(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – On Wednesday, Governor Mike Parson hosted a ceremony proclaiming December as Christmas Tree Month in Missouri. The proclamation was presented to winners of the Missouri Christmas Tree Association’s annual wreath and tree contests, held earlier this year at the association’s annual convention.
“On behalf of all Missourians, The First Lady and I recognize these farm families and their passion for Christmas trees – classic symbols of the holiday season,” Governor Parson said. “Places like Pea Ridge Forest and Meert Tree Farm represent the hard work and grit of all Missouri farmers and ranchers who have stayed the course and weathered every challenge, especially this year with the effects of severe drought. Congratulations again to this year's winners."
Pea Ridge Forest in Hermann won the Christmas tree contest, and has provided an 8-foot tree to the Missouri State Capitol. Located on the second floor outside Governor Parson’s office, the Canaan fir tree has been growing at Pea Ridge Forest for eight years. LeRoy and Mary Rood established Pea Ridge Forest in 1972, and the farm is currently owned by their sons, Mike and Scott. Pea Ridge Forest is truly a family business with three generations working on the farm. Pea Ridge Forest offers "choose and cut" Christmas trees in addition to being a wholesale nursery. The farm offers a variety of activities during the holiday season, including a gift shop, hay rides, and complimentary hot chocolate.
The 2023 winning wreath comes from Meert Tree Farm in Festus. The Meert family established Meert Tree Farm in 1963, and the farm is now operated by their daughter, Jennifer Sommerkamp, with the help of their other children and grandchildren. Meert Tree Farm offers cut-your-own Christmas trees, a sunflower maze, and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch throughout the seasons. During the holiday season, the farm has a Christmas shop and children’s train rides.
Students from Happy Hearts Child Development Center, the Special Learning Center, and Special Olympics Missouri joined Governor Parson to light this year's Capitol Christmas tree.
The above press release is from Governor Mike Parson's Office of Communications.