Greetings from Georgia!
Our Georgia watermelon season is coming to a close but we have had an
awesome year promoting this favorite and delicious fruit. Our queen tour
has been full of many adventures visiting many wonderful locations. The
queen tour has been a great success and we’ve been marketing sweet Georgia
watermelon in Georgia, several other states and in Canada!
June and July were very busy months for Queen Andi. We promoted watermelon in the ‘Watermelon Capital of the World’, Cordele Georgia where
GWA participated in the parade, hosted the Sweet Melon and adult seed spit
contests, and attended the Farm Bureau annual luncheon. Thank you to Janice and Mitch Mitchell for your support with this annual event! Queen Andi
was interviewed by several local news stations – WALB in Albany and WSST
in Cordele. She also took time to tour several farms in South Georgia to learn
from the growers about their practices. Thank you to Kendra Kennedy for
escorting Queen Andi for these visits! Thank you to our Melon 1 family for
providing a delicious meal for us that evening! GWA received a special invitation to join Southeastern Grocers, parent company to BI-LO, Harveys and
Winn-Dixie stores, for their meet-and-greet with customers at the Harveys
store in Macon, Georgia. This event was in celebration of their commitment
to source local fresh produce in their stores. TV host and Award winning
Chef Curtis Stone was available to visit with consumers and share some of
his favorite watermelon recipes. Queen Andi got some facetime with Chef
Stone to share her experiences and role as the Georgia Watermelon Queen.
The month of June ended with Queen Andi joining the other state queens
with their annual trip to Toronto, Canada and the Longos store promotions
and watermelon eating contests. Thank you NWPB for sponsoring us on this
trip and thank you to Brad Brownsey for giving up your day to be our escort
and tour guide in your beautiful city! Just after our Canadian excursion, we
hit the ground running to promote Georgia watermelon at the Publix store in
Albany, Georgia followed by handing out samples at the commissary at the
Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base. The consumers loved engaging with
Queen Savannah and learning more about this delicious treat. Queen Andi
and Queen Savannah were hard at it and on the go during the month of June!
Thank you ladies for all of your hard work and representing our association!
Continuing our watermelon journey, July opened up with Queen Andi being featured on ATL & Co.’s week day segment to talk about her role as a
watermelon queen where she shared a recipe with the viewers. Following
this media event, we were invited for an in-store promotion that afternoon at
the Fresh Market in Atlanta, GA. Our travels continued to Moody Air Force
Base in Albany, GA to talk up watermelon and hand out samples. Just after
the fourth of July, Queen Savannah traveled to Savannah to represent the
GWA in three commissaries - Fort Stewart, Hunter Air Force Base and Kings
Bay. It was hot in southern, coastal Georgia and watermelon continued to
be in demand! We handed out lots of this tasty, healthy treat to the shoppers.
Atlanta Fulton Public Library celebrated the opening of their new Southeast
Branch in July. Not only were they celebrating their new location, they were
also celebrating Watermelon Month! Queen Andi was invited to join in on
the occasion to come and talk to the children about ‘all things watermelon’.
They even prepared watermelon slushies for everyone to enjoy! Other events
we attended during July were the Youth World Barrel Race Championship,
Fort Benning Commissary and South Georgia farm visits. GWA appreciates
Kendra Kennedy and Jenna Saxon for accompanying Queen Andi to several
events during the month of July! Thank you to Melon 1 for feeding us on the
evening of our farm visits.
August began with our annual MarDel Queen Tour. Wow! What an awesome week we had on the Eastern shore! From passing out samples of
watermelon on the Rehoboth boardwalk to visits at the FARM STAND at the
Givens’, lunch with the Melon 1 folks, our fun dining experience at The Old
Mill Crab House. We ended our tour with handing out watermelon slices at
the world’s largest crab feast - the 71st annual Rotary Club of Annapolis Crab
Feast with nearly 2500 people in attendance! Everyone enjoyed cooling off
with refreshing locally-grown Maryland watermelon! Thank you to Caitlyn
and Scott Givens and all of your family for welcoming us and being such
On the horizon, we have many more promotions to look forward to this year
- Savannah Food & Wine Festival, PMA Fresh Summit Show, Marine Corps
Marathon to name a few. We can’t wait to share those experiences with you
in our next issue!
Would you like to schedule a date for our Georgia Watermelon Queen to visit
your location? Please call Dawn Cheplick at 706-845-8575 or dcheplick@
asginfo.net to book the queen.
Dawn Cheplick, Promotions Coordinator
Greetings from the Alabama Association!
The 32nd annual Alabama Watermelon Association
Convention was held in February at the Beau Rivage
Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. The convention was full
of fun, excitement, and even karaoke! This year was a
great success and a special thank you to all the sponsors:
Allen Lund Company, Billy Smith’s Watermelons, Inc.,
Clifton Seed Company, Genecco Produce, International
Paper, LTF Greenhouses, McMelon, Inc, Morgan Wood
Products, National Watermelon Association, National
Watermelon Promotion Board, Rock Tenn, Sakata Seed,
Sunny Fresh, Valdosta Plant Company, and Williams
Manis Produce Marketing. Thank you all for making
our convention not only possible, but a great success.
There are a few more people who received awards
for their hard work, generosity, and support. Mr. Terry
Jones, Southern Quality Shippers received the King
Buyer Award and Mr. Rantz Smith, Smith Farms of Bell,
Inc received the King Donor Award. Ray Gilliland of
Ray Gilliland Melons received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mrs. Corliss Smith of Billy Smith’s Watermelons received the Jan Ware Award. Mr. Jay Jones
of Sakata Seed received the Outstanding Service Award.
Thank you all for your dedication the association, it is
One last farewell to the 2011 Alabama Watermelon
Queen, Miss Ann-Marie Urrutia. A special thank you
for all your hard work and dedication, over the past year.
You have represented the Alabama Association with
great pride and elegance! Ann-Marie has been an outstanding representative for our association. In addition,
thank you to all that helped make her year so special.
We had four outstanding young women compet-
ing for the 2012 Alabama Watermelon Queen position.
Miss Meghan Patterson of Thorsby, sponsored by Sunny
Fresh, Miss Leah Knight of Berry sponsored by McMelon, Miss Amber Nolin of Enterprise, sponsored by
Billy Smith’s Watermelons, and Miss Jaime Minor of
Muscle Shoals, sponsored by Gulf Seed. Congratulations to Miss Amber Nolin on your new role as the 2012
Alabama Watermelon Queen. Miss Amber is the 20
year old daughter of Greg and Renea Nolin. She lives
in Enterprise and attends Enterprise Sate Community
Amber and I are both very excited to get this year
started. We will be attending the Florida Watermelon
Convention on March 23rd-25th in Tampa, FL. Following that Amber will attend the Queen Training hosted
by the National Watermelon Promotion Board, visit
elementary schools, attend watermelon festivals, and
complete a farm tour. Amber is eager to start her year
learning about and promoting watermelons.
Newly crowned Queen Amber with her sponsor, Mr. Billy and
Mrs. Corliss Smith.
Queen Amber with Mr. Kelley and Mrs. Jean Marinaro
An amazing group of “has beens!”
Queen Kimberly, Queen Whitney, Queen Amber, Queen Ann-
Marie, and Queen Katelyn
2nd runner up, Leah Knight, Queen Amber, and 1st runner up
Queen Ann-Marie receiving her beautiful watermelon jewelry
from the AWA board.
Contestants getting tips on the seed spit competition from Mr.
Visiting Queens, contestants, board members and special guest
after the auction at the AWA convention.
All the beautiful contestants ready for evening gown
Queen Ann-Marie and Queen Katelyn, Congratulations on
With Affirmed, Bold Ruler and Citation,
Growers across the country are enjoying the
benefits of wide adaptability, high yield,
excellent uniformity and sweet flavor.
Celebrating Watermelon Month at Atlanta Fulton Library
Surprise visit to
Leger & Son
Thank you Scott Davis for organizing this event at
Look what’s on sale
at the Fresh Market
Queen Andi with
Chef Curtis Stone
Live and on the TV set of ATL & Co.
MarDel Tour would not be complete without a trip to the Old
In store at Longos gearing up for a thirsty crowd
First Runner Up Savannah Hartley with the galley chef. Check
out his cool carvings!
First Runner Up Savannah Hartley at Hunter Air Force Base
Queen Andi & Brad Brownsey coordinating the Annual
Longos watermelon eating contest