USDA Seeks Nominees for National Watermelon Promotion Board

November 30, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations of qualified watermelon producers and handlers for eight seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Appointees will be selected by the secretary of agriculture and will succeed members whose terms of office expire on Dec. 31, 2022.  Appointed members will serve a three-year term.

Nominees are needed to fill two producer seats and two handler seats in District 4 and District 5.

District 4 consists of the following states: 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 consists of: 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 board will hold teleconference calls in early 2022 for each district, so that producers and handlers may select their representatives. For more information about district meetings and nomination information, contact Rebekah Dossett, the board’s director of operations and industry affairs, or Andrea Smith, the board’s industry affairs manager, at (407) 657-0261.

The board is made up of 30 industry members including 10 producers, 10 handlers, nine importers, and one public member.  More information about the board is available on the AMS website, and on the board’s website, .  You may also contact, Marlene Betts, marketing specialist, USDA, at (202) 720-5057 or

AMS policy is that diversity of the board should reflect the diversity of its industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table.  When submitting nominations, the industry must consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.

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 22 boards. The oversight ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity, and is paid for by industry assessments.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender