. Have the appropriate Grange director/Master (president) verify participation and send a copy to the National Youth Director.
Silver: Memorize the obligation ceremony or welcoming ceremony; recite it to your subordinate Master, state youth director or state master. Have the qualified individual verify and send verification letter to National Youth Director
Ruby: Organize a ritual workshop for youth and young adults in your state. Include the opening and closing, as well as degree work. Send a copy of the plan for the workshop to the National Youth Director.
Gold: Participate in the National Youth Officer Team or State Youth Officer Team. Members of the Kelley Farm Experience degree teams also qualify. Or, read the code book of the National Grange to a qualified individual, with five mistakes or less.
Any member who completes all five levels in one calendar year will receive a special Achievement Award lapel pin.