New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today visited River Bend Christmas Tree Farm in Lake Luzerne for the annual tree cutting to promote New York’s Christmas tree farms and encourage New Yorkers to shop at local agricultural businesses this holiday season. New York State tree farms offer families a fun and safe way to celebrate the holiday season. By purchasing from any of the 750 local tree farms in the State, New Yorkers can support this important agricultural industry, which has an economic impact of $13.8 million, according to the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York.
Commissioner Ball said: "I encourage New Yorkers to shop early this year and choose local New York farms when looking for that perfect tree this holiday season. Visiting a tree farm this year to cut your own tree is a great, socially distanced, and fun way to celebrate this season of giving while supporting your local farmer and the agricultural economy.”
Gene Knudsen, President of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York, said: "Thank you to Commissioner Richard Ball for cutting down the first New York State Christmas Tree of the year at River Bend Christmas Tree Farm. This tradition marks the start of the holiday season across New York State. We invite the public to visit a New York State Christmas Tree farm, support a local farm family, enjoy the great outdoors, and bring home the freshest Christmas tree!"
Jim Carpenter, Owner of River Bend Christmas Tree Farm, said: “We are grateful and excited to welcome Commissioner Ball to cut the first Christmas tree of the season at River Bend Christmas Tree Farm. Our family looks forward each year to helping families of every type celebrate the holidays in style with a real New York Grown Christmas tree.”
With approximately 300,000 New York-grown trees sold by more than 750 farms in Upstate New York, the State ranks sixth in the U.S. for the number of acres dedicated to growing Christmas trees.
To promote the industry and provide a boost to farmers statewide, the Department is sponsoring displays of local trees and handmade wreaths in all of New York’s Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores statewide.
The 8-foot-tall Canaan fir provided by River Bend Christmas Tree Farm will be prominently displayed for the holidays at the Adirondack Welcome Center in Queensbury. River Bend Christmas Tree Farm is a proud member of the New York State Grown & Certified program, which highlights New York's agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. 47 Christmas tree farms across New York State are now NYS Grown & Certified.
Find your local Welcome Center and Taste NY store at Taste.ny.gov. To find the New York-grown Christmas tree vendor nearest to you, visit the NYS Grown & Certified website and the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York website.
In addition, New York State will also be featuring New York grown trees at the Empire State Plaza, the Capitol building, and the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. office building in Harlem.
New York State Office of General Services Acting Commissioner Jeanette Moy said: “There is nothing quite like the scent of pine on a cold winter day, and New Yorkers can be proud of the beautiful trees grown in this state and the farmers who produce them. We at OGS are pleased to display New York State trees at our facilities. I welcome the public to attend our holiday tree lighting events at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on December 5 and at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in Harlem on December 9.”
Specialty Foods, Beverages, and Gifts
In addition to local Christmas trees and wreaths, this holiday season, Welcome Centers, Taste NY locations, and the ShopTasteNY.com marketplace are featuring a wide variety of gifts and gift sets filled with local products made and produced by New York farms and food and beverage producers. From local gourmet food items and locally produced craft beverages to New York made novelty items, and even bath and beauty products, gifts range in size and price and can be customized. Customers are encouraged to contact their local Taste NY location or visit ShopTasteNY.com for specific offerings and details. Find out more here.
About Taste NY
The Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition since it was created in 2013. The program, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, creates opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park. It has also helped the farms and companies participating in the program to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. Taste NY’s food and beverage businesses also support the state’s farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products.
Contact the Press Office
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
10B Airline Drive
Albany, New York 12235
The Great New York State Fair
581 State Fair Boulevard
Syracuse, New York 13209