Writer / Jimmy Girot . Photographer / Hannah Switzer My first trip to Piney Acres Farm was exactly what I had envisioned upon planning the visit — a beautiful, crisp December afternoon and that indescribable holiday scent. This year, my second trip to Piney Acres Farm was on a cold and rainy Tuesday, Veterans Day coincidentally. Following the gloomy drive through Hancock County, my mood quickly changed when I arrived at Piney Acres Farm and talked to the owner, Rex Zenor, about their efforts to help U.S. soldiers and their families. For the past seven years, Piney Acres Farm has contributed hundreds of Christmas trees to a national program called Trees for Troops. Trees for Troops is a special initiative Indiana consistently sets the standard for and Piney Acres has played a pivotal role in the process. Trees for Troops is a program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, which provides free farm-grown Christmas Trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families. The program is made possible through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of volunteers. FedEx, a huge partner in the mission, delivers these trees to more than 60 military bases both in the U.S. and overseas. Piney Acres is one of 450 Christmas Tree growers who donate to Trees for Troops. Zenor added that Indiana is leading the way in the Trees for Troops program, calling it the “nation’s kick starter.” Each year before Christmas, the local National Guard picks up the trees from Piney Acres and delivers them to the central location in Boone County for FedEx packaging and travel. The process may experience roadblocks, Zenor mentioned, but Trees for Troops will “make sure the soldiers and families get their trees before Christmas.” To contribute to Tree for Troops, you can select a tree at Piney Acres and write a personalized note, or you can make a monetary donation online. For more information about Trees for Troops or Piney Acres Farm, check out pineyacresfarm.com or stop by their Christmas Tree farm located just three miles east of Fortville. Other local tree farms that contribute to Indiana’s leadership in the Trees for Troops program are Yakey Tree Farm in Fishers and Dull’s Tree Farm in Thorntown.