USDA Seeks Nominees for National Watermelon Promotion Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations of qualified watermelon importers for four seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board to succeed members whose terms expire Dec. 31, 2020. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will select individuals from the nominations submitted to serve terms of office that will begin Jan.1, 2021, and end Dec. 31, 2023.

The board will conduct a nomination teleconference March 9, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET.

For a nomination form, contact Rebekah Dossett, the board’s Director of Operations and Industry Affairs, or Industry Affairs Manager Andrea Smith at (407) 657-0261. Individuals wishing to vote by proxy should submit signed and dated statements that include the proxy voter’s printed name, address, telephone number, identity as an importer and the name of the individual authorized to cast the proxy vote. The statements must be submitted no later than March 6, 2020.

The board is made up of 41 industry members including 14 producers, 14 handlers, 12 importers and one public member. More information about the board is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Watermelon Promotion Board web page and on the board’s website, www.watermelon.org. You may also contact USDA Marketing Specialist Stacy Jones King at (202) 720-9915 or [email protected].     

Since 1966, Congress has authorized industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight to 21 boards. The oversight ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity, and is paid for by industry assessments.