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Parsons Host Ceremony Proclaiming Missouri Christmas Tree Month
Missouri Ag Connection - 12/04/2020

Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson hosted a ceremony at the State Capitol proclaiming December as Christmas Tree Month in Missouri.

During the ceremony, Governor Parson presented proclamations to the winners of the Missouri Christmas Tree Association's annual wreath and tree contests. Students from Brittany Massman's preschool class at St. Peter Interparish School also participated in today's ceremony.

"Christmas trees are a wholesome reminder of holiday memories for many Missouri families," Governor Parson said. "This December, we encourage all Missourians to get outside with their family to enjoy a Christmas tree farm in their area. These small businesses are important to both our local communities and the Christmas traditions we love."

The 2020 winning wreath comes from Steve and Teresa Meier of Meier Horseshoe Pines in Jackson. The Meiers began family traditions at their small business in 1988 with a team of Belgian pulling horses and a wagon to take visitors to handpick their perfect tree. Today, the Meier family sells Christmas trees and fresh wreaths and operates a Christmas shop selling ornaments, decorations, and locally made products. The family is a multi-year winner of both the Christmas tree and wreath competitions.

Branch Ranch owners Butch and Darlene Auspurg of Philadelphia are the winners of the 2020 Christmas tree contest. The family planted their first trees in the spring of 1990 and opened up for sales in 1997 after the trees matured. Visitors have the opportunity to visit the farm's Baumhaus, translated from German to mean "The Tree House," for Christmas decorations, hot chocolate, and homemade cookies. The Branch Ranch took first place in the Christmas tree competition in 2010 and 2017.

The tree displayed outside the Governor's Office was donated by Vern and Bethine Spaunhorst, owners of Heritage Valley Tree Farm in Washington.

To plan your family's visit to a local Christmas tree farm in your area, visit or Photos from today's ceremony will be available on Governor Parson's Flickr page.

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