New Grange chaplain ‘humbled’
Kensinger ‘excited to see what year has in store’
Timing is everything.
Just a few years ago, Jodi Kensinger contemplated seeking the position of Pennsylvania State Grange chaplain.
“I had always told my husband that I wanted to run for it so that I would be able to study God’s word a little more and become closer to him. But timing wasn’t right for me, due to getting married and moving within the next year. So fast forward to 2020, I felt more comfortable to run for it and threw my name into the hat and was elected to the position,” Kensinger said.
She said farming has always been a part of her life.
Kensinger, 35, grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Entriken in Huntingdon County. When she and her husband, Ben, got married in 2017, she moved to Kensinger Farms near Martinsburg, where they milk about 130 Holsteins and produce about 3.7 million pounds of milk a year. The milk is shipped to Land O Lakes where it is used to make cheese, butter, ice cream and other dairy products.
Kensinger has been involved with Grange almost her entire life.
“My parents met in the Grange whenever they were teenagers, got married and took us to the meetings with them. At age 5, I was able to join the Junior Grange until I was old enough to join the ‘adult’ Grange at age 14, and I have been an active member ever since,” Kensinger said. “I wanted to join the Grange because it was a family organization that we could all be a part of. My grandmother was the Junior Grange leader at the time. With her, we did a lot of community service activities. Our Grange (Lincoln) had a strong representation in our community. I wanted to help make our community better for generations to come.”
At Lincoln Grange, which has about 30 members, Kensinger serves as secretary, renovation chair, fundraising committee member and community service committee member.
“Our Grange offers a wide range of locally oriented programs and activities for children, youth and adults. We try to hold regular meetings where issues of community concern are discussed and help to sponsor community service projects. In the community, our Grange hand-sewed masks and provided over 500 of them to whoever needed them during the pandemic,” Kensinger said.
Kensinger said she is honored and humbled to serve as state chaplain.
“I am excited to see what the year has in store for me and what new changes — for example small additions to the worship services — that I can bring to my elected position,” Kensinger said.
In her role, Kensinger is required to write bi-monthly devotional articles for the Pennsylvania Grange News magazine; plan and provide a worship service for the annual convention; provide spiritual guidance during the yearly meeting in October; and organize a worship service for the annual family festival in July.
Wayne Campbell, Pennsylvania State Grange president, calls Kensinger an ambitious and caring individual.
“She is always willing to step in and assist or take charge of a project. With Jodi growing up on a farm and still being a part of an active dairy, she has a perspective on life that one only gets from living on a farm. She has the ability to do many things that others might hire someone for, where being a farmer she has learned to do herself,” Campbell said. “She writes to help people spiritually with their everyday life. This is so important as people are looking for spiritual support and guidance as we move through this pandemic.”
Kensinger calls herself “a huge advocate” of the local, state and national Grange organizations. “Our local chapter has played a key role in cultivating my leadership skills by teaching me to have confidence in myself and be a strong public speaker. The Grange has grown my network of contacts, in which I have friends all over the country. I love the fact the entire family, from babies to the “young at heart” can be a part of one association and work together on local issues to make our communities better. This is why I Grange, to make the whole world a better place, one community at a time,” Kensinger said.
In addition to her roles with Grange, Kensinger works full time as a radiology/mammography technologist with Geisinger Health System in State College. She has been with the company for 11.5 years.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.
The Kensinger file
Name: Jodi Kensinger
Position: Pennsylvania State Grange Chaplain
Education: 2004 graduate of Huntingdon Area High School and 2006 graduate of Conemaugh School of Radiology, Johnstown.
Family: Husband Ben, parents John and Cindy Keith; brother Andy; sister Stacie; grandfather Harry Kieth; parents-in-law Kate and Ernie Kensinger; and brother and sister-in-law Joe and Brenda Kensinger.
Quote: “I am honored and humbled that the delegates of the Pennsylvania State Grange thought that I was worthy enough to elect me to the position of state chaplain.”