Gary Westlake of Pottstown, Chester County, has been recently appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to the USDA's Christmas Tree Promotion Board.
Westlake a third generation Christmas tree grower and nurseryman, farms in the three townships of North Coventry, Warwick and Honey Brook totaling 300 acres. He is a 1985 graduate of Delaware Valley University. He is also a past president of the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers' Association and currently serves by appointment of the Chester County Commissioners on their Agricultural Development Council.
Westlake states that he is honored by the secretary's appointment to represent the Eastern United States Christmas Tree growers on the Board. A producer's checkoff program has been sorely needed by growers and retailers for decades as societal changes have moved families away from using real Christmas trees and land grant university agricultural research funds have dwindled or disappeared. Pennsylvania is one of the top producing Christmas tree states in the U.S.