USDA Announces Appointments to the National Watermelon Promotion Board

October 21, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of eight members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022.

Members appointed or reappointed are:

  • District 4 Handler: John Lapide, Laurel, Del.
  • District 4 Handler: Cody Smith, Decker, Ind.
  • District 4 Producer: Jacob Horall, Oaktown, Ind.
  • District 4 Producer: Blake Mouzin, Vincennes, Ind.
  • District 5 Handler: Kelly Partch, Brawley, Calif.
  • District 7 Handler: Chris Elsie, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • District 7 Producer: Cassidy Carpenter, Clovis, N.M.
  • District 7 Handler: Jeremy Holden, Las Cruces, N.M.

The 41-member board is composed of 14 producers, 14 handlers, 12 importers and one public member. One-third of the board members are appointed each year.

More information about the National Watermelon Promotion Board, including a roster of members, is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Watermelon Promotion Board webpage and on the board’s website at

Since 1966, Congress has authorized industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries 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 to 21 boards. The oversight ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity, and is paid for by industry assessments.

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