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McKenzie Farms Green Express - Vol. I

APRIL-MAY 2012
THE MCKENZIE FARMS NEWSLETTER SHALL HEREAFTER BE REFERRED TO AS THE “MCKENZIE FARMS GREEN EXPRESS”. CHRISTMAS TREES ARE GREEN AND EVER GROWING AND WE AS GROWERS HAVE EMBRACED OUR “GREEN” ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AS GOOD STEWARDS OF THE LAND. THE MCKENZIE FARMS GREEN EXPRESS WILL BE OUR CONDUIT FOR SHARING WITH YOU THE NEWS OF OUR COMPANY, THE NEWS OF OUR INDUSTRY AND CHAMPION THE FEATURES, ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS OF THE “FRESH CUT" CHRISTMAS TREE.

WITHIN THE LAST THIRTY DAYS, MCKENZIE FARMS HAS ACQUIRED THE CHRISTMAS TREE INVENTORY OF BLUE HERON FARMS. OUR GOOD FRIEND PETER DINSDALE, THE OWNER OF BLUE HERON FARMS, HAS BEEN A QUALITY CHRISTMAS TREE GROWER FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS. WE EMBRACE HIS HIGH STANDARDS IN CUSTOMER CARE AND HIS OUTSTANDING HORTICULTURAL PRACTICES. WE EXTEND AN INVITATION TO HIS CLIENTAL TO COME TO OREGON AND SEE THE MCKENZIE FARMS ADVANTAGE. WE WILL NOT COMPROMISE ON BLUE HERON’S QUALITY STANDARDS. OVER THE PAST YEAR MCKENZIE FARMS HAS ACQUIRED

OVER 300,000 ADDITIONAL TREES FROM GROWERS WHO HAVE DECIDED TO GO TO THE SIDELINES AND NOT GROW TREES. WITH THESE ADDITIONS, INCLUDING BLUE HERON WE HAVE ADDED OVER ONE MILLION CHRISTMAS TREES TO OUR TOTAL INVENTORY. WE NOW HAVE A TOTAL INVENTORY AVAILABILITY (INCLUDING OUR “NETWORK GROWERS”) OF OVER SEVEN MILLION TREES. THIS ALLOWS US TO HARVEST OVER 800,000 CHRISTMAS TREES A YEAR

LOOK FOR OUR NEW AD IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST CHRISTMAS TREE ASSOCIATION 2012 BUY-SELL DIRECTORY. IT READS, “IF PRICE WAS ALL THAT MATTERED, WE’D ALL BE SELLING CULLS” IT’S NO SECRET. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! IN DEALING WITH SOME CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND A “LOW BALL PRICE”. THAT MAY LOOK GOOD ON PAPER, BUT THOSE SAVINGS CAN DISAPPEAR WHEN YOU ARE LEFT WITH POOR QUALITY, LATE SHIPMENTS AND CARELESS SERVICE. SOMETIMES THE LOWEST PRICE CAN END UP BEING THE HIGHEST PRICE.

WE ARE PROUD OF THE MCKENZIE FARMS ADVANTAGE. WITH EACH “GREEN EXPRESS” NEWSLETTER, I WILL SHARE THE REASONS WHY WE HAVE DIFFERENTIATED OURSELVES FROM OUR COMPETITION. FOUR VERY IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES ARE

(1) HIGHEST QUALITY STANDARDS IN THE CHRISTMAS TREE INDUSTRY.

(2) EACH YEAR MANAGEMENT SELECTS AND TAGS THE TREES FOR HARVEST.

(3) WE PROVIDE CHRISTMAS TREE RETAIL PROGRAMS; NOT JUST SELL CHRISTMAS TREES.

(4) WE HAVE THE NEWEST “CLOUD” WEB BASED INVENTORY AND TRACKING SYSTEM.

MCKENZIE FARMS BELIEVES THAT TODAY’S INVESTMENTS AND PREPARATIONS DETERMINE TOMORROW’S SUCCESSES.

AS I REPORTED LAST APRIL, DIESEL FUEL PRICES HAVE RISEN FROM $2.25 IN EARLY 2009 TO OVER $4.00 PER GALLON DURING THE 2011 SHIPPING SEASON. WITH THE CURRENT UNREST IN THE OIL PRODUCING COUNTRIES, DIESEL FUEL PRICES COULD EASILY EXCEED $5.00 PER GALLON DURING THE 2012 SHIPPING SEASON. LET ME SHARE WITH YOU HOW THIS WILL IMPACT THE COST OF SHIPPING CHRISTMAS TREES. WITH EVERY .10 INCREASE IN FUEL IT COST .02 MORE TO SHIP A TREE INTO CALIFORNIA AND .04 MORE INTO TEXAS. IN LAYMEN’S TERMS, IN THE LAST THREE YEARS FREIGHT INTO CALIFORNIA HAS INCREASED $1,000 PER LOAD AND $2,000 PER LOAD INTO TEXAS. THESE INCREASES, ALONG WITH THE COST FOR, GROWING AND HARVESTING CHRISTMAS TREES HAVE REDUCED THE GROWERS MARGINS TO A BREAKEVEN OR A LOSS.

GOOD NEWS, FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS I HAVE BEEN REPORTING ON THE GLUT OF CHRISTMAS TREES IN OREGON AND NORTH CAROLINA. 2012 WILL BE THE FIRST YEAR IN THE PAST SIX YEARS IN OREGON WHERE SUPPLY AND DEMAND WILL BE IN HARMONY. SHORTAGES WILL BEGIN IN 2013 AND SERIOUS SHORTAGES THROUGH 2018. THE NORTH CAROLINA FRAZER FIR GROWERS HAVE TWO MORE YEARS OF EXCESS INVENTORY. LET’S ALL HOPE FOR A SMARTER APPROACH FOR GROWING TREES.

I RECOMMEND THAT YOU, DON’T PLANT TREES UNLESS YOU HAVE THEM SOLD. CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS WHO ARE SPECULATORS WILL ALWAYS TILT THE DELICATE INVENTORY BALANCE AND END UP LOSING MONEY. WITH THE WET, COLD AND SNOWY WEATHER OF WINTER BEHIND US AND THE WARMER DAYS OF SPRING IN FRONT OF US, WE NOW ARE STARTING TO PLANT OF OUR NEW SEEDLINGS. WE WILL PLANT OVER 500,000 SEEDLINGS THAT WILL BEGIN THEIR EIGHT YEAR GROWTH CYCLE TO MATURITY. WITH 1,740 SEEDLINGS/TREES TO THE ACRE, WE WILL PLANT OVER 300 ACRES OVER THE EIGHT YEARS. EACH ACRE OF CHRISTMAS TREES REPRESENTS AN INVENTORY INVESTMENT IN EXCESS OF $15,000.00. WE COMPLETE OUR PLANTINGS BY MAY OF EACH YEAR. DURING APRIL AND MAY WE FERTILIZE OUR TREES, PLACE THE HERBICIDE FOR WEED CONTROL AND START OUR PESTICIDE APPLICATION. AS A CHRISTMAS TREE GROWER WE NEVER HAVE ANY DOWNTIME AND THERE IS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ONES TENDER LOVING CARE AND THE FINAL PRODUCT….IN OUR CASE A QUALITY SIGNATURE CHRISTMAS TREE.

WE DO WHAT WE LOVE AND LOVE WHAT WE DO! THE NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE CHECK-OFF PROGRAM HAS BE TABLED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA DUE TO NEGATIVE POLITICAL OVERTONES. I THINK BOTH SIDES OF THE ISLE ARE TO BLAME. THE PROGRAM WILL NOT BE REINSTATED UNTIL AFTER THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THEREFORE, WE WILL NOT SEE THE DIRECT BENEFITS FROM THIS NATIONAL PROGRAM UNTIL THE 2013 SELLING SEASON. IN THE PAST I HAVE AND I CONTINUE TO BE AN ADVOCATE OF A NATIONAL ADVERTISING AND MARKETING PROGRAM THAT SELLS THE FEATURES , BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE FRESH CUT CHRISTMAS TREE. WE HAVE A POWERFUL AND COMPELLING MESSAGE. THIS MESSAGE WILL ALLOW US TO RECAPTURE LOST MARKET SHARE FROM ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE MANUFACTURERS. OUR CHRISTMAS TREE INDUSTRY WILL SEE MANY CHANGES IN 2012-2013. MANY OF THE SMALLER GROWERS WILL NOT REPLANT, MANY OF THE MID SIZE GROWERS WILL SELL THEIR INVENTORY TO LARGER GROWERS AND THERE WILL BE A CONSOLIDATION OF THE LARGER GROWERS. ALL OF THESE CHANGES ARE FOR THE BEST AND WILL STRENGTHEN OUR INDUSTRY. WITH THE INCREASING COSTS OF GROWING, HARVESTING, AND SHIPPING (COUPLED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS AND DEMANDS OF THE “BIG BOX” ACCOUNTS) THE GROWING OF CHRISTMAS TREES HAS BECOME A “HAZARDOUS BUSINESS”.

INVESTORS AND FINANCIAL LENDERS WILL NOT SUPPORT AN INDUSTRY IN COMPLETE DISARRAY. FINANCIAL SANITY MUST PREVAIL AND GROWERS OF SHRUBS AND CHRISTMAS TREES MUST BE PROFITABLE. IT IS ONCE AGAIN TIME FOR ME TO LOOK INTO THE 2012 CRYSTAL BALL AND PREDICT OUR CHRISTMAS TREE SELLING SEASON. UNIT SELLS WILL INCREASE 2-3% AND DOLLARS WILL BE FLAT DUE TO UNREASONABLE BUYING PRESSURES. SMALLER TREES (UNDER 6’) WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND FEWER LARGER TREES (OVER 8’) WILL BE SOLD. FUEL COSTS WILL INCREASE WITHOUT ANY OFFSETTING CONSIDERATION AND THE AVAILABILITY OF TRUCKS WILL BE A CONCERN. IT WILL NOT BE A GOOD YEAR FOR CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS AND IT WILL BE A GOOD YEAR FOR THE RETAILERS AND CONSUMERS. MCKENZIE FARMS HAS BUILT A REPUTATION OVER THE PAST TWENTY-TWO YEARS FOR ITS SIGNATURE QUALITY AND SIGNATURE SERVICE. IF YOU WANT QUALITY CHRISTMAS TREES, ON TIME SHIPPING AND SERVICE AFTER THE SALE; COME AND EXPERIENCE THE MCKENZIE FARMS ADVANTAGE. ON BEHALF OF THE MCKENZIE FARMS MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT TEAM WE THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR FRIEND AND A VALUED CUSTOMER. OUR SUCCESS WILL ALWAYS BE EARNED THE “OLD FASHIONED WAY”, THROUGH HARD WORK, A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE AND MEANINGFUL RESULTS. WE WISH YOU GOOD HEALTH, CONTINUED HAPPINESS AND OUR WARMEST PERSONAL REGARDS.
MCKENZIE “KEN” COOK & THE MCKENZIE FARMS FAMILY WWW.MCKENZIEFARMS.ORG
1-800-999-1786

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