Friday, April 18, 2008

Checkoff Study Group Meets

The Checkoff Study Group met in St. Louis on April 14-15. The group discussed what they would like to see the Christmas Tree Industry look like five years from now and ways to make that happen.

They reviewed USDA requirements for a checkoff program, disscussed some options, and discussed ways of engaging the industry in the decision-making process. Ideas include:
  • Making sure people know about and visit this web site
  • Using an electronic survey to gather opinions about some issues
  • Having sessions (presentations and opportunity for feedback) at industry meetings

If you have questions or suggestions, please e-mail them to

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Industry Task Force Formed

An Industry-wide task force has been formed to study whether a checkoff would be good for the Christmas tree industry, and if so, how might the program work. Task force members are:
  • Betty Malone (chair), Sunrise Tree Farm, Oregon
  • Cline Church, Cline Church Nursery, North Carolina
  • Charles Fowler, Windy Gap Tree Farm, North Carolina
  • Pat Gaskin, Laurel Springs Christmas Tree Farm, North Carolina
  • Jim Heater, Silver Mountain Christmas Trees, Oregon
  • Forrest Higgins, Higgins Family Christmas Trees, Massachusetts and Nova Scotia
  • Paul Schroeder, North Countree Christmas, Wisconsin
  • Steve Vander Weide, Dutchman Tree Farms, Michigan
  • Beth Walterscheidt, Evergreen Farms Christmas Trees, Texas
  • Drew Yenser, Yensers Tree Farm, Pennsylvania

Ex-officio Members include:
  • Pam Helmsing, National Christmas Tree Association
  • Linda Gragg, North Carolina Christmas Tree Association
  • Marsha Gray, Michigan Christmas Tree Association
  • Bryan Ostlund, Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association
  • Irwin Loiterstein, Advisor
Questions and comments may be sent to Upon your request, they will be sent to all members of the task force.