Kings Valley tree growers honored

KINGS VALLEY -- Pat and Betty Malone, owners of Sunrise Tree Farm in Kings Valley, have been named the 2012 recipients of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association (PNCTA) Plumb Award.

KINGS VALLEY -- Pat and Betty Malone, owners of Sunrise Tree Farm in Kings Valley, have been named the 2012 recipients of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association (PNCTA) Plumb Award.

The award is the association's most distinguished honor, "recognizing outstanding contributions to the Christmas tree industry," according to an association press release.

The Malones have contributed to the growth of many facets of the Christmas tree industry, said PNCTA Executive Director Bryan Ostlund.

He said they have been active on statewide and nationwide boards and committees; research on Christmas tree genetics, management practices, and retail and commercial sales and marketing; and educational programs.

Ostlund said the Malones have been involved in raising and promoting Christmas trees since the 1970s.

"They have given back to the industry a hundred times what the industry has given them," Ostlund said, explaining why they were given the award. "Pat and Betty ... their time is almost unparalleled in the industry."

Sunrise Tree Farms, known for its sustainable management practices, also has been on the forefront of promoting environmentally-friendly growing methods. The farm was one of the initial members in the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Farm (SERF) certification program.

Betty Malone said it was an honor to receive the award.

"There is a lot of people who have done a lot for the industry, so we are just happy to have been selected," she said.

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