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WHEREAS, Christmas tree farming is an important part of Virginia agriculture, the state’s largest private industry; and
WHEREAS, Virginia farmers grow numerous varieties of Christmas trees on 500 farms across the Commonwealth for wholesale, retail, and choose-and-cut customers; and
WHEREAS, Virginia ranks seventh in U.S. states in terms of total Christmas trees harvested, seventh in total tree acreage in production, and eleventh in number of operations with Christmas tree sales; and
WHEREAS, visiting a Christmas tree farm is a holiday tradition that allows for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and an opportunity to contribute to enterprising Virginia businesses; and
WHEREAS, Virginia Christmas tree growers deliver the spirit of the holiday season by donating Christmas trees to military families each year through the Trees for Troops program; and
WHEREAS, Virginia grown Christmas trees are renewable, recyclable, and natural products, and for every tree cut growers replant two-to-three seedlings in its place;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize December 2020 as VIRGINIA CHRISTMAS TREE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.