State Agriculture Commissioner Kicks off Holiday Season With Annual Tree Cutting
Following State Guidelines, Local Christmas Tree Farms Offer New Yorkers a Family-Friendly, Fun, and Safe Way to Celebrate the Season
Farm-Fresh NYS Grown & Certified Trees to be Displayed in State's Welcome Centers and Taste NY Stores to Promote Agricultural Industry
ShopTasteNY.com, Taste NY Welcome Centers, and Stores Also Offer a Variety of Delicious New York State Foods and Beverages and Specialty Gift Items
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today visited Goderie’s Tree Farm in Johnstown 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. Following State COVID-19 guidelines, New York tree farms offer families a fun and safe way to celebrate the 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: "It is more important this year than ever that New Yorkers support local farmers and businesses when doing their holiday shopping, whether they’re looking for a Christmas tree or a delicious addition to their holiday meal. Visiting a tree farm this year to cut your own tree is a great, socially distanced, and fun way to celebrate this season while supporting your local farm and the agricultural economy.”
Robert Schoch, Interim Executive Director of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York, said: “Selecting a New York State grown Christmas tree offers a family experience in the outdoors. As you visit farms, be aware that New York growers have developed safety plans to ensure that this is a safe and rewarding experience. When other holiday experiences are limited this year, selecting a New York grown tree provides an opportunity to enjoy the season and continue a family tradition.”
Pete Goderie, Owner of Goderie’s Tree Farm, said: “With nearly 800 tree farms in New York State, consumers can easily support a local tree farm, providing a shot in the arm to our industry. Visiting a New York tree farm to pick your own tree is the perfect way to gather with your family this season for a holiday tradition while being safe and socially distanced.”
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, the Department is sponsoring displays of local trees and handmade wreaths in Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores statewide. The 8-foot-tall Fraser fir provided by Goderie’s Tree Farm will be prominently displayed for the holidays at the Mohawk Valley Welcome Center in Fultonville. Goderie’s 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.
In addition, New York State will also be featuring New York grown trees at the Empire State Plaza, Capitol building, and the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. office building in Harlem.
Susan Woodcock, Assistant Site Manager at the Mohawk Valley Welcome Center, said: “It is with great pride that we will be displaying a NYS Grown & Certified Christmas tree from Goderie’s Tree Farm this holiday season. Goderie’s has an upstanding reputation in the Mohawk Valley Region, and are helpful and knowledgeable about the trees that they grow. While stopping by to admire the tree at the Mohawk Valley Welcome Center, travelers will have to chance to browse through all of our New York State products, including a variety of hot cocoa and candy from Saratoga Chocolate Company; Fraiser’s Sugar Shack maple products from St. Johnsville; Rulison’s Honey products from Amsterdam; and of course, our ever popular fresh whole and chocolate milk from Dygert’s Farm in Palatine Bridge.”
Michael Myers, Taste NY Market Manager of the North Country Welcome Center, said: “We are proud to support the mission of the Taste NY program. Displaying these beautiful trees each year in our Welcome Center brings a perfect ambience to kick off the holiday season. We love the fact that we can help support our Christmas tree growers and the NYS Grown & Certified program! If you are not able to get out this year to view our tree, we will be displaying it on our Facebook page. Check us out on the Shop Taste NY site for all of your North Country favorites!
Specialty Foods, Beverages, and Gifts
In addition to local Christmas trees and wreaths, this holiday season, Welcome Centers and Taste NY locations will feature 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 for specific offerings and details.
Taste NY Markets are also a great place to purchase a wide range of foods and beverages that can be used to create fresh, delicious holiday meals. From charcuterie meats and cheeses to wine and cider, many markets and stores sell grocery items. In addition, Taste NY gift stores and product displays can be found in travel and tourism hubs across the State, such as service areas along the NYS Thruway, airports, and train stations.
Additionally, an online marketplace, https://shoptasteny.com/, launched in spring 2020 allows consumers to shop for New York agricultural products and gifts from the comfort of their own homes. ShopTasteNY.com has holiday gift sets available for purchase in addition to their regular selection of products that highlight the quality and diversity of New York products.Orders can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and those placed by December 17 will arrive by December 24.
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.