USDA, Watermelon Industry Seek Nominees for National Watermelon Promotion Board

The watermelon industry is seeking nominations of qualified watermelon producers and handlers for four seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

The industry will hold a nominating convention March 10, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. in French Lick, Ind.

Nominees are needed to fill two producer seats and two handler seats for District 4 (Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will appoint individuals to serve terms of office that will begin Jan.1, 2020, and end Dec. 31, 2022.

For a nomination form and information about the nominating convention, contact Director of Operations and Industry Affairs Rebekah Dossett 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 noon ET March 8, 2019.

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 National Watermelon Promotion Board web page on the AMS website and on the board’s website, You may also contact USDA Marketing Specialist Stacy Jones King, at (202) 720-9915 or

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.