VIRGINIA VIRGINIA VIRGINIA CHRISTMAS VIRGINIA CHRISTMAS News Journal for Virginia Grown Christmas Trees CHRISTMAS News Journal for Virginia Grown Christmas Trees TREE VIRGINIA TREE CHRISTMAS TREE Published by the Virginia Christmas TreeChristmas Growers Association News Journal for Virginia Grown Trees GROWERS GROWERS Published by the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS News Journal for Virginia Grown Christmas Trees ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION Volume 2, Issue 33 the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association Summer 2012 2012 Published by TREE Volume 2, Issue Summer Volume1,2,Issue Issue 31 Winter 2012 GROWERS ASSOCIATION Volume Fall 2011 Published by the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association GROWERS Inside this Issue: ASSOCIATION Summer 2012 Inside this Issue: Volume 2, Issue 3 Inside this Issue: ASSOCIATION Summer 2012 A Capitol Christmas Save the Date! - 2 − 2 Volume 2, Issue 3 Inside this Issue: VCTGA Board- −2–3 3 Presidentially Speaking Marketing Materials Presidentially −4 Inside this Issue: NCTA Update Order Form -Speaking 3- 5
Save Date! - 2 Derails ‘Angry Mob’ Meetthe in the Valley VCTGA Board - 4–– 36 Presidentially Speaking Promotion Program VCTGA Annual Meeting Save the Date! 2 - −5 5 Presidentially Speaking NCTA Position NCTA Update 5 Schedule & - 5–on3 Presidentially Speaking Steps for Change Tree Checkoff Meet in theUpdate Valley -–57-12 6−5 Pre-Registration NCTA VCTGA Good Things 6 −6 Grant Progress Report VCTGA Annual Meeting Tree & the Wreath Contest Meet in Valley – 6- 6 Neel Receives Awards Member Profile: Schedule &Meeting Rules 13-15 VCTGA Annual Minutes Highlights Tall Tree Farm 8 Pre-Registration 7-12-–−815 Schedule & Farm Tour Feature Can Recipient the Family Farm Scholarship 9 Tree & Wreath Contest Pre-Registration VA Thanks! Farming Survive?7-12 −- 12 Sponsor 9
Rules 13-15 Tree & Contest & Wreath VCTGA – -16 Five Marketing Meeting Survey 9 Farm Tour Feature – 15 “Quick Fixes” −– 12 Rules 13-15 Members in the News Memories - Fred Wagoner - 16 10 VA Farming Websites #1 Marketing − 14 Board Minutes 4/2/12 – Farm Tour Farming Feature –1415 18 Virginia Becoming & VCTGA –Month 16 a–Fan Rye Cover Crop VA Farming Christmas Tree -20 14 of Facebook − 16 15 Members in the News – VCTGA Member Market& VCTGA – 16 - 15 Mt. Rogers Seed Orchard Shearing Techniques Board Minutes 4/2/12 – 18 ing Supplies – 22-23 Improve Farm Marketing -16 15 Members inforthe News Fraser Fir −–17 Rye Cover Crop – 20 Member Profile: Hank’s Becoming a “Fan” 17 Board Minutes 4/2/12 – 18 VA Farming Changes − 20 Christmas Trees 24− 20 Good/Bad Tree? VCTGA Member MarketVAC New Website Rye Cover Crop –- –18 20 National Updates - 10! 20 − 22 Join VCTGA Virginia Top ing Supplies –in22-23 VCTGA Member Market4TREES License Trees For Troops 22 Marketing - 25− 22, 23 Member Profile:–Hank’s ing Supplies 22-23 Trees For Troops What’s “TIP” Tag 4Trees License 2723 Christmas Trees –- 26 24−–22, Member Profile: Hank’s First Tree Cutting − 23 Contest Winners - 27- 27 VCTGA Tree Tags Join VCTGA Christmas Trees – 24 Real Tree Promotions − 23 Marketing - 25 Join VCTGA 4TreesMarketing License Tag - 25– 27 VCTGA Tree Tags 4Trees License Tag- –2727 Advertisers VCTGA Tree Alpha Nursery Kelco -Tags 7 –-427
Bosch’s Bosch’s Countryview Strathmeyer Forests− -6 9 Advertisers Christmas Hill − 7 Nursery 15 Tree Teck –- 11 Tree Teck −7 Advertisers Tree Teck Christmas Hill–-17 11
Back to the Valley! Back to the Valley! VCTGA Annual Conference Back to the Valley! VCTGA Conference Save the Annual Date: August 23-25! VCTGA Annual Conference
Governor Bob McDonnell accepts the official state Christmas tree from Virginia and Save the Date: August 23-25! John Carroll on December 12 at the front of the governor’s mansion. The Carroll’s Save the Date: 23-25! were the winners of the VCTGA ChristmasAugust Tree Contest at the VCTGA Annual
Alpha Nursery 4 –− 17 Cherokee–Mgt Mfg. 9 Carroll Resource Meeting in August and earned the honor of presenting the official tree this year. Riverside Enterprises -−11 Alpha Nursery 11 Bosch’s Countryview Cherokee Mfg – 19 Alpha Nursery – 4 Alpha Nursery - 13− 13 Jocelyn Lampert also presented the official wreaths and Bill and Mary Apperson preTim–Mitchell Nursery 15 Kelco – 15 Nursery Bosch’s Countryview Bosch’s Countryview sented holly and evergreens for decorations. (Additional photos next page). Riverside − 15 Tree Teck ––Enterprises 17 Riverside Nursery 15− 15– 15 -Enterprises 16 Kelco (Photos Courtesy of Michaele White, Governor’s Photography) CarrollTree Resource Mgt – 17 TimTeck Mitchell’s – 17 Tim Mitchell 21 Flickinger’s Nursery − 21 Cherokee Mfg –Mgt 19 –– 17 YuleResource Stand System 21 Carroll Ad - Fraser Knoll Cherokee Mfg - 25 − 24 Kelco – 15 Strathmeyer Forests – Cherokee Mfg -–28 19 26 Fraser Knoll Wagoner’s Fraser Knoll Riverside Enterprises Kelco – 15 – 15- 28 Tim RiversideMitchell’s Enterprises – 15 Yule Stand System 21 –Journal VCTGA News – Journal Winter–2012 |1 VCTGA News Winter 2012 |1 Tim Mitchell’s VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 Page 1 Strathmeyer Forests – 26 Yule Stand System – 21 Wagoner’s Fraser Knoll–- 26 28 Strathmeyer Forests Wagoner’s Fraser Knoll - 28
Growing a Greener Virginia Grown Christmas Tree
Experience a Real Tree! Growing a Greener Virginia Grown Christmas Tree Growing a Greener Virginia Grown Christmas Tree
Save The Date! Contributing and Coordinating Editors Membership Jocelyn Lampert Technical Support & Production John Carroll & Kyle Peer Mount Rogers Report Charlie Connor Pathology & Disease Norman Dart
Your Marketing Grant Dollars at Work Through marketing Grant, VCTGA was able to engage the services of a professional graphic designer to work with the board in producing the following: 1 New VCTGA Logo (see above) 10,000 "Experience a Real Tree" color brochures produced 5,000 "Buy and Sell Real Trees" color brochure produce 1 "Experience a Real Tree" vertical pop-up color promotional screen 125 "Experience a Real Tree" banners produced 125 "Experience a Real Tree" signs VDACS at Work for YOU (US)
Providing expertise, support, and leadership Publishing the Virginia Grown Christmas Tree Guide Distributed the guides and our new brochures at state welcome centers and consumer events Creating and distributing press releases Posting information on Virginia Christmas trees on statewide websites
Pests Eric Day VDACS Support & Updates Danny Neel Dave Robishaw Marketing, Promotion, & Social Media Sue Bostic Grant Updates Sue Bostic, Greg Lemmer Editor in Chief -Jeff Miller Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association Inc. 383 Coal Hollow Rd Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721 PH: 540-382-7310 Fax: 540-382-2716 secretary@VirginiaChristmasTrees.org
A BIG VCTGA Thank You to Danny Neel, Dave Robishaw, and all the other folks at the VDACS team in Richmond and around the state!
VCTGA News journal – Summer 2012
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
Presidentially Speaking… From the President During a recent trip to Mouth of Wilson, John & I had the chance to sit down, lunch ,and talk with some of our growers from southwestern Virginia. I asked the question “What are the biggest challenges facing our industry?” Responses included, among other things, increasing the DEMAND for our product- real Christmas trees and LABOR issues including the challenges of increasing regulations. It became apparent to me during the course of the discussions that to maximize the impact and effectiveness of VCTGA, if in fact VCTGA is to be the unified voice of our industry, that greater representation from our larger wholesale growers is critically needed in our organization. We need to be mindful that we are a diverse industry embracing a wide array of farms of varying size and species. We represent the Fraser fir growers (big and small) of southwest Virginia as well as the choose and cut growers on farms in all three geographic regions of our state offering tree species from fir and spruce to pine and cypress. We need to continue to work on greater interest in and involvement with our partners (VDACS, VT, VGIC, Agribusiness Council and NCTA). We need to show up at venues where issues facing our industry and the larger agricultural community are being discussed and policies and solutions are being formulated. These relationships
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
and connections are critical to our overall success as an industry. We’re currently reaping the benefits of some Specialty Crop Grant dollars, primarily focused on marketing. We’ve designed and printed new promotional materials, revamped our organizations website, begun to establish and increase our presence at trade shows and other venues to better promote our product and our industry as a whole. All this being said, we have to do a better job of telling our story, as individual growers, farms, and as an industry. Some of you may be recalling the article in the Washington Post last Christmas featuring the story of a single Christmas tree all the way from Mt. Rogers seed, to the North Carolina farm where it grew and was harvested, to it’s journey to our nation’s capitol and the corner store where a family selected, purchased, and took the tree home for the holidays. (If you haven’t done so, you might wish to check it out. www.washingtonpost.com/...christm astree/2011/.../gIQALVuZ9O_story.ht ml or simply Google Washington Post Christmas tree story 2011) We have to remain vigilant in regards to news and media. We need to continue to fully embrace the traditional opportunities of print, TV, and radio, plus expand to promotion in the newer forms of social media. Each of us should be advocates for our individual farms, as well as, our industry on regional. State, and national levels. We want our consumers to know who we are, what we grow & how environmentally green we truly are. Choose and cut farms could more fully take advantage of opportunities in agritourism and wholesale growers need to figure out how to create consumer demand for a product that journeys from the mountain to the home in a variety of ways- everything from con-
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
ventional lots, nursery and garden centers, civic groups and organizations, and, yes, even choose and cut farms. It’s a “field to home or hearth” concept that we want the consumer to embrace. We want them to see us as family farmers and neighbors growing a sustainable real green product. We need to continue to work to provide the needed training and technology to ever improve the quality of our product from seed to nursery, to farm, to harvest, to destination. Our retail lot owners need to know how to present and properly care for the real evergreen product they’re selling and pass that “How to Care for Information” on to each consumer. To take us full circle, we want, no we need, to create a greater DEMAND for our product. We want consumers to want our product. And if we are going to remain a relevant and credible association, we need to be prepared to take a focused look at what we have done in the past, what we are doing now, and now we can better fulfill our mission as we effectively move forward as an organization and as an industry. In closing, I recently attended, as your representative, a strategic meeting of the Virginia Green Industry Council (VGIC). That group is about to celebrate its 25 year anniversary and they’re taking a hard look at what they’ve done (what’s been good about their history in their 20-plus years) and if and how they can and will continue to remain viable and true to their mission as an organization as they approach the next 25 years. We need to be taking that same hard look to keep VCTGA and our industry healthy, green, and growing! Here’s to a stronger, more vibrant organization and a thriving industry!
Virginia Chisholm Carroll, VCTGA President
ALPHA NURSERIES, INC 3737 â€“65TH ST. HOLLAND, MI 49423
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Jeff Busscher, Manager
VCTGA News Journal â€“ Summer 2012
National Christmas Tree Association Update It's so wonderful to have warm days again. Hooray! We finished our trimming (left over from last fall) and now we are fertilizing and bushhogging. So here's the thing. I stay in the office 99% of the time and just want to sound like I know exactly what goes on in the field all the time. If you stay in the office, you know as well as I do that there is always something that needs to be done. NCTA Welcomes New Executive Director – In March, DeLaine Bender joined the staff of NCTA as the new Executive Director. DeLaine has more than 20 years of experience in association management and NCTA is excited to have her on board. Trees for Troops Honored by White House - On April 11, the Trees for Troops program was honored at a White House presentation, along with other finalists of the Joining Forces Community Challenge. The Joining Forces initiative was launched in April 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support and honor America's service members and their families. More than 300 applications were submitted to the Community Challenge, and only 20 organizations, including Trees for Troops, were selected to be part of the online voting campaign. Registration Now Open for the NCTA Convention & Trade Show - It’s easy to talk about change, but we know that seeing is believing. NCTA invites you to come be a part of NCTA’s new vision and learn more about some of these changes at the 2012 NCTA Convention & Trade Show, to be held Aug. 8-11 in Sacramento, Calif. Registration forms have mailed to all NCTA
members and TIP state members; you can also download a form from the website at www.christmastree.org. Child Labor Update – After intense pressure from the ag community, the U.S. Department of Labor withdrew proposed rules governing child labor on farms. The regulations, first announced in fall 2011, would have prohibited 14- and 15year-old farm workers from operating almost any power-driven equipment, including tractors and mowers. The DOL received more than 10,000 comments, including those from NCTA and numerous other ag groups. Congratulations to all those in agriculture who let their voice be heard. Note: While overall this is good news, be aware that family farms may learn they are not exempt. According to Frank Gasperini, Executive Vice President of the National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE), “There remains the risk that the DOL could impose at least some of the elements of the now ‘withdrawn’ rule simply by changing enforcement interpretations and priorities.” Keeping an Eye on the Farm Bill The ball is rolling and the bill has made it through the Senate Agriculture Committee. Will Congress pass a fully approved version? Mary Kay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau says if the bill doesn't get worked out and through Congress in the next 30 days, an approved bill is not likely for 2012. Here is the timeline:
Goes to the full Senate for amendments and approval
Makes its way to the House for the House Agriculture Committee markup
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
If approved by the House Agriculture Committee; then it continues to the House floor
Once the House amends and approves the bill, it heads for approval by President Obama
Specialty crop programs important to the Real Tree industry fared well in the current bill, maintaining and in some cases increasing funding for pest and disease management programs, Specialty Crop Block Grants and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. I don't claim to understand politics. I do my best to research, ask questions and learn from others on the NCTA Board that I feel do understand issues that pertain to our industry. If you ever find that I make a mistake, please take the time to contact me and I will do my best to correct the error. With that said, personally I do not foresee any major changes since this is an election year. Yours Respectfully, Sherrie Taylor, VCTGA National Director to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA)
Cline Church, North Carolina, President of the NCTA for 2012 The National Christmas Tree Association recently elected Cline Church, Cline Church Nursery, South Fleetwood, NC as the new president of NCTA on January 1, 2012. He has been very active in the NCTA and local associations promoting real trees and marketing . The NCTA Convention will be in Sacramento, California on August 811, 2012, which is a great networking opportunity with other growers from around the country | 5Page 5
Meet in the Valley: Expanding Markets in 2012 VCTGA Annual Meeting & Conference August 23-25 Waynesboro Best Western Inn and Conference Center
Whatever you are planning for the summer make sure you include reserving August 23-25 for our Annual VCTGA Membership Meeting in Waynesboro. We are going back to the Best Western, which worked very well for us in 2010. Don’t miss this Meeting! As you read this issue of Virginia Evergreen, plans are being finalized for our 2012 Annual meeting in Waynesboro. I encourage you to plan now to attend, if you haven’t already done so. This meeting’s program will offer everything from “Brags and Blunders” to Agritourism, Blogs, and Wreaths. We’re extremely pleased to have
Rick Dungey coming as a speaker from our national organization‘s management company. Among other things, Rick mans the NCTGA BLOG. You might Google Rick’s name before the meeting if you’d like to find out in advance some of the ways he’s serving as an activist advocate for our industry. Perhaps we need to consider a Virginia Christmas tree blog. Why not? During the course of the meeting, we’re trying something new with a Marketing Luncheon on Thursday. Commissioner Matt Lohr will be the featured speaker at that Luncheon. We’re continuing to work to better connect with our support team at VDACS and to use the programs already in place, Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest, as well as, the 6 6 |
“Buy Fresh- Buy Local” campaign to better promote our products, our farms, and our industry here in Virginia. We, VCTGA, are also working to fully utilize the money available to use through marketing grants. We are grateful to Greg Lemmer and the board for the hard work in furthering these initiatives through these grant opportunities. Thursday evening will be a special night out with a trip to The Frontier Culture Museum and a picnic dinner in their unique octagonal barn. Mrs. Rowe’s will be providing both of our meals for our events on Thursday and it should be quite a treat. One of the true highlights of our meeting is the Annual Fundraising Auction to benefit our Scholarship Fund. Please plan to bring something to donate to the auction and have fun bidding often to benefit a good cause. Friday evening we’ve scheduled the annual Awards Night and Banquet to be held at the Waynesboro Country Club, featuring their famous prime rib dinner, and located close to our meeting site. You won’t want to miss this conclusion of our program. In addition to the meeting program, there will also be field trip opportunities To conclude the meeting on Saturday, we’re scheduled to visit to board member Dave Thomas’ farm for our Saturday Farm Tour. We’re grateful to Dave for hosting the farm tour and for his help in lining up this on site opportunity for our members. We’ll also be visiting the Hess family’s “Back Home on the Farm” agritourism operation and having lunch with them as we learn about their unique farm business. So, in closing, I encourage you to make plans and reservations to join fellow growers at the Best Western in Waynesboro for our annual meeting. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget
to select the tree or trees you’ll be bringing to Waynesboro for the tree contest. And while you’re at it, plan to enter the wreath contest, too. Who knows you might “win” a trip to the Governor’s Mansion. (Last year Governor McDonald graced us with his presence and received the trees, wreaths, and evergreens for the mansion and we were fortunate to receive excellent media coverage!) Have a great “shearing season” and I hope to see you all in Waynesboro in August. Virginia Chisholm Carroll Hope to see you there!!! By John Carroll, Program Chair
Bring Your Brags and Blunders At this year’s convention we will have abt. 45 minutes allotted for a “Brags and Blunders” session on Friday morning. Folks are be invited to tell of something good, something bad or something interesting that has happened related to Christmas Trees. For example it could be a particular tree pest disaster as a blunder but conquering it would be a brag. It could be getting great TV or Newspaper coverage of your farm, a new item you tried in your sales area, a great tool or other equipment you bought or made, etc. This should prove to be fun as well as educational. I invite you to think of something you can share with our group during this session. We hope to even have a prize for the best Brag or Blunder. Dave Thomas, VCTGA Director
VCTGA News journal Summer 2012 2012 VCTGA News– Journal – Summer
Back to the Valley! VCTGA Annual Conference Growing a Greener Virginia Grown Christmas Tree
Don’t miss this Meeting! As you read this issue of Virginia Evergreen, plans are being finalized for our 2012 Annual meeting in Waynesboro. I encourage you to plan now to attend, if you haven’t already done so. This meeting’s program will offer everything from “Brags and Blunders” to Agritourism, Blogs, and Wreaths. We’re extremely pleased to
have Rick Dungey coming as a speaker from our national organization‘s management company. Among other things, Rick mans the NCTGA BLOG. You might Google Rick’s name before the meeting if you’d like to find out in advance some of the ways he’s serving as an activist advocate for our industry. Perhaps we need to consider a Virginia Christmas tree blog. Why not? During the course of the meeting, we’re trying something new with a Marketing Luncheon on Thursday. Commissioner Matt Lohr will be the featured speaker at that Luncheon. We’re continuing to work to better connect with our support team at VDACS and to use the programs already in place, Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest, as well as, the “Buy Fresh- Buy Local” campaign to better promote our products, our farms, and our VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
industry here in Virginia. We, VCTGA, are also working to fully utilize the money available to use through marketing grants. We are grateful to Greg Lemmer and the board for the hard work in furthering these initiatives through these grant opportunities. Thursday evening will be a special night out with a trip to The Frontier Culture Museum and a picnic dinner in their unique octagonal barn. Mrs. Rowes will be providing both of our meals for our events on Thursday and it should be quite a treat. One of the true highlights of our meeting is the Annual Fundraising Auction to benefit our Scholarship Fund. Please plan to bring something to donate to the auction and have fun bidding often to benefit a good cause. Friday evening we’ve scheduled the annual Awards Night and Banquet to be held at the Waynesboro Country Club, featuring their famous prime rib dinner, and located close to our meeting site. You won’t want to miss this conclusion of our program. In addition to the meeting program, there will also be field trip opportunities To conclude the meeting on Saturday, we’re scheduled to visit to board member Dave Thomas’ farm for our Saturday Farm Tour. We’re grateful to Dave for hosting the farm tour and for his help in
lining up this on site opportunity for our members. We’ll also be visiting the Hess family’s “Back Home on the Farm” agritourism operation and having lunch with them as we learn about their unique farm business. So, in closing, I encourage you to make plans and reservations to join fellow growers at the Best Western in Waynesboro for our annual meeting. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to select the tree or trees you’ll be bringing to Waynesboro for the tree contest. And while you’re at it, plan to enter the wreath contest, too. Who knows you might “win” a trip to the Governor’s Mansion. (Last year Governor McDonald graced us with his presence and received the trees, wreaths, and evergreens for the mansion and we were fortunate to receive excellent media coverage!) Have a great “shearing season” and I hope to see you all in Waynesboro in August. Virginia Chisholm Carroll
383 Coal Hollow Rd, Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721
Saturday Farm Field Trip
Frontier Culture Museum 6:00 p.m. Depart on your own (10 minute drive)
Serving begins at 6:30 Dinner catered by Mrs. Roweâ€™s - $15.00
Hotel Reservations Hotel Info Hotel Reservations Best Western Inn Waynesboro Inn & Suites Conference Center 109 Apple Tree Ln (I-64 Exit 94) Waynesboro, VA 22980 540-942-1100
Hotel Reservation Deadline: 8/10/12 Deluxe Room (single or double occupancy) 84.99 Suites (single or double occupancy) $94.99 Directions - I-64 Exit 94. Coming from the east or west: at the top of the ramp, turn right onto Route 340 (Rosser Avenue). Follow Route 340 to the second stop light; turn left onto Lew Dewitt Boulevard. Follow Lew Dewitt Boulevard to the next stop light; turn left onto Apple Tree Lane. Continue straight ahead on Apple Tree Lane to the Best Western Waynesboro Inn and Suites Conference Center.
Dave Thomas, host Augusta County
(25 minutes from hotel)
8:15 a.m. Depart on your own (maps and directions will be provided)
9-11 a.m. - Demonstrations, Talks, & Tours Eric Day, Kyle Peer, & Norm Dart will all be on site to discuss insects, diseases, and pests 11:30-2:00 - Back Home on the Farm with Gary and Lynn Hess Lunch Provided by the Hess Family
Thanks to the Supporters! The VCTGA wishes to express its thanks to all our Sponsors, Speakers, and Exhibitors!
SPONSORS Crop Production Services Farm Credit of the Virginias
VCTGA News Journal â€“ Summer 2012
VCTGA Annual Conference Growing a Greener Virginia Grown Christmas Tree Wednesday: August 22 7:00 pm Board of Directors Meeting Vendor Setup
Thursday: August 23 Expanding Markets 8-12:00 - Tree and Wreath Contest Setup Robert O’Keeffe Vendor Setup 9:00-10:45 - Pre Conference Workshop “So you want to grow Christmas Trees?” For Exploring , New, or Struggling Producers. Kyle Peer, Greg Miller, Norm Dart, Eric Day, John Carroll 11:00-11:45 - The New, Improved VCTGA Website, Todd Marcum, ACCESS, INC 12:00-1:15 - Marketing Luncheon - Keynote Speaker VDACS Commissioner Matt Lohr 1:15-2:15 - A Virtual Tour of Butler’s Orchard Wade Butler, Germantown , MD
Friday: August 24 Enhancing Production 8:15-9:00 - Changing Consumer Perceptions One Blog at a Time Rick Dungey, NCTA 9:00-9:45 - Brags and Blunders VCTGA Panel led by Dave Thomas 9:45-10:15 - Break with Our Vendors 10:15-11:00 - Improving Profits with Wreaths and Greenery: On Farm Sales and Fundraisers Donna O’Halloran and Jocelyn Lambert 11:00-12:00 - Custom Wreath Workshops Monticello Style! Janet Miller, Monticello 12:00-1:00 - Lunch on Your Own 1:00-1:45 - Tree Establishment: Planting stock selection, Planting Methods, First Year Care Greg Miller 1:45-2:30 - Beneficial Fungi: How they benefit conifers in nature and Christmas Tree Farms Norm Dart, VDACS State Pathologist
2:15-3:00 - Striving for Success Dr. Alex White, Virginia Tech
2:30-2:45 - Break
3:00-3:30 - Break with Our Vendors
3:45- 5:30 - Annual Fundraising Auction
3:30-4:15 - 2011 Season Sales Success…… What you need to Know! Rick Dungey, NCTA 4:15- 5:00 - VCTGA Member Panel Sharing their Marketing Success 6:00 - Travel to Evening Dinner at the Frontier Culture Museum The Octagonal Barn is a unique, eight-sided, 1908 two-story barn with modern conveniences and an elegant, rustic feel. (Program and timetable are subject to change) VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
2:45- 3:45 - Business Meeting 6:30 - Awards Banquet: Waynesboro Country Club
Annual Meeting Banquet Buffet ($29.50) Recognition of Tree & Wreath Contest Winners
Saturday: August 25 - Farm Tours in Rockingham County 8:30-11:00 - Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm with Dave Thomas 11:30-2:00 - Back Home on the Farm with Gary and Lynn Hess Lunch Provided by the Hess Family
2:00 Travel Home Safely |9
VCTGA Annual Meeting: Speaker Bios Wade Butler - Wade is a second generation owner/operator of Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland. The Butler family grows over 25 different varieties of fruits, vegetable, flowers , and Christmas trees on 300 acres within 30 minutes of downtown Washington, D.C. Wade is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Horticulture. Commissioner Matt Lohr - Matt was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor Bob McDonnell in May 2010. He was raised on a Century Farm in the Shenandoah Valley where his family runs a 250 acre poultry, beef, and crop operation. He was active in FFA as a youth and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995 with a degree in Agriculture. He lives on his family farm with his two children and all are active in farming, 4-H, church activities, and sports. Alex White - Dr. White grew up on a small farm in northeastern Maryland where he was active in 4-H. He hold degrees from Virginia Tech and Ohio State University and received his PhD in Ag Economics from Virginia Tech. Alex teaches Applied Agriculture Economics at Virginia Tech and has a wide range of experience, both instructional and practical, in Agribusiness Management. Rick Dungey - Rick serves as the Public Relations Manager for the National Christmas Tree Association. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Southern Illinois University and serves in a variety of roles for ARM Services, the managing entity for NCTA. He has expertise in marketing, marketing research, market analysis, and conference management. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and Blogger! Janet Miller - Janet has decorated and lead wreath workshops at Monticello for the past 20 years. She was the flower arranger for several events at Monticello including Jefferson’s 250th Birthday, Mikhail Gorbachev visit, Margaret Thacker Dinner and Bill Clinton’s Inauguration Reception. She operated her own business in Charlottesville, Flowers from the Garden, where she did weddings, special events and garden design. She is presently involved with the proposed creation of a botanical garden at McIntire Park in Charlottesville. Dave Thomas - Dave is on the Board of VCTGA and has two Christmas tree operations, Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm and Valley Star Farm where he also grows pumpkins, corn, and other agricultural products. Dave is also a Consulting Forester and a graduate from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Forest Management and operates Old Dominion Forestry. Todd Marcum - Todd is a cofounder of Access, the design company that has just completed the new VCTGA website. Todd is a graduate of Marshall University where he majored in journalism and advertising. His interests include his family, church, youth sports, and Marshall University. 10 |
Jocelyn Lampert - Jocelyn serves on the VCTGA Board and grows Christmas trees in Culpeper county. She and her husband Joe, own and operate Crazy Joe’s Christmas Tree Farm. Located in the Elkwood area of the county, they planted their first trees in 2000 and began harvesting in 2008. Jocelyn was the VCTGAChampion wreath winner in 2011 and presented wreaths to Governor Bob McDonnell at the Governor’s mansion this past December. Donna O’Halloran - Donna serves on the VCTGA Board and along with husband Tom, own and operate Glengary Tree Farm in Culpeper County. Donna has served the association in many ways including organizing wreath demonstration workshops, working at the Virginia State Fair VCTGA exhibit and helping to organize the beginnings of Trees for Troops in Virginia. Donna has won the VCTGA wreath competition several times and presented wreaths and trees at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. Kyle Peer – is the Superintendent of the Reynolds Homestead AREC in Southwest Virginia. He is also the VA Tech extension specialist for Christmas trees. His duties include providing information to the Christmas tree growers of Virginia in the form of workshops, publications and meetings and he is the VCTGA educational advisor. He received his M.S. in Forestry in 1997 at the University of Maine. Norman Dart is a graduate of the Washington State University Plant Pathology Department where he studied root diseases of Christmas trees. He joined the VDACS’ Office of Plant & Pest Services as the State Plant Pathologist in June 2009. Prior to this, Norm worked at the State Plant Pathologist for West Virginia. He started his career serving the green industry as a research and extension specialist focusing on Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) for Washing State University. Eric Day manages the Insect Identification Laboratory in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. He receives and identifies approximately 1,700 insects per year, most of which arrive in the summer. In addition he coordinates exotic pest surveys with APHIS/PPQ and provide input to the NAPIS data base. He also manages Common Insect and Mite Pests of Christmas Trees website – an ongoing project providing scouting, identification, and control information to Christmas tree growers regarding insect and mite pests. Greg Miller grew up on a dairy farm in Spotsylvania and was active in 4-H. In 1975, received a Business Management degree from VA Tech. He has served as an officer in all of the VCTGA offices and has won the tree contest several times. He operates a wholesale B&B nursery and Christmas tree operation, Willow Springs Tree Farms, in the Montgomery County area. VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
2012 Annual Meeting Member Pre-Registration Form August 23-25, 2012 Waynesboro, VA
Name of Primary Attendee: Farm Name Address: City:
Phone numbers: E-mail: Additional Names Attending:
Events or Function Registration fee for primary member*
Registration fee for primary non-member
Additional Program Attendees
Thursday Dinner at Frontier Museum Barn
Friday Banquet Dinner and Awards (Prime Rib and Fried Chicken)
Saturday Lunch and Farm Tour
Late registration fee after August 10, 2012
GRAND TOTAL *The member registration rates apply to members in good standing of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association $20.00 additional charge after August 10.
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2012 Auction to Benefit Scholarship Fund Please list all new and slightly used items you are donating to our annual auction. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Make checks payable to: VCTGA Mail check and registration forms to: VCTGA 383 Coal Hollow Rd Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721
Hotel Reservations Best Western Inn Waynesboro Inn & Suites Conference Center 109 Apple Tree Ln (I-64 Exit 94) Waynesboro, VA 22980 540-942-1100 www.bwwaynesboro.com
ASK for VCTGA Special Rates. Hotel Reservation Deadline: 8/10/12 Deluxe Room (single or double occupancy) $84.99 Suites $94.99 Received in VCTGA office _____/_____2012, check #___________, AMOUNT TOTAL $___________
Tree & Wreath Contest Rules VCTGA Christmas Tree Contest
VCTGA Christmas Tree contest PURPOSE OF CONTEST:
To establish an opportunity for VCTGA to encourage and promote the use of Real Christmas Trees.
Select a grand champion winner to receive the honor of presenting a Real Christmas Tree to the Governor of Virginia.
Eligibility will be crosschecked with VCTGA membership records before judging begins.
Trees shall be ready for judging by noon the first day of the convention. Under no circumstances will trees arriving after this time be allowed into the contest. The judging area will be clearly described by a map showing location of site and will indicate times and person(s) to contact and phone number(s) for those bringing trees early.
Securely tied to each tree will be a blank sealed envelope, containing a card with grower’s name, address, telephone number and location of tree farm. The species of the tree must be clearly printed on the outside of the envelope.
No contestant shall have entry to the judging area to view competitive trees prior to submitting their entry to the tree contest chairperson.
RULES AND JUDGING GUIDELINES
Virginia and John Carroll, Claybrooke Farm, Louisa, were the 2011 winners and presented trees to Governor McDonnell in December.
The 2012 Virginia Christmas Tree Contest will be held at the Best Western Inn & Suites, Waynesboro, VA. Trees will be set up and judged on Thursday, August 26, 2012. Setup will begin at 8 a.m. and must be completed by noon. Eligible participants should complete the following form and submit it with their entry(s). Delivery, setup and responsibility for the tree’s condition will remain with the entrant until the tree is set up in the judging area.
These rules and guidelines establish the procedure to be followed in selecting the grand champion. To ensure the greatest possible media coverage of the presentations, cooperation between the winner and VCTGA is extremely important. All media coverage is to be coordinated with the VCTGA office.
The tree contest will be held at a site selected by the host association and will be convenient to the convention site.
The four contest classes will be: (A) all firs (B) all pines (C) all spruce and (D) all other species.
It is the responsibility of the entrant to remove and dispose of the entries after 4 p.m. on Friday. Questions? Contact: Robert O’Keeffe, (H) 540-651-8440; (cell) 540-580-3528 email@example.com
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
Trees entered must be commercially cultivated and be 6-8 feet in height from bottom of the handle to top of leader. The length of the handle shall be at least 6 inches but no longer than 12 inches. The tree shall not have been artificially colored. No wiring, tying or inserting of limbs or branches or other artificial means will be permitted. Any tree failing to meet these qualifications will be disqualified by the tree contest committee.
Eligibility of Entrants
Each Virginia Christmas Tree Association 2012 member in good standing and a prior member in 2011, is eligible to enter four trees in the VCTGA Christmas Tree Contest. In no case shall one person, family or farm enter more than one tree per class.
Entrants must be United States residents and the tree(s) must be Virginia grown.
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Previous winners and their immediate families are not eligible to participate in the contest at the Convention immediately following the one in which they won, but are eligible to participate after that.
The grand champion winner from the preceding convention will be asked to serve as a judge of contest trees. In addition, a non-member and a VCTGA member will be chosen to serve as a judge. If a grand champion winner declines, another qualified judge from the association will be selected. Each judge will prepare a score sheet on each contest tree. See current guidelines for judging for scoring criteria. Score sheets will not be provided to an entrant.
Winners will be selected by judges in each class for the four classes based on the total number of points awarded for each entry.
The grand champion will be selected from among the first place winner of the four categories. The tree that scored the highest overall will be the Grand Champion winner.
of a Christmas Tree to the Governor’s Mansion is subject to approval and permission granted by the Governor’s Mansion.
After the judging, an “Avenue of Virginia Christmas Trees” will be maintained throughout the convention at a convenient location in the Convention Center. Non-winning trees may be used for other functions at the convention, such as decorating. The name of the entrant and chartered association will be prominently displayed on each tree after the winners are announced.
Interpretation of Rules and Guidelines Interpretation of rules and guidelines for the Virginia Christmas Tree Contest will be the responsibility of the Virginia Christmas Tree Contest Chairperson and the Convention Chairperson.
Eligible participants should complete the following form and submit it with their entry. Responsibility for the wreath’s condition will remain with the entrant until the wreath is set up in the judging area. PURPOSE OF CONTEST: To establish an opportunity for the VCTGA to encourage and promote the use of Real Christmas Tree evergreens. RULES AND JUDGING GUIDELINES These rules and guidelines establish the procedure to be followed in selecting the national champion wreaths. General
Wreaths are to be made of Real Christmas Tree evergreens (no princess pine), grown within the state of the contest entrant. No colorant may be applied. Wreaths may be single or double faced. They will be judged either hanging on a wall or on an easel. All wreaths must be made on a 12-inch diameter ring only.
Both decorated and undecorated wreaths can be made of mixed evergreens. On decorated wreaths, natural or artificial decorations may be used. Decorated wreaths must have a bow.
The wreath contest will be held at a site selected by the chair and will be convenient to the convention site.
Wreath Contest Rules and Judging Guidelines
Awards and Recognition
The top three places in each class will receive ribbons: First place – blue ribbon; Second place – red ribbon; Third place – white ribbon.
Award ribbons will be placed on trees the day of the judging. All contest trees will be identified with the name of the entrant.
The Grand Champion will receive a purple ribbon, plaque and the honor of furnishing a tree for the Governor’s Mansion as a representative of VCTGA for the current year. Presentation
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The 2012 Virginia Wreath Contest will be held at the Best Western Inn & Suites, Waynesboro, Virginia. Wreaths will be set up and judged on Thursday, August 23, 2012. Setup will begin at 8 a.m. and must be completed by noon.
Prior to the contest, or with their entry, each entrant will provide a signed two-part “qualification statement” to the contest chairperson. Part one should state that the entrant is eligible to enter the contest as a representative of his or her farm. Part two should state that the entrant is a
VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
Convention to enter the contest.
member in good standing of VCTGA and be signed by the entrant. Eligibility will be crosschecked with VCTGA membership records before winners are selected.
Awards and Recognition
Securely tied to each wreath will be a blank sealed envelope, containing a card with wreath maker’s name, address and telephone number. The card should also contain the name and location of the grower of the evergreen materials if it is different than the entrant’s. Eligibility of Entrants
Each Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association member is eligible to enter two wreaths per class in the VCTGA Wreath Contest. In no case shall one person, family or farm enter more than two wreaths, one decorated and one undecorated. Entrant must be registered for the
The top three places in each class will receive ribbons: First place – blue ribbon; second place – red ribbon; and third place – white ribbon.
Convention Center. Non-winning wreathes may be used for other functions at the convention, such as decorating. The name of the entrant will be prominently displayed on each wreath after the winners are announced.
Award ribbons will be placed on wreaths the day of the judging. All contest wreaths will be identified with the name of the entrant. The Grand champion will receive a purple ribbon, plaque and the honor of furnishing a wreath for the Governor's Mansion as a representative of VCTGA for the current year. Presentation of a wreath to the Governor's Mansion is subject to approval and permission granted by the Governor's Mansion. After the judging, an "Avenue of Virginia Christmas Trees" will be maintained throughout the convention at a convenient location in the
Farm Tour Feature
Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm is one of the oldest tree farms in the Valley of Virginia, established in 1963 by Tom Koudelka and purchased by Dave Thomas in 1988. About 25 acres of the 36 acre farm, located just north of Harrisonburg, are devoted to growing Christmas Trees. Trees grown include Scotch
Ad – Bosch’s Countryview Nursery 10785 84th Avenue • Allendale, Michigan 49401 Phone: (616) 892-4090 • Fax: (616) 892-4290 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.boschsnursery.com
Fall Fall 2010 2012 and and Spring Spring 2011 2013 Wholesale Wholesale Price Price List List for for
Quality Seedlings & Transplants Age
Per 100 Rate
Per 1,000 Rate
Per 100 Rate
Per 1,000 Rate
FRASER FIR (3-0) 6-12” $45.00 $225.00 (2-2, PL+2) 8-15” $100.00 $725.00 (3-2, PL+2) 10-18” $110.00 $750.00 (P+3) 12-22” $125.00 $850.00
WHITE SPRUCE - Lake States (2-0, 3-0) 9-15” $40.00 $175.00 (2-1, 2-2) 15-20” $90.00 $595.00 (2-2) 15-24” $110.00 $750.00 (X-LG) 20-30” $250.00 $1,600.00
BALSAM FIR (2-0) (P+1) (P+2)
5-10” 8-14” 10-18”
$40.00 $195.00 $86.00 $575.00 $110.00 $750.00
NORWAY SPRUCE - Lake States (2-0, 3-0) 9-15” $40.00 $175.00 (2-1, 2-2) 15-24” $90.00 $650.00 (X-LG) 20-30” $250.00 $1,600.00
CANAAN FIR (P+1) (P+2)
BLACKHILL SPRUCE (2-0) 5-12” (2-1) 8-14” (2-2) 8-15” (2-2) 12-18”
DOUGLAS FIR - Lincoln (2-0, 3-0) 9-15” (2-1) 12-18”
$40.00 $175.00 $86.00 $575.00
CONCOLOR FIR (2-0) 5-12” $45.00 $225.00 (2-1, P+1) 8-14” $90.00 $595.00 (2-2, P+2) 12-18” $115.00 $795.00 COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - San Juan & Kiabab (2-0, 3-0) 9-15” $40.00 $175.00 (2-1, 2-2) 10-16” $75.00 $495.00 (2-2, P+2) 10-18” $110.00 $750.00 (X-LG) 15-24” $250.00 $1,600.00
VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
$40.00 $75.00 $95.00 $110.00
$175.00 $495.00 $695.00 $750.00
SERBIAN SPRUCE (2-0) 8-14” $45.00 $225.00 (2-1, P+1) 8-14” $90.00 $595.00 (2-2, P+2) 12-18” $115.00 $795.00 AUSTRIAN PINE (2-0) 5-12” (1-2) 12-18” RED PINE - Lake States (2-0) 4-8” (2-0, 3-0) 5-12”
$40.00 $175.00 $115.00 $795.00 $35.00 $150.00 $40.00 $175.00
Per 100 Rate
Per 1,000 Rate
WHITE PINE - Lake States (2-0) 4-8” $35.00 $150.00 (2-0, 3-0) 5-12” $40.00 $175.00 (3-0) 8-15” $45.00 $225.00 (2-1) 8-14” $82.00 $550.00 (2-2) 12-18” $110.00 $750.00 (X-LG) 18-24” $250.00 $1,600.00 SCOTCH PINE - Scothighland + French (2-0) 6-12” $35.00 $165.00 (2-0, 3-0) 9-15” $40.00 $175.00 WHITE CEDAR (2-0) (3-0) (2-1) (2-2, P+2)
4-8” $40.00 $195.00 8-15” $45.00 $225.00 8-14” $82.00 $550.00 12-18” $110.00 $750.00
ARBORvITAE - DARK GREEN, TECHNY, EMERALD & GREEN GIANT (RC+1) 6-12” $110.00 (RC+2) 12-18” $140.00
10-20% Discount on orders over 10,000 plants For complete list please write or call us. Brian Bosch / Owner
7/28/10 12:37 PM
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Pine, White Pine, Norway Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, and Canaan Fir. Most of the trees are sold to folks who come out to the farm where they have the experience of choosing from among literally thousands of trees for that perfect tree to decorate their home at Christmas.
New Host Featuring Tree Grower on Virginia Farming
Amy Roscher, the new director and host of Virginia Farming, contacted VCTGA to line up a feature on Christmas trees this summer. Amy recalled that our shearing season was approaching and wanted to do a segment on the show about that seasonal work. You may recall we worked with Jeff Ishee previously as the host of that show. Virginia Farming has featured VCTGA presidents, board members, contest award winners, and has promoted the presentation of the tree to the Governor's Mansion. It's good to have a media "friend of our industry" who helps in telling the story of Virginia Christmas trees. Virginia Farming is the only weekly locally produced farming news series in the Commonwealth and is currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary. We are pleased that Amy is on board as the new host of this farm- friendly show and we look forward to working with her in promoting and telling the story of Virginia Christmas trees. Virginia Farming airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
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noon on Saturdays, and 11:00 a.m. on Sundays.
Historically, Virginia has always stood at the forefront of the American agriculture industry. The agriculture industry alone has an economic impact of $55 billion annually and provides more than 357,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth. According to a recent UVA study, agriculture and forestry have a combined economic impact of more than $79 billion dollars, making those two industries the largest in the state, even larger than the government and military. It is facts and figures such as these, that make a program such as WVPT’s Virginia Farming so vital to it’s viewers. In today’s ever changing economic landscape, regional farmer’s, now more than ever, need to stay up to date on the latest ag trends, innovations and information. Guests featured on Virginia Farming, include young farmers, senior farm leaders and agri-business professionals. Hosted by WVPT’s Amy Roscher, Virginia Farming is the Commonwealth’s only locally produced, weekly televised farming news series. Topics include: poultry, beef, dairy, crops, wine, seafood, timber, aquaculture, and farm safety as well as a myriad of other topics that affect farmers on a daily basis. Now celebrating it’s ten year anniversary, “Virginia Farming” has been recognized with four top journalism awards from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation (VFBF) for outstanding farm news communication, as well as a myriad of accolades and recognitions from industry experts.
“Growing up on a farm instills a work ethic like no other. It doesn’t matter the time of day or night, when the cows get out, you get them in. When a cow is birthing, you’re there to help.” After she received a degree in journalism form Radford University, Amy focused her career on broadcasting. “Since 1994, I have been involved in some facet of television or video production. From making commercials to training videos, to directing and producing television shows, my jobs have always involved producing video.” For the past 4 years Amy has served as Director for Virginia Farming. She now moves in front of the camera to take over for veteran host, Jeff Ishee. “Being given the opportunity to produce and host Virginia Farming is an honor. My main focus is to continue to be of service to farmers and agribusinesses, to provide them with the news and insights they have come to rely on over the last 10 years. I also view it as a chance to educate consumers so they can fully understand where their food comes from, and what it takes to get it to their tables." Dave Thomas and his farm are being featured on Virginia Farming. The VCTGA is a sponsor of this program for 2012 and 2013, promoting “Experience a Real Tree”
Members in the News Billy, Betty and Reed Island Farm on national TV on "Rock Center with Brian Williams".
About Your Host Amy Roscher
Billy Cornette and Betty Vornbrock are Christmas tree growers in Carroll County and Billy is a former VCTGA Director.
Amy was born and raised on a 170 acre dairy farm in Rockingham County, VA, milking 100 head of registered Holsteins.
NBC news - Brian Williams' show Rock Center, to be more precise dredged up a 1962 Chet Huntley story about the new phenomenon of
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
college kids going to Florida for spring break. It's a good report, and really puts it all in a time capsule for those of us who were around then. The whole video is up on their website, and is worth watching, too. The new show was aired on April 4, at 10 pm EST - "Rock Center with Brian Williams". So what they did is try to find some of the kids from back then and see what they are up to now, and how they remember their vacation. Billy was at U of Kentucky back then, and made the trip with a few friends and not much cash. He turns out to be somewhat notable in the 1962 film. Somehow they tracked Billy through his Sigma Chi t-shirt, and called him up last week. They flew two reporters/ videographers to Roanoke Friday, and they drove to our farm to interview Billy.
They were here for FIVE HOURS, and got a tour of the farm, lots of footage and stories, a bit of lunch, and a few fiddle tunes. It will be condensed to just a few minutes, I'm sure, but it will be fun to see what they come up with. Watch the teaser here: http://reedisland.com/RIR/rounders. htm (look for the bright pink link) and watch the short version that aired a couple of weeks ago - Billy is in it, too: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/2113 4540/vp/46662820#46662820 Or the full version of the 1962 show here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/2113 4540/vp/46661953#46661953
complete with the original commercials! I had one of those Ramblers.... When asked if he’d mind if we included the Rock Center stuff in the News Journal Billy said, “Any publicity is good publicity and most of those folks know me so well that they would get a big charge out of it probably. As Alton Delmore ( of the famous Delmore Brothers Band who recorded back in the '20s and '30s) "Truth is stranger than publicity." We went to a local Fiddlers Convention last night at Rich Creek, VA and our band won First place, Betty won first place Fiddle, I won first place guitar, Betty and a banjo player won second place banjo/fiddle duet. We were stepping so high that our knees were about to hit our chin. ~Betty & Billy & the dogs
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VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
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being in attendance, seconded and passed.
Reports Minutes Board Meeting 10 a.m., Monday, April 2, 2012 Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant, Staunton, VA
Call to Order by Virginia Carroll, VCTGA President, with the following board members present: Greg Lemmer, Jeff Miller, Derick Proctor, Robert O’Keeffe, Jocelyn Lampert, Dave Thomas, Donna O’Halloran, Fred Shorey, and Danny Neel (absent: Sherrie Taylor (sick) Charlie Conner, Tim Williams, Kyle Peer). 10-11 a.m. Website Design presentation: Greg Lemmer introduced Todd Marcum, President of ACESS in Roanoke, who gave a review of the new draft of the VCTGA website for 2012. Some additional suggestions:
Establish a closed Facebook page for member discussions of pest, disease, production problems, sourcing materials and supplies, listing equipment wanted or for sale.
Consider Pinterest as another form of social media – would work well for holiday marketing.
Database with farm addresses
The website committee will meet at the ACCESS office in Roanoke in early June to review the website changes. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting – It was moved that the minutes of the January 23, 2012 VCTGA Board meeting be approved with the correction of the addition of Fred Shorey and Greg Lemmer as
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Financial Report (conveyed prior to the meeting) Jeff Miller reviewed the reports and noted that he had established the 2012 Budget based on the 2011 budget/actual and known/estimated changes for 2012 income and expenses. The Scholarship funds have been listed under “Other Current Assets” but should be added to the SunTrust Bank balance for the total cash available balance. It was moved to approve the reports as submitted, seconded and passed. Current Grants: Jeff also presented a summary of the two current grant expenses/reimbursements to date. (attached to the financial reports). A motion was made to research the use of several billboards, not to exceed $10,000 from current grant funds, for this Christmas season and report back to the board for final approval, seconded and passed. Fred Shorey volunteered to help and Jeff will check with Tom Kegley about layout suggestions and ideas. 2012 Grant Application: Greg Lemmer reported that a third grant proposal had just been submitted to VDACS for a USDA Specialty Crop Grant for $30,000 for expansion of the marketing promotion started with the first two grants. It will cover representation at more agritourism events in July-October, provide consumer promotional items and sustain winter meetings in 2013 in the Waynesboro area and then repeated in the Wytheville area. Membership update: Jocelyn Lampert presented a chart tracking membership history form 2/13/10 through 4/2/12. The membership has remained relatively steady with a few dropped memberships and a few new members. A list of 2011 members who have not paid dues for
2012 was distributed and board members volunteered to call these past due members. Scholarship - Robert O’Keeffe reported that applications were due today (4/2/12). He had only received one application, but was expecting another. Information had been sent out to all the schools. Mt. Rogers Report - Charlie Conner (absent) Virginia Carroll noted that she had been unable to attend some of the MRCTGA meetings, since they were often held on Sunday afternoons. She will check on the dates of future meetings and see if another board member can attend along with Charlie. The VCTGA needs to be working more closely with the Mt. Rogers growers on marketing issues. VCTGA is the consumer “face” of Christmas Trees in Virginia. Virginia Farmers Direct Marketing – Donna O’Halloran recommended that the VCTGA become a member of this organization for $35/year. This will provide additional exposure for the “Real Trees” marketing. She will follow up with Kathy Belcher and send info to Virginia and Jeff. News Journal – Jeff noted that he needed more technical information for News Journal and more advertisers. Robert will contact some of the exhibitor/sponsors and ask about article input and ads. Holiday News Promotions/PR – Virginia reported that the VCTGA had very good news coverage this past season and we need to help members be ready for media interviews on their farms. The Virginia Farming program is continuing but it is being revised some since the departure of Jeff Ishee. National Organization report Sherrie Taylor (absent) John Carroll reported that the Trees 4 Troops program set an new record of dona-
VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
Plan of Action for 2012
tions this year and the program went over the 100,000th tree donation since the program started. 2012 National Meeting will be in Sacramento, California on August 8-11, 2012. Check-off Program – is still viable, but there probably won’t be any forward movement until 2013. 2012 Annual meeting: Waynesboro - John Carroll reported that speakers and plans were coming together for the VCTGA Annual Meeting at the Best Western Inn & Suites in Waynesboro on August 23-25. Room rates will be $84.95.
Virginia Fall Specials
Strategic Planning- Revisiting the Plan- Where are we now? Moving forward! Many of the objectives and strategies have been completed.
Notify membership of tree production practices and timing – Kyle Peer, more technical support info in the News Journal
Listed below are ongoing:
Timely seasonal press releases and communications with media outlets – Virginia Carroll will be the main contact. Also provide member training in effective communication (content and delivery) at the annual meeting.
Launch the mentor program – this should now involve the entire association – Donna will contact Tim Williams about continuing and expanding this program.
Have all growers use Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest marketing opportunities – provide info in the Newsletter and website
Website – improve the Members Only section, which is in
Promote effective and efficient tree growing practices to reduce cost and increase profit – winter workshop
Provide membership with an
Target previous membership for renewal by Jocelyn Lampert, Membership Chair
Hold grower workshops – Jocelyn and Donna will work with Kyle Peer to continue 3 workshops annually on planting, shearing and fall sales preparation.
Next VCTGA Board Meeting will be a conference call in early June to review feedback on the website, review plans for the annual meeting and to have a consensus on current issues so the board speaks as one voice at the annual meeting.
progress by Greg Lemmer
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VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
| 19Page 19
updated marketing manual on the website -
Build a seasonal VCTGA Facebook interface with the website – Greg Lemmer
Pursue corporate sponsorships (i.e. chemical companies, suppliers, financial institutes, etc) – Robert O’Keeffe
Research the endorsements of services or products at the annual meeting – John Carroll
Develop a fact sheet (FAQ) – talking points for members or volunteers and keep updated – Sue Bostic
Designate official media contact strategy and incorporate local and regional ambassadors for the organization and list board members on the website as contacts – The Board
Identify volunteers – By Board members.
Foster better relationship with Mt. Rogers for wholesale growers at the annual meeting for join marketing. Have a joint meeting with Mt. Rogers. Virginia Carroll will contact them.
Virginia Green Industry Council – continue representation at the VGIC. Have a VCTGA representative at the Virginia Agribusiness Banquet and possibly supply Christmas trees for decorations.
Better relationship with agri media, Farm Bureau, Rural Electric co-ops – send promotion materials.
Schedule a new strategic planning meeting for 2013.
Adjourn – Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m. Respectively submitted, Jeff Miller, Sect/Treas
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Try a Rye Cover Crop with your next Christmas Tree Planting Farmers have been using small grain cover crops for years to prevent erosion, enhance soil organic matter, act as a nurse crop, and improve crop yields. Although this practice is recommended in a couple of Christmas Tree Best Management Practice (BMP) manuals, it certainly isn’t a standard practice among most producers. Since Christmas tree production is considered to be very gentle on the land and causes very little soil erosion or impacts to water quality, I’ve never considered or experimented with a small grain cover crop except for the purpose of getting white clover ground cover established a couple of years before planting.
Rye with Caanan
My experiment with a rye cover crop in one of our new Christmas tree plantings came quite by accident. My son Matt and his new marvelous bride, Charley Gail, wanted to establish some pasture in a recently cropped field at our farm in Louisa County. Thinking this was a good idea, we drilled rye, white clover and fescue right after the corn harvest last fall. The fall was unseasonably wet and germination was excellent. Soon thereafter plans changed for the field with the high prices for cattle and fencing, and it was no longer being considered for pasture. With its excellent location
and our plans to relocate our Christmas operation to the front of our farm, it was a good candidate for Christmas trees. It has an Appling soil (sandy loam) which I’ve found will grow almost anything given the proper management.
We considered several alternatives for tree establishment including waiting a year to get the rye off and eliminating the fescue from the field. But since we had all of our soil testing complete and had applied lime earlier, we decided to go ahead with the planting this spring, departing from our normal fall schedule. Seedlings and transplants were ordered and later fertilizer was applied according to our analysis from Virginia Tech. Our field was particularly deficient in phosphorus and potassium, both essential to tree development. Phosphorus is important for root development and bud set and potassium helps to regulate water and protects the tree during drought. Before planting the trees, we applied one quart of glyphosate per acre in a three foot band along the rows to keep the rye and fescue from competing with the trees for moisture. Little did we know then that spring moisture would be abundant, except for a critical three week period right after the trees were planted in March. As added insurance, we used a gel on the roots that can help retain moisture through a short term drought. The big question among our family “partners” was how long would we
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
leave the rye cover before bushogging along with our other fields? It was located right on the road and neighbors and family members were starting to question what we doing and were any of the trees alive.
Rye,and clover combo
Thanks to the spring rain, all of the Canaan fir are alive and most of the White pine. The white clover is beautiful and not impacting tree growth. Some annual and perennial weeds are starting to creep in, mostly mare’s tail and poke berry, both pretty easy to control with a spot
treatment of glyphosate. As I write this it’s June and the advantages of leaving the rye standing are becoming very evident. It has matured and is standing golden brown and providing partial shade to the newly planted trees. As you know one of the keys to proper establishment of Canaan fir and white pine is partial shade during the summer months, adequate moisture, and cool soil temperatures. In our case, the white clover is reducing the soil temperature and the rye cover is providing partial shade. The trees look pretty healthy and happy and so far the rye cover experiment is working. This field has also become excellent wildlife habitat for small mammals such as rabbits, quail seeking nesting and feeding cover, and turkeys raising their young poults.
field we have right now and unfortunately it’s along the road near our farm entrance. The rye cover won’t likely stand all summer but it has allowed the trees and white clover to get off to an excellent start. Now if we can just resist the temptation to pretty this field up for our neighbors, we’ll be doing pretty well!! John Carroll, Claybrooke Farm, Louisa
Return to the Valley, VCTGA Annual Meeting and Conference August 23-25, 2012 Register NOW!
It’s certainly not the best “looking”
Ad – Tim Mitchell Yule Stand System
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
| 21 Page 21
Marketing Materials Available for Christmas 2012 We have marketing materials to promote “Experience a Real Tree” Christmas 2012
If you were at the VCTGA Annual Meeting in August, you saw some of the “hot off the press” new marketing materials and updated VCTGA logo. Through a grant from DACS/USDA, the VCTGA has been able to start a 2-pronged marketing program to help you sell more trees. The first is a “Buyer/Seller” promotion to help bring growers together with civic organizations who sell trees as a fundraiser and regular retailers. This has been started but should have its best impact in 2012.
The second program is marketing to consumers the “Experience a Real Tree” idea, which should help bring customers to choose-and-cut farms as well as to local retail/civic lots to buy fresh Virginia Grown Christmas Trees. To this end, the VCTGA has worked with a professional design firm to develop a new logo and marketing materials which we have enclosed samples for your review. An order form is also attached.
Brochures: “Buy & Sell a Real Virginia Christmas Tree” are for you to use if you’re selling or want to sell to civic groups and/or retailers. It gives reasons for them to sell Virginia grown trees. There is room on the back for you to add your contact information. (up to 25 are available free to each member on request to the VCTGA office)
22 | Page 22
“Experience a Real Tree” are for you to use when you’re talking to groups of consumers at club meetings, schools, farm tours, or wherever there are potential customers. There is room on the back for you to add your contact information. (up to 25 are available free to each member on request to the VCTGA office.) (3,500 of these are being distributed with the VDACS Christmas Tree Directory to 119 locations throughout the state.) “Photos”-All the photos in the brochures are owned by the VCTGA and are available to you, free, as a member benefit to use in any print, web or electronic media to promote your farm and “Experience a Real Tree”. They are available as high resolution photos for print quality, as in the brochures, or lower resolution for email or website use. These can be sent to you on a DVD or via email or download. Sign 18”x24”, printed front/back with an “H” wire stand, similar to the real estate/elections signs, that you can use at your farm, tree lots or provide to your retailer custom
ers to help promote trees. A reduced size copy of the sign is on the cover of the Fall issue of the VCTGA News Journal that you should be receiving in the mail in a couple of days. (one of these signs is available to each member on request to the VCTGA office.) Banner 3’x6’ like the retractable display, that was at the VCTGA meeting, is also available on banner type material with grommets and is weather resistant. Retractable stand display is also available for purchase, or rental, to cover shipping to you and back, if you need a professional display for a meeting or indoor event to help promote fresh real trees. Tree Tags - The VCTGA has had these available to members for many years. They were redesigned last year with the Virginia Grown logo, numbered, care instructions on the back, a place for customer information and price information and a tear off stub. Member Tree Farm Signs are also available if you need extra signs for different locations. (see photo in the Fall 2011 VCTGA News Journal)
All of these items are listed on the attached VCTGA member order form, so order soon to be ready to “Experience a Real Tree” selling season. The more everyone uses these marketing materials and related photos in your promotions, the more you help the entire Virginia Christmas tree industry! Questions? secretary@VirginiaChristmasTrees.org or call- 540-382-7310
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
Firm/Company Name: Address: City: Farm Phone: Email:
Web/Low Print/High Resolution Resolution
Non‐ Member Price
Photos Hi/Res Child/Star/Tree Couple/Baby/Tree Family/Buy/Tree How Bout This One Kids Running Trees/Snow VCTGA Logo Print VCTGA Logo Web
PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS Brochure Consumer Brochure Buyer/Seller Banner Only 3x6’ Banner & Retractable Stand Banner & Retractable Stand Sign 18” X 24” Christmas Tree Tags Farm Sign
Loan for consumer events, fairs, club meetings “H’ wire stand & grommets Front/Back sign
Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free
$15/100 $15/100 $75@
$30/100 $30/100 $150.00 @
Shipping to you & return
Quantity Amount 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
$150.00 $150.00 $150.00 $150.00 $150.00 $150.00 N/A N/A
Plus Shipping/Handling $ Make Check payable to VCTGA Check # Credit Card # Expires (Req.) Circle One Visa Mastercard AmExpress Discover Security # (Req.) Signature: Mail to: VCTGA 383 Coal Hollow Rd Christiansburg, VA 24073‐6721
Or fax with credit card info to: 540‐382‐2716
Questions Call: 1‐540‐382‐7310 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Profile: Hank’s Christmas Trees went to our first conference at Abingdon. Here Richard Kreh spoke about his Leylands. It immediately became another tree to try. We were selling about a dozen varieties then and Leyland cypresses were added to the rotation.
My babies all seem to have made it through this fickle Spring. The growth on the established trees is good, and we just had a nice picnic with Jocelyn and Joe Lampert of Crazy Joe’s Christmas Trees. All is good and I’m ready to talk. Jocelyn has twisted my arm to tell the story of Hank’s Christmas Trees so here goes. Cheryll and I grow choose and cut trees in northern Fauquier County at about 700 feet elevation in zone 6/7. The soil type is variable, but basically, it is a silt loam mixed with rocks, a rocky loam. The only time it is too wet is when the rain is actually falling. It is often too dry. Our location is next to Route 66 near an interchange – a very good location by all accounts. The story of Hank’s Christmas Trees began in the mid 80s when my Dad and I thought it might be a good idea to raise some Christmas trees. We planted a total of 3,000 white and Scotch pine. They all died as did our partnership. From then on my plantings were reduced to several hundred per year. Sales began modestly. By the mid 90s, sales approached 200 trees at $20 each. WOW? At that point in time it was mostly therapy for me. . I was not even aware VCTGA existed. Other kinds of trees were added each year. Some lived, some not so lucky. I just enjoyed trying new trees. By 2001 we discovered VCTGA and Page 24 24 |
So here we are now. The “hobby” has gotten a bit out of hand. Two thousand trees were planted this spring. Our sales this past season approached one thousand. We have about 8 acres in 4 varieties of pines, 3 spruces, 2 cypresses, 5 firs, plus Douglas fir. I am looking forward to trying hemlock and Deodar cedar. Like I said I really enjoy trying new trees.
Concerning planting, I order and plant a bunch as early as I can – all by myself with a shovel, which I find to be the most effective means. Usually I water as I plant. If it is dry, I limit the number to what I feel I can continue to water during the summer. However, a timely storm will get me to order more. At times, when I have an excess of material to plant, I will pot them up. Potting up trees is cheap and easy. It allows me to plant them whenever the weather is favorable. Sometimes potted trees are given away with the purchase of a Christmas tree. The only thing about selling that may be of interest is that we price every tree the same. This has worked well for us. At times we run out of bigger trees. Lately the remaining trees have become downright short. As an alternative, we
have started selling fresh cut Fraser firs from southwest Virginia. Those guys raise some nice trees!!
Basically with my trees, I plant them, prune them, fight back the weeds, think about fertilizing them, occasionally spray them, and once a year have a sale. I have tried here to mention a few of the things I do that are a bit different, offering the “what” and “how”. But it is the “why” that is important to me. A road trip Cheryll and I took to Florida may help us all to understand the “why”. We were near Savannah in January on a country road where we came to Brewer’s Christmas Trees. We pulled in to snoop a bit when a voice called out, “May I help you.” After explaining we also grew Christmas trees (and noting he did not have a gun), we soon found ourselves bouncing across his 40 acres of Leylands in his pickup. Mr. Brewer treated us like he had found his long lost children as he showed us around his farm. His wife joined us at the sales area. This two hour royal tour ended in his house over cake and coffee. They obviously loved what they were doing. It is the same feeling (what’s the word here, it’s a level beyond enthusiasm) I have seen in some of the Virginia growers, myself included. Hank’s Christmas Trees Henry and Cheryll Green Jr Winchester, VA 540-533-6901 email@example.com
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012 VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
S TRATEGIC M ARKETING I NITIATIVE
Promoting & Selling Virginia Grown Christmas Trees Growing Christmas one quality tree at a time.
V IRGINIA G ROWN C HRIST MAS T REE S S TRATE G IC M ARK ET T ING I N IT IAT IVE Jeff Miller, VCTGA Secretary/Treasurer
Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association
540-382-7310 (Office) VCTGA
As current president of VCTGA, I want to take the opportunity to encourage growers to take advantage of a current marketing initiative that is underway to better promote the sale of Virginia Grown trees. VCTGA, partnering with VDACS and with the help of a grant, is seeking to better partner growers with a greater number of potential buyers. This initiative is seeking to increase the awareness of Virginia Christmas trees as viable quality Virginia Grown products. In addition to increasing our blanket promotion, we will be targeting organizations, including civic, community, and non-profit organizations and groups as potential buyers. This initiative is one important step in increasing the visibility and recognition of the Virginia Christmas tree industry and helping growers around the Commonwealth to increase their sales.
Experience a Real Tree! Take a moment to fill out the form (front and back) below and return indicating your commitment to participate.
TEAR Off & Return to Jeff Miller, VCTGA Secretary (see address above)
Yes, I want to sign up to participate in the VCTGA Strategic Marketing initiative!
Name _________________________________________________________________________________ Company/ Farm Name ___________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________ City_____________________________________________________ State___________ Zip__________ Telephone # __________________________________ Fax # ____________________________________ E-mail Address ______________________________ Return Form to: VCTGA 383 Coal Hollow Rd Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721
Strathmeyer Ad VA CTGA
7.5 x 5.pdf
Four Generations of Quality Evergreens and Nursery Stock Bareroot Seedlings, and Transplants Cut Christmas Trees Balled & Burlapped Trees 255 Zeigler Road PO Box 70 Dover, PA 17315 717-292-5683 800-345-3406 Fax 717-292-4129 www.strathmeyer.com TEAR Off & Return to Jeff Miller, VCTGA Secretary (see address on opposite side)
Table Tops (#)
4-5 Foot (#)
5-6 Foot (#)
7-8 Foot (#)
8-9 Foot (#)
9-10 Foot (#)
10-12 Foot (#)
14-16 Foot (#)
16+ Foot (#)
Fraser Fir White Pine Canaan Fir White Pine Other species Other Species
Greenery Products (Y or No) WP Roping ____ WP Wreaths ____ Fraser Roping ____ Mixed Greenery Wreathes ____ Other: Specify _____________
Fraser Wreaths ____ ____________
Fraser Swags _____ ___________
News - New Specialty License Plate Supporting Community Trees Available for Pre-order
Vehicles (DMV) will put the proposed plate into production. Presales of the Virginia Loves Trees plate began October 1, 2011. After 450 are sold, funds are turned over to the DMV and plates will be available at any DMV location. Plates can be ordered online, or in the mail using forms downloaded from the Virginia Loves Trees website (www.valovestrees.org ).
Hank’s Christmas Trees
Rye, Clover with Canaan fir
A new specialty license plate is available for pre-order in Virginia. The Virginia Loves Trees license plate features a community skyline enhanced by trees (with one tree even featuring a swing) in eyecatching blues and greens and is designed to raise awareness of the value of community trees in Virginia.
Supporting organizations include the urban forestry program at Virginia Tech in the College of Natural Resources & Environment, Trees Virginia, the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, the MidAtlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Virginia Green Industry Council.
In Virginia, 450 plates must be presold before the Department of Motor
Ad – VCTGA Tree Tags
VCTGA News Journal – Summer 2012
VCTGA News Journal –Summer 2012
STD PRST US POSTAGE PAID WYTHEVILLE, VA PERMIT 172
383 Coal Hollow Rd
383Christiansburg, Coal HollowVA Rd Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721 24073-6721 540-382-7310 540-382-7310 www.Virginia ChristmasTrees.org www.Virginia
VCTGA News Journal â€“Spring 2012
VCTGA News Journal Summer 2012 with Annual Meeting info, research, member profile