The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations of qualified watermelon producers, handlers, importers, and one public member for nine seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The Secretary of Agriculture will appoint individuals to succeed members whose terms of office expire on Dec. 31, 2023. Appointed members will serve three-year terms.
Nominees are needed to fill two producer seats and two handler seats for District 1, which is the State of Florida. Nominees are also needed to fill four importer seats and one public member seat.
The board will hold teleconference calls in early 2023 for District 1, for producers and handlers to select their representatives, and representatives for importer seats as well. For more information about the teleconference meetings and to obtain nomination information, contact the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s Director of Operations, Rebekah Dossett, or Industry Affairs Manager Andrea Smith at (407) 657-0261. Public members who are interested in serving on the board should contact them as well.
The board is made up of 30 industry members including ten producers, ten handlers, nine importers, and one public member. More information about the board is available on the National Watermelon Promotion Board webpage on the AMS website or on the board’s website, www.watermelon.org. For additional information, contact USDA Marketing Specialist Marlene Betts at Marlene.Betts@usda.gov or by phone at (202) 720-5057.
AMS policy is that diversity of the boards, councils and committees it oversees 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, 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.
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