WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it is seeking nominations of qualified watermelon producers and handlers for four seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Secretary Sonny Perdue will appoint individuals to serve terms of office that will begin Jan.1, 2021, and end Dec. 31, 2023.
Nominees are needed to fill two producer seats and two handler seats for District 1 (the state of Florida).
For a nomination form, contact the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s Director of Operations and Industry Affairs Rebekah Dossett or Industry Affairs Manager Andrea Smith at (407) 657-0261. Individuals wishing to vote by proxy should submit signed and dated statements that include the proxy voter’s printed name, address, telephone number, identity as an importer, and the name of the individual authorized to cast the proxy vote. The statements must be submitted no later than Jan. 16, 2020.
The board is made up of 41 industry members including 14 producers, 14 handlers, 12 importers and one public member. More information about the board is available on the National Watermelon Promotion Board web page on the AMS website and on the board’s website, www.watermelon.org. You may also contact USDA Marketing Specialist Stacy Jones King, at (202) 720-9915 or Stacy.JonesKing@usda.gov.
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.