Last week Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recognized and thanked the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association for their tree donations made to the state Capitol complex and the Trees for Troops program this year.
"The Iowa Christmas Tree Growers should be recognized for their generosity," says Northey. "The Christmas tree industry is vital to the state and to the environment. These real trees are renewable and recyclable resources, they produce oxygen, prevent soil erosion, filter water and provide wildlife habitat."
Growers donated four Christmas trees to the Capitol complex that were distributed as follows:
- Henry A. Wallace Building – Gary Harman, Scotch Pine, Walnut Ridge Farm, Indianola
- State Capitol Rotunda – Harold Hill, Colorado Blue Spruce, Hill's Tree Farm, Minburn
- Governor's Office – Eugene Poush, White Pine, Poush's Pines, Chariton
- Lieutenant Governor's Office – Carl Janson, White Pine, Janson's Christmas Forest, New Virginia
In addition, Iowa Christmas Tree Growers again donated generously to the "Trees for Troops" program, which delivers real Christmas trees for the third consecutive year to military troops overseas and military families in the United States. This holiday season, Trees for Troops is expected to collect and deliver more than 17,404 trees. One hundred trees are coming from Iowa growers this year. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship partnered with the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association and FedEx for this campaign.
Iowa has over 100 Christmas tree farms
There are just over 100 Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farms in Iowa, with close to 2,500 acres in tree production. Approximately 57,000 trees are harvested annually across the state. For each tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted in its place.
"Now is the prime time to bring the whole family out to take advantage of the many Choose and Cut Tree farms located across Iowa. Selecting your Christmas tree is a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family as you pick your tree," says Northey.
To find out where to purchase a fresh Iowa-grown tree near you, visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Web site at www.agriculture.state.ia.us.
Here's the list of growers that participated in the 2007 "Trees for Troops" program and the number of trees they donated:
Mel and Jan Pacovsky, New Hampton (5)
Kelle and Jerry VanVacter, Dumcombe (5)
Doug and Kathy Bahl, Dubuque (6)
Mark and Jackie Fisher, Clear Lake (5)
Gary and Jane Harman, Indianola (5)
Vern and Sarah Rettig, Boundurant (2)
Bob and Terri Strohbebn, Brooklyn (2)
Harold and Carol Hill, Minburn (4)
Mark and Twylah Kragel, Clear Lake (3)
Marvin and Janet Bassett, Stuart (3)
Chris Hinders, Woden (3)
Lee and Lynn Aldrich, Belmond (5)
Mike and Renee Kidman, Polk City (2)
Jack and Beth Miller, Runnells (2)
Chris and Jenny Howell, Cummings (5)
Sandra Hunter, Maxwell (2)
Loren and Andrea Nelson, Denison (3)
Harry, Betty and Jeff Robbins, Runnells (2)
Bob and Karla Moulds, Fairbanks (5)
Loren and Liz Kruse, Grundy Center (2)
Jim and Gladys Dixon, Norwalk (4)
Anita Shockley, BloomfIeld (5)
Jerald and Cindy Deal, Jefferson (5)
Andy and Diane Davis, Oskaloosa (2)
Larry Ward and Jodie Bassett, Stuart (2)
Joe and Janice Reutter, Boone (5)
Terry and Lona Lewis, Sidney (4)