Contact: Jeff Wolfe (609) 633-2954 or (609) 433-1785 (cell) E-mail: email@example.com
Contact: Jeff Wolfe (609) 633-2954
or (609) 433-1785 (cell)
(WASHINGTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today cut a Christmas tree at Evergreen Valley Tree Farm in Warren County, ceremonially kicking off the choose and cut Christmas tree season. Secretary Fisher also thanked growers for their generosity in participating in the “Christmas Trees for New Jersey Military Families” program.
Governor Christie proclaimed November 28 as Jersey Grown Christmas Tree Day, encouraging New Jersey residents to support the state’s farmers and visit choose and cut Christmas tree farms, as well as showing appreciation of our military during the holiday season.
“As we enter this season of New Jersey agritourism, we encourage people to visit choose and cut Christmas tree farms to find their perfect tree and enjoy the experience with their families, making lasting memories,” said Secretary Fisher. “This also is a time of giving, so we applaud the Christmas tree growers for their generosity and hope state residents will remember to help those in need this holiday season.”
Evergreen Valley Tree Farm won the 2016 New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association Christmas annual tree contest with a blue spruce. It has been a long-standing tradition that the kick-off of the choose-and-cut Christmas tree season takes place at the Grand Champion’s farm. The 145-acre farm was started by the Alpaugh family in 2003 and is now being farmed by second and third generations of Alpaughs. They have 10,000 Christmas trees available this season. They offer Fraser, Douglas, Concolor and Canaan Firs, Norway and Blue Spruces and White Pine.
“We grow Christmas Trees year-round and this is a business we take great pride in,” said Andy Alpaugh. “We work throughout the year to maintain our crop and expand it when needed and we love seeing families come out to our farm and engage in an activity together.”
Alpaugh also participates in Christmas Trees for New Jersey Military Families. His family will donate the tree cut by Secretary Fisher to that cause, which is a joint program of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association and the New Jersey Agricultural Society. The goal is to donate 100 trees that will be presented to New Jersey National Guard members and their families at a ceremony on Nov. 30 in Bordentown.
Almost 69,000 trees are cut in New Jersey each year. The 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture ranked New Jersey seventh in the nation in the number of Christmas tree growers, with 809 farms that grow more than 4,600 acres of Christmas trees in the state.
Christmas tree growers in New Jersey may participate in the Jersey Grown program, which allows farmers to tag their trees with the Jersey Grown brand to easily identify that their Christmas trees are grown in New Jersey. Jersey Grown includes quality standards and is similar to the well-known Jersey Fresh branding program for produce and other agricultural products.
The New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, organized in 1950, is a statewide organization of growers, professionals and industry leaders dedicated to the promotion and marketing of Christmas trees and related products. A listing of farms consumers can visit is available at: www.njchristmastrees.org/where_find_christmas_tree.html.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA