York, PA - Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh, Department of Military & Veterans Affairs deputy adjutant general-Army, today helped kick off the 2021 Trees for Troops weekend at Strathmeyer Christmas Trees in York, encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate Christmas trees to active-duty military and their families.
"As we celebrate family, friends and traditions this holiday season, let us remember the military service men and women whose ultimate sacrifice has protected the people and places we call home," said Secretary Redding. "This Christmas, we invite you to send a small token of gratitude to our armed forces and their families through Trees for Troops. By donating a Christmas tree, our service men and women receive a reminder of home and family no matter where they are stationed. It is a small gesture of thanks that embodies the best of holiday spirit."
Trees for Troops is a national program that provides free, farm-grown Christmas trees to armed forces members and their families each holiday season through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of volunteers. Since 2005, Trees for Troops has provided more than 262,265 Christmas trees to military families and troops in the United States and overseas. Pennsylvanians can participate in the program by visiting a farm or participating location to purchase a tree to donate to service members. The program operates December 3-5, 2021.
"The DMVA is grateful to the Department of Agriculture and everyone involved in Trees for Troops for remembering service members abroad and families stateside during the holiday season," said Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh, DMVA's deputy adjutant general-Army. "These trees brighten smiles and invoke the holiday spirit. Most importantly, they remind everyone in uniform and their families that they are not forgotten and their service to our nation is appreciated."
During the event, Redding and McHugh joined attendees to load a FedEx trailer with trees donated from the farm. FedEx partners to provide transportation services delivering the trees to more than 70 military bases in the US and overseas, driving more than 965,000 ground miles for the program.
Strathmeyer Christmas Trees is a fourth-generation family-owned Christmas tree farm cultivating fresh Christmas Tree for more than 75 years. The Strathmeyer family operates the farm year-round and host 11 seasonal tree lots serving York and Lancaster Counties. Strathmeyer Christmas Tress has partnered with Trees for Troops since its inception in 2005.
Trees for Troops program is part of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, a non-profit branch of the National Christmas Tree Association, which represents more than 700 active member farms, 29 state and regional associations, and more than 4,000 affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related supplies and services.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture's military and veterans in agriculture initiatives, visit agriculture.pa.gov.
Note: Photos and video are available at pacast.com
MEDIA CONTACTS: Shannon Powers, Agriculture, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717. 603.2056
Joan Nissley, Military and Veterans Affairs, 717.861.8720