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Nominations opening for watermelon promotion board

The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) will hold a nomination teleconference on February 16, 2022 at 11 a.m. (EST) for District 4 and February 16, 2022 at 1 p.m. (EST) for District 5 to nominate qualified watermelon producers and watermelon handlers to fill open positions as directors of the board.

The districts break down as:

  • District 4: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, DC.
  • District 5: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The NWPB encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities who qualify to attend the meeting and run for nomination.

All producers/handlers in Districts 4 & 5 are encouraged to attend and vote. Nominations are submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretary of Agriculture makes the final appointments to the NWPB. The term of office begins January 1st, 2023 and ends December 31st, 2025.

Board members administer promotion and research programs for watermelon. The NWPB works to increase consumer demand for watermelon and expand domestic and foreign markets through its marketing, consumer public relations and education programs.
All board members are required to attend two meetings annually to become familiar with and develop marketing, research and education programs.

The NWPB represents about 800 commercial watermelon producers, handlers and importers that finance the board’s programs through assessments on watermelons as authorized by the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act. The 30-member Board is currently comprised of 10 producers, 10 handlers, nine importers and a member representing the public.

To be eligible, producers must grow 10+ acres of watermelon and handlers must be the first handler of watermelon, according to §1210.306 and §1210.308 of the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan.

Consistent with §1210.403, the NWPB will allow proxy voting for board nominees. Individuals voting by proxy should prepare signed, dated statements, including the proxy voter’s printed name, address, telephone number, identity as a producer or handler and the name of the individual authorized to cast the proxy vote. These statements should be given to those authorized to cast the proxy vote, who will then provide the statements to the NWPB no later than February 2nd, 2022.

Producers and handlers appointed will represent the NWPB’s interests throughout the district in meetings/other forums, and should support the board’s marketing, promotion, research and education programs.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting NWPB director of operations & industry affairs Rebekah Dossett (407) 605-5984 or industry affairs manager Andrea Smith (407) 613-2972.

Individuals with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations/alternative means of communication for information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, LEP, etc.) should contact: Rebekah Dossett within seven days of the event. 

For more information:
Andrea Smith
National Watermelon Promotion Board
Tel: +1 (407) 657-0261 x 205
asmith@watermelon.org 
www.watermelon.org 


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