WAIKOLOA, HI -- The National Watermelon Association held its 105th annual convention on the Big Island of Hawai'i, which featured various presentations and recognition of industry members.
Haley Keenan of Vincent Farms in Laurel, DE, presented her brother, Jonah Vincent, with the Future Watermelon Farm Leaders Award.
Rick Overholt, regional sales manager of Chep, presented a donation from the company to NWA in the amount of $18,798.76 to NWA President Ray Vincent of Vincent Farms. The donation is the result of a partnership between the two organizations that provides financial support for the association as more members use CHEP pallets to transport watermelons to retail.
The National Watermelon Promotion Board was recognized for its work in promoting watermelons at the Marine Corps Marathon, held each October in Washington, DC. Flanking NWPB staffers Megan McKenna, Rebekah Dossett and Mark Arney are NWPB President Jesse Wiggins of Wiggins Farms and Kitt Moore of Melon 1.
Kenny Lund, vice president of ALC Logistics, a division of Allen Lund Co., which was a Platinum sponsor of the NWA convention, presented a check for $15,000 to NWA on behalf of the company. Accepting the check was John Gee, first vice president of the NWA.
Craig Stokes of Stokes Law Office, gave an update about possible legal consequences when it comes to factoring of invoices and warned that exclusive agreements can be catastrophic to farmers.
Mark Arney, chief executive officer of the National Watermelon Promotion Board, gave an update on the board's activities and how they have increased watermelon consumption. The NWPB is celebrating its 30th year in operation.
Jessica McCabe, a YouTube personality who maintains the channel How to ADHD, spoke of the challenges she has faced after being diagnosed with the condition. She closed her presentation with a song she wrote about ADHD.
Eight state chapter watermelon queens competed for the title of National Watermelon Queen during the NWA convention. Here, the contestants participated in the promotion wear portion of the competition. The eventual winner was Katie Honeycutt (far right) from North Carolina.
Dean Liere, regional portfolio manager at Syngenta, presented John Gee, vice president of the National Watermelon Association, with a $10,000 donation to the NWA state watermelon queen program. The donation commemorates the shipment of the billionth Full Count watermelon transplant.