Welcome Centers adorned with state Christmas trees

Contributed photoChristmas trees grow on an unidentified tree farm in New York.


New York state grown and certified Christmas trees and wreaths will be on display in the state's regional welcome centers and Taste NY stores, promoting New York's agricultural and tourism industries.

In addition, New York state trees will be on display at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. New York's Christmas tree industry sells nearly 300,000 trees from more than 750 tree farms located across the state, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office.

"As New Yorkers prepare to celebrate the holidays, we encourage shoppers looking for the perfect tree to support our neighboring farmers by choosing to buy locally-grown trees this year," Cuomo said. "New York state is home to more than 750 Christmas tree farms, including many that participate in our NYS Grown & Certified program, telling buyers the products they are selecting come from farmers who grow their products in an environmentally-responsible manner."

To promote the purchase of New York-grown trees and kick off the holiday season, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball joined partners from the agricultural community at Boulder Brook Farm in Saratoga County for the state's annual tree cutting.

"Our annual tree-cutting ceremony is a great way to kick off the holiday season and remind New Yorkers of the high-quality, home-grown products they can purchase while celebrating the holidays and supporting our state's top-notch and diverse agricultural industry," Ball said.

A 6-foot-tall, Canaan Fir provided by the Malta farm will be prominently displayed for the holidays at the Adirondacks Welcome Center in Queensbury. Boulder Brook Farm is a proud member of the New York State Grown & Certified program. A second Canaan Fir, donated by the farm, will go to a local homeless shelter run by CAPTAIN Community Human Services.

New York State Grown & Certified promotes New York's agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. For Christmas tree farms, participants are certified for growing local trees and for participating in the State Soil and Water Conservation District's Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) plan.

Local trees and handmade local wreaths, as well as information on where to find local trees, will also be on display at Western New York Welcome Center on Grand Island.

The Welcome Center and Taste NY locations will also feature a wide variety of gifts and gift baskets filled with local products made and produced by New York farms and food and beverage producers.

"New York's Welcome Centers, including the three located along the NYS Thruway, are tourism gateways that showcase the diverse food, beverage, and hand-made good selections found across the Empire State. We are proud to support the state's agricultural and tourism industries which generate billions of dollars each year," Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. "I encourage all travelers to stop and visit these magnificent displays this holiday season where you can conveniently pick up specialized gifts that help support local economies."

To find the New York-grown Christmas tree vendor nearest to you, visit the NYS Grown & Certified site at certified.ny.gov and the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York website here.

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