Feb 6, 2014
Voters amend watermelon plan

USDA has announced that watermelon producers, handlers and importers have voted to amend the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan importer eligibility requirements for service on the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service conducted the referendum Jan. 13 through Jan. 27. Ballots were mailed to all eligible individuals who produced, handled or imported watermelons between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012 – the representative period – and who currently produce, handle or import watermelons.

In the referendum, 74 percent of those voting favored amending the plan. The amendment would allow persons who both import and handle watermelons to choose whether they would like to seek representation on the board as an importer or a handler.

The Watermelon Research and Promotion Act requires that a referendum be conducted before changes to the plan go into effect, and that the amendment be approved by a majority of producers, handlers and importers of watermelons voting in the referendum.

For more information about research and promotion programs, click here.


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