Feb 10, 2015
USDA seeks nominees for watermelon board

USDA is seeking nominations for the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

The 37-member board is comprised of 14 producers, 14 handlers, eight importers and a public member. Board members are nominated by their peers, while the public member is nominated by the board. To be eligible for nomination, producers must grow 10 or more acres of watermelons; handlers must be the first handler of watermelons and importers must import watermelons. Selected representatives will serve three-year terms, according to USDA.

The board is planning to fill 12 seats – two producer and two handler seats each, in districts two, three and six.

District two consists of the following Florida counties: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. The district also includes all counties in North Carolina and South Carolina.

District three consists of all counties in Georgia, while district six consists of all counties in Texas.

The board meets regularly to plan promotion, marketing and research activities that benefit the industry. The national program, which became effective in 1989, is industry-funded and supports domestic and international marketing and promotion of watermelons. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the board’s activities.

USDA encourages board membership that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by the research and promotion programs. All eligible women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to seek nomination for a seat on the board by the June 2 deadline.

For more information or a nomination form, call Rebekah Dossett, the board’s director of operations and industry affairs, or Industry Affairs Manager Andrea Smith, at 877-599-9595.

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