Release No. 007-14
Hakim Fobia (202) 690-0488
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations for the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Applications for 13 open seats are due by June 2, 2014.
The 37-member board includes producers, first handlers and importers nominated by their peers, and one member nominated by the board to represent the public. Currently, the board is looking to fill eight importer seats and the public member seat. Two producer and two handler seats in District one are also open. District one covers 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 counties in Florida. Producer and handler members from other districts will be selected in upcoming years.
Watermelon first handlers and producers growing 10 or more acres of watermelon are eligible for board nomination. Selected members will serve three-year terms of office.
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 National Watermelon Promotion Board. If you would like more information or a nomination form for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, please contact the Director of Operations & Industry Affairs, Rebekah Dossett, or Industry Affairs Manager, Andrea Smith, toll-free at (877) 599-9595.
Research and promotion programs are industry-funded, were authorized by Congress and date back to 1966. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 21 research and promotion boards. They empower agricultural industries by establishing a framework for them to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, helping to ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.
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