The Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association loaded up 80 trees today at the Iowa State Fairgrounds to be sent to U.S. servicemembers in the “Trees for Troops” program. Iowa association executive director, Jan Pacovsky (Puh-chew-skee), says it’s an annual tradition the growers look forward to.
Pacovsky says they have been taking part in the program since 2005 as a way to say thank you to all of the military members for the things that they do. The growers bring in the trees and FedEx donates the shipping. She says the shipping started in October, sending trees to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan, and then they use trucks here to hall the donated trees to bases where they can be shipped out.
Pocvsky says it has been a popular program. “We get a lot of good response back, and we get a lot of response even from people who have (family members) in the military, that they really feel it’s a good cause,” Pacovsky says. She says people who don’t have family members in the military like the program and will sometimes donate trees or money to help with the costs.
Pacovsky says the growers in the U.S. have a goal of reaching 100,000 trees since the start of the program in 2005. She believes they will get close to that goal this year.
There are just over 100 choose and cut Christmas Tree farms in Iowa, with close to 1,500 acres in tree production. Approximately 39-thousand trees are harvested annually across the state.
This year trees were donated by:
Mel & Jan Pacovsky, Pine Acres, New Hampton; Ken & Shirley Andrews, Wickiup Tree Farm, Alburnett; Andrew & Diane Davis, Scotch Hill Christmas Trees, Oskaloosa; Jerald & Cindy Deal, Deal’s Orchard. Jefferson; Dale & Julie Fagner, DJ Christmas Pines, Elkader; Mark & Jackie Fisher, Fisher Tree Farm, Clear Lake; Gary & Jane Harman, Walnut Ridge Farm, Indianola; Harold & Carol Hill, Hill’s Tree Farm, Minburn; Steven Hoogestraat & Joann Martin, Hoogestraat Christmas Tree Farm, Arcadia; Sandra Hunter, The Christmas Tree Farm, Maxwell; Mike & Renee Kidman, Kidman Tree Farm, Polk City; Loren & Liz Kruse, Kruse Christmas Farm, Grundy Center; Terry & Lona Lewis, Horse Creek Farm, Sidney; Bob & Karla Moulds, Wapsie Pines Tree Farm, Fairbanks; Jim & Marilyn Murphy, Murphy’s Walnut Hill Nursery, Runnells;
Joe & Janice Reutter, Enchanted Valley Tree Farm, Boone; Bob & Terry Strohbehn, Poweshiek Pines Tree Farm, Brooklyn; Michael & Deb White, White Christmas Tree Farm, Indianola; David & Norma Bappe, Holiday Pines, Decorah; Cynthia Bruins, Indianola Tree Farm, Indianola; Jack and Beth Miller, Miller Tree Farm, Runnells.