The sun had a razor sharp glare, painting the fields golden and the trees behind them black against the faded blue sky.
There was a truck pulled over on the Minnesota highway, near Point Park in Duluth. It was a Ford late 1940s one ton red cab with a bundle of Christmas trees tied together with twine.
On Nov. 8 the U.S. Department of Agriculture established a "national research and promotion program for Christmas trees" according to the Federal Register. The Christmas Tree Checkoff Task Force recommended funding the campaign with an initial 15-cent assessment on domestic fresh-tree producers and importers the Florida Times-Union reported.
According to the Pioneer Press, members of the Minnesota Growers Association are only a handful of growers seeing declining sales. . As the economy has faltered, so have sales of real trees. The debate amongst growers about the merits of constructing a campaign that would be administered through the Department of Agriculture has been debated for years.
The assessment will not be paid by consumers but by growers and producers. There was confusion about the assessment, forcing the Obama administration to postpone the program indefinitely on Nov. 9, the Florida Times-Union reported.