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Photo of Yuletide tree farm - Click to enlarge
Christmas Tree Cut Today will be donated to Trees for Troops for a Military Family in New Jersey
For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 2, 2010
Michael Drewniak
or Kevin Roberts

Trenton, NJ – Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today cut down a Douglas-fir during a ceremonial Christmas tree cutting at the Yuletide Christmas Tree Farm in New Egypt.  Their visit highlights the importance of agritourism to our State’s economy and the importance of supporting local tree farmers during the holiday season.

Photo of Lt. Governor Guadagno and Secretary Fisher chopping down a tree

Lt. Governor Guadagno and Secretary Fisher inspect their handiwork after ceremonially chopping down a Christmas tree at Yuletide Tree Farm

“Tourism is New Jersey’s third largest industry and agritourism is an essential component of its overall success,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “The holiday season is one of the most exciting and enjoyable times to participate in agritourism. Our State’s wide array of Christmas tree farms not only offer the opportunity to find the perfect tree, but to create wonderful memories families can cherish.”

The Christmas tree cut by the Lt. Governor and the Agriculture Secretary will be donated to Trees for Troops, a national nonprofit that donates live Christmas trees to service men and women and their families during the holiday season.  Last year, New Jerseyans donated 364 trees as part of program’s effort, with 154 trees directly donated by NJ growers or retailers.

“Christmas tree farms are not only scenic and provide lifelong memories for families but are a significant part of the Garden State’s agricultural industry,” said Secretary Fisher.  “Like other agritourism activities, many people who visit Christmas tree farms make a day out of it, visiting nearby restaurants and other businesses, supporting the local economy.  With more than 6,000 acres of trees on 1,150 farms, choose and cut Christmas tree farms contribute greatly to the state’s overall economy and maintain our important agricultural working landscape.”

Yuletide Christmas Tree Farm’s Douglas-fir was selected as the 2010 Grand Champion in their annual Christmas tree contest, held over the past summer. The 24-acre farm has between 19,000-20,000 trees on 22 acres with 22 acres of the farm in the Farmland Preservation Program.

The 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture ranked New Jersey sixth in the nation in the number of Christmas tree growers, providing almost 79,000 Christmas trees to families and businesses.  In New Jersey, Christmas tree growers are eligible for the Jersey Grown program, which allows farmers to brand their Christmas trees as being grown in New Jersey. Jersey Grown includes quality standards and is similar to the well-known Jersey Fresh program for produce and other agricultural products.