Oct 16, 2014
Members named to watermelon board

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed 13 members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. All of the appointees’ terms will begin Jan. 1, 2015, and end Dec. 31, 2017.

New members include: Katelyn Kelly Miller of Punta Gorda, Fla.; Matthew Singletary of Alva, Fla.; James F. Shepherd of Naples, Fla.; Lee Wroten of Bartow, Fla.; Zachary Fawcett of McAllen, Texas; Rolando Rosales of Boca Raton, Fla.; Ramon Murillo of Nogales, Ariz.; Mario W. Cardenas of Boca Raton, Fla.; and Rob Richards of McAllen, Texas.

Re-appointed members include: John Gee of Temecula, Calif.; Raul Paez of Nogales, Ariz.; Gabriel Hinojosa of Mission, Texas; and Richard M. De Los Santos of Austin, Texas.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight of the watermelon board in accordance with the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act of 1985 and the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan. The plan includes watermelon handlers, producers growing 10 acres or more of watermelons, and importers who import 150,000 pounds of watermelons or more per year. Producers and handlers each pay an assessment rate of 3 cents per cwt., and importers pay 6 cents per cwt. The program is administered by board members selected by the secretary of agriculture, according to USDA.

For more information about the watermelon board, call Tarun Harit at 202-720-9915, or send an email.

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