MASON, Mich. — On Nov. 28, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring, Chief of Staff Kathy Angerer and representatives from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs participated in a Trees for Troops event at Tannenbaum Farms in Mason.
Trees for Troops, a program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, provides free, farm-grown Christmas trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families, through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of many volunteers.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to be able to give back to the hard-working men and women in military service, who protect us every day,” said Director Boring. “Michigan food and agriculture is at the heart of so many of our holiday traditions and is a great opportunity for Michiganders to buy a local Christmas tree, as Michigan ranks as the third leading producer in the nation. The Trees for Troops program allows us to bring together the gift of local agriculture with the utmost respect for our military members. This opportunity is what the holiday season is all about.”
“Trees for Troops is wonderful initiative to spread the holiday spirit through the giving of free, Michigan-grown trees, to service members and their families all over the country,” said Brigadier General Scott House of the Michigan National Guard. “It is amazing to see the number of volunteers and support staff who donate their time to make sure these Michigan trees get delivered to military families in time for the holidays.”
For over 40 years, Tannenbaum Farms has been growing beautiful Christmas trees. Purchasing a real Christmas tree has become a family tradition for many in the area. Tannenbaum Farms is owned and managed by Dr. Mel and Laurie Koelling. A nationally recognized expert in the industry, Dr. Koelling taught and served in the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University for over 35 years. The farm was purchased in 1977 as an extension of Dr. Koelling’s professional interests and to establish a college fund for his children. The first planting in 1978 covered three acres; today, plantings cover approximately 100 acres of the 180-acre farm.
Throughout 2023, MDARD will meet with Michigan’s food and agricultural businesses to discuss how they can continue to succeed and how the department can best assist their continuous growth and expansion.
— Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development