In 1986, Diane Cornett Deal established the Cornett Deal Christmas Tree Farm after purchasing a farm originally owned by her ancestors. Her father, who also owned a farm, gave her 1,000 seedlings, which she planted, and when they had grown seven years later, she began selling the trees. Ms. Cornett Deal’s 26-acre farm is open to the public from the weekend before Thanksgiving until the third weekend in December each year. She is responsible for daily managing activities, dealing with wholesalers and making wreaths that are available for purchase. In 2000, she built Songbird Cabin to share her farm with others as a vacation rental. She had a number of families that routinely rent the cabin, but Songbird Cabin is now rented on a full time basis by a family member. It is no longer on the market as a vacation rental.
Besides her two businesses, Ms. Cornett Deal worked at the Watauga County Clerk of Superior Court’s office for 30 years. After retiring in 2009, she was elected as the Clerk of the Superior Court, where she supervises a staff of 13 people and oversees the courts and records of the courts of Watauga County.
Ms. Cornett Deal attributes her success to her parents, who always told her that she could do anything she set her mind to. In the upcoming years, she plans to run for the Office of the Clerk Superior Court again, where she hopes to be able to serve at least three terms. At some point, she hopes her daughter and step-daughter will be willing and available to take over the running of the Christmas tree farm.
Ms. Cornett Deal’s commitment to her businesses has won her a number of awards, including Watauga Democrats Best of the Best Watauga County Christmas Tree Farm for the years of 2015 and 2016 and Best of the Best Public Servant for 2015, Nurseryman of the Year and Outstanding Woman in Agriculture. She is a member of the Mountaineer Ruritan Club, Foscoe Ruritan Club, Watauga County Christmas Tree Association and North Carolina Christmas Tree Association.
Contact Diane Cornett Deal: