USDA Seeks Nominees for the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Dan Industry News Release, Specialty Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations to fill 13 seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

The board is seeking nominees for two producer member seats and two handler member seats in District One. It is also seeking nominees for one public member seat and eight importer member seats. Selected representatives will serve three-year terms.

The deadline for submitting nominations is June 30, 2017.

District One consists of the following Florida counties: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia.

There are 14 producers, 14 handlers, 8 importers and one public member on the 37-member board. 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. The board meets regularly to plan promotion, marketing and research activities that benefit the industry.

Watermelon growingFor a nomination form, contact the board’s Director of Operations & Industry Affairs Rebekah Dossett or Industry Affairs Manager Andrea Smith at 407-657-0261. Questions may also be directed to Tarun Harit, AMS Specialty Crops Program marketing specialist at 202-720-9915 or email

USDA encourages board membership that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by the programs and invites all eligible to seek nomination for a seat on the National Watermelon Promotion Board.  The national program is industry-funded and since 1989 has supported domestic and international marketing and promotion of watermelons. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) oversees the board’s activities.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards that are industry-funded and empower agricultural industries with a framework to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.

More information about the board is available on the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.  More information about research and promotion programs is available at the Research & Promotions Programs page of the AMS website.