Russell and Beau Estes recently made a trip to Washington D.C., that few farmers get a chance to make.

They accompanied an 18.5-foot Fraser fir tree grown on their Jefferson, N.C., farm to the White House and helped present the award-winning tree to Mrs. Obama.

In August they won the honor of providing the tree by winning the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) Grand Championship. In doing so, Russell and Beau joined an elite club of 12 North Carolina tree farmers, who have presented the White House tree to the reigning First Lady.

The winning North Carolina-grown Christmas tree is displayed during the Holiday Season in the White House Blue Room.

Competition for the honor of providing the presidential tree is fierce.

It is fitting that this year’s tree will come from the same state from which President Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party to run for his second term in office.

This year marks the 12th time the White House Christmas tree has come from North Carolina since the National Christmas Tree Association began supplying them in 1966.

Seven  of those have come from Ashe County, N.C., where Peak Farms is located, near the state's northern border, about 100 miles from the site of the Democratic National Convention, which was held Sept.  4-6 in Charlotte.

Last year's tree came from the home state of GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, in Neshkoro, Wisconsin — between Madison and Wausau.

Last year marked the seventh time Wisconsin provided the tree, tied with Washington for second most, behind, North Carolina.

In addition, the Reserve Champion, selected by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), provides a Christmas tree for the vice-president’s residence. This year, North Carolina grower PaulSmith won that honor.

Smith, who owns and operates Cool Springs Nursery in Banner Elk, N.C., provided a stately Fraser fir in mid-November for use by vice-president Biden and his family at Blair House, official residence of the vice-president.