The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of nine members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The appointees from District 1, Importers, and Public Member will serve three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2024, and expires on Dec. 31, 2026.
The newly appointed members are:
- District 1 Producer: Kyler Bishop, Punta Gorda, Florida
- District 1 Producer: Chad Chastain, Punta Gorda, Florida
- District 1 Handler: SeayJae Lee, Immokalee, Florida
- District 1 Handler: Jill Barton, Lake Wales, Florida
- Importer: Christopher M. Dyer, Mission, Texas
- Importer: Matthew Nicholas Tanner, Los Angeles, California
- Importer: Jacklyn Flores, Edinburg, Texas
- Importer: Gerardo A. Lozano, Edinburg, Texas
- Public Member: Jenny R. Black, Lakeland, Florida
The National Watermelon Promotion Board has 30 members, including 10 producers, 10 handlers, nine importers and one public member. Members can serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. The producer and handler members are from five districts that divide the production of watermelons into equal production volume, and each district is represented on the Board by two producers and two handlers.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
AMS policy is that diversity of the boards, councils and committees it oversees should reflect the diversity of their industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors, including but not limited to individuals from historically underserved communities, that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Throughout the full nomination process, the industry must conduct extensive outreach, paying particular attention to reaching underserved communities, and consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender