Romanski Reflects on Holiday Traditions

The following is a commentary by Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski.

The holiday season is almost upon us. With it comes many traditions; special holiday meals shared with loved ones, gathering together for festive parties and celebrations, reflecting on the things we are grateful for, and setting goals for the year ahead. Many of the traditions that we enjoy this time of year, however, would not be possible without our state’s many agricultural producers and processors.

For some, it’s not Thanksgiving without a plump, juicy turkey on the dinner table. For others, it doesn’t feel like the holidays without a goose, duck, ham, brisket, or prime rib roast. We have Wisconsin’s meat industry to thank for that. Producers and processors work hard year-round, including during the holidays, to meet consumer demand and help ensure our festivities will be full of safe and delicious Wisconsin-made meat products.

Wisconsin’s agriculture producers and processors contribute many other commodities to our fall and winter celebrations, too. After all, no holiday table is complete without Wisconsin-grown potatoes, green beans, and corn, or a generous helping of cranberries. Many of these we are the number one producer in the nation. Consumers can also rely on them to provide the necessary ingredients they need to do their holiday cooking and baking. Many of the seasonal favorites we enjoy are produced by your neighbors right here in Wisconsin.

But it isn’t only food that our state’s producers supply for our holiday celebrations. Each year, almost two million Christmas trees are harvested from over 800 tree farms in Wisconsin. This contributes $50 million in sales to the state’s economy. Some of these trees are shipped out-of-state while others remain here for Wisconsinites to purchase and enjoy. Every fall, staff from DATCP’s Bureau of Plant Industry inspect these trees, helping ensure that, when a consumer buys a Wisconsin-grown Christmas tree, it is high-quality, and pest- and disease-free.

It’s clear that Wisconsin agriculture gives us much to be thankful for. However you choose to celebrate the season, I hope you will include Wisconsin-grown and produced products as part of your gatherings and traditions. Happy holidays!