The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today that Rodney Richardson of Mt. Rogers Christmas Tree Farm in Whitetop, Virginia, was named Reserve Champion of the National Christmas Tree Association’s (NCTA) 2013 National Christmas Tree Contest. Richardson’s winning tree was a Fraser fir. Traditionally, the Reserve Champion farmer has provided a Christmas tree for the residence of the Vice President in Washington, D.C.
Trees entered in the NCTA contest must fit into one of five species categories: true fir, Douglas fir, spruce, pine or other. A panel of judges made up of long-time growers and past contest winners selects the first, second and third-place winners in each category, and then attendees of the NCTA conference and a panel of consumer judges vote for their favorite among the species finalists. Those vote totals determined the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion trees.
To enter NCTA’s national contest, growers must first win their state/regional competition. Richardson was chosen Grand Champion by the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association at their annual convention in August 2012. In November of that year, Richardson presented First Lady Maureen McDonnell with a 12-foot Fraser fir tree for the Executive Mansion.
Grand Champion winner John Wyckoff of Belvidere, NJ will present a tree to President Obama and family.