Greetings from the Alabama Association!
The Alabama Watermelon Association Convention was held in February at the Beau Rivage
Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. This year’s convention was a huge success and could not have
been possible without our convention sponsors:
ALFA, Clifton Seed Company, Continental Produce, Genecco Produce, International Paper, LFT
Greenhouses, McMelon, Multicorr, Nunhems
USA, Premier Melon Company, Syngenta, Borders Melons, Browning & Sons, Freight Movers,
LLC, National Watermelon Association, Rouses
Supermarkets, WestRock, Billy Smith’s Watermelon, CHEP USA, Harris Moran Seed Company, Intergro, Morgan Wood Products, National
Watermelon Promotion Board, Siegers Seed
Company, Valdosta Plant Company.
This year we had six wonderful young ladies
compete for position of the 2016 Alabama Watermelon Queen. Congratulations to the 2016 Queen
Madison Laney from Ariton, 1st runner-up Paige
Severino from Enterprise and 2nd runner-up
Bailey Sawyers from Dothan. Thank you to our
Queen Contestant Sponsors: Billy Smith’s Watermelons, Clifton Seed Company, Double A Farms,
Gulf Seed, International Paper, and Intergro.
Queen Madison and I are both very excited to get
started this year. We will be attending the Cooper
River Bridge Run in South Carolina in March and
then the National Watermelon Promotion Board
training in Orlando, FL. Following the training
we will start the 2016 Queen Tour handing out
watermelon at races, visiting elementary schools
all across Alabama, attending watermelon festivals and farmers markets, completing farm tours
in Georgia, Alabama and Florida, and many other
Last but not least, the Alabama Watermelon Association would like to congratulate our 2015
Queen Lenze Morris on being selected 2nd runner
up at the National Watermelon Queen Competition. 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! In addition, thank you to all that
have helped make her year so special!
See you all soon,
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, RockTenn, 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 competing 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 ready for opening number.
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.
© 2012 Sakata Seed America, Inc.
Queen Lenze thanking Ms. Cheryl Hicks with West Rock for
the beautiful gold watermelon ring.
2015 AL Queen Lenze Morris, 1st runner up Paige Severino,
2016 Queen Madison Laney, and 2nd runner up
Bay Leigh Sawyers.
Queen Lenze, Mardel Queen Courtney, GA Queen Carla, and
FL Queen Kelli enjoying time together in Tampa, FL at the
Florida Watermelon Convention.
AWA President Jeff Garrett and Bobbie Jo Garrett with 2016
Alabama Watermelon Queen, Madison Laney.
Jason Hanselman with the National Watermelon Promotion
Board visiting with the Queens at the Alabama Watermelon
Congratulations to the 2016 Florida Watermelon Queen,
Katy May Harrison.
Syngenta’s Bill Bussey visiting with Queen Lenze during the
National Watermelon Convention.
Congratulations to the 2016 Georgia Watermelon Queen,
What a great job these ladies have done this year. 1st runner
up NC Queen Carmen, 2016 National Queen Carla, 2nd runner
up AL Queen Lenze, and 2015 National Queen Emily.
These ladies love watermelon! A beautiful day in
St Simons Island, GA.
Members of the Alabama Watermelon Association
congratulating Queen Lenze on a job well done!
Congratulations to the 2016 MarDel Watermelon Queen, Amy
Harry Vaughn with Gulf Seed, Queen Lenze and Will Hales
the MarDel Association President during auction.