Farmers are supporting communities during the holiday season
By Diego Flammini
As the Christmas and holiday season ramp up, U.S. farmers are doing their part to show support for their communities.
Here are a few instances.
At Angel Tree Farms, a 3.5-acre farm in Alburtis, Penn., for example, customers won’t find price tags on any of the Christmas trees.
Instead, a customer pays what he or she can for the tree, and all that money is directed to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley.
“Obviously, we want people to give as much as they can,” Bill Paules, owner and president of Angel Tree Farms, told LehighValleyNews.com. “But we don’t judge people if they don’t have the money.”
Paules and his wife, Karen, bought the farm in 2019 and ran their first tree drive in 2020.
Donations that year totaled $1,000. In 2021, that number grew to $5,000, and in 2022, the farm’s initiative collected $11,000 for the charity.
Many farms are also participating in the Trees for Troops campaign.
The National Christmas Tree Growers Association started the initiative in 2005, with 4,300 trees that year donated and distributed to military bases in the U.S. and overseas.
Richardson Christmas Tree Farm in Spring Grove, Ill., is among the farms involved.
Customers can purchase a tree for $75 or make a separate monetary donation.
Providing members of the U.S. military with holiday cheer is a small way of thanking them for their service.
"Freedom isn't free. We appreciate living in the U.S. and all that the military does to help keep our country free," George Richardson told the Daily Herald. "This is a great way to deliver some Christmas spirit to those actively serving in our armed forces, and to say thank you. We've been big supporters of Trees for Troops since its inception."
Farmers are also banding together to donate food this holiday season.
In Illinois, pork, corn and soybean groups, as well as representation from the meat processing sector, donated 6,600 pounds of ground pork and recipe cards to Midwest Food Bank.
Community support is part of agriculture’s responsibility, says Patrick Bane, a pork producer and member of the National Pork Board.
“As pork producers, we not only want to be conscious of environment and sustainability, we want to be good community members. Supporting those in need is a big part of that and the holidays is the perfect time to do that,” he said, WMBD reported.
Do you know of any other farmers supporting their communities during the holiday season? Let us know!