We’re proud to report on a tremendous annual conference
back in St. Simons this year. We held our meeting at the
King & Prince Beach and Gold Resort where attendees enjoyed a day at the shooting range, golf course and a packed
The GWA Annual Convention had record high attendance this
year! More than 265 growers and watermelon agribusinesses
joined us this year and we raised $250,000 through the live
auction. A BIG THANKS to our load donors, buyers and other
auction supporters for this 2016 event. This association will
thrive due to your support and passion for the industry and
we’re excited about the upcoming year. Also, thanks for the
support given by our CORPORATE sponsors for the meeting;
it would not be possible without your kind donations.
We were excited to have EIGHT top notch contestants for
our annual queen contest this year that competed thanks to
our contestant sponsors. THANK YOU Leger & Son Inc.,
Borders Melons East, Pal King Pallets, LTF Greenhouses,
Atlantic Pallet Exchange, Darren and Tammy Deal, International Paper, and Gibson Produce for your support of our
contestants! Congratulations to our 2nd runner up, Marlena
Collins sponsored by Gibson Produce and 1st runner up, Savannah Hartley sponsored by Pal King Pallets, and our Miss
Jubilee Winner, Isabella Connor sponsored by International
Paper Finally –congratulations to our 2016 Georgia Watermelon Queen, Miss Andi Dickerson! Andi is from Adel,
Georgia and currently has her Associates degree in Marketing from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Andi was
sponsored by Borders Melons East.
Queen Andi has started her year on the run! Queen Andi traveled to Tifton, Georgia to network with Harvey’s store managers for a Georgia Grown event, passed out watermelon yogurt
parfaits at the annual Georgia Ag Day at the Capitol and spoke
to hundreds of kindergarteners at Dooley County Ag Day in
Vienna. Later this spring, Andi will travel to Orlando, Florida
for Watermelon Ambassador Training with the National Watermelon Promotion Board, swing over to Charleston, SC to
hand out watermelon to the thousands of runners at the Cooper
River Bridge Run. She also has 5 other school events scheduled before the end of the school year. Whew! We are glad to
help schools promote agriculture and specifically watermelon!
If you are interested in booking our new Georgia Watermelon
Queen, please call ahead to schedule a date for our 2016 tour
by calling Dawn Cheplick at 706-845-8575 or dcheplick@
In closing, GWA would like to congratulate Miss Carla Penney, the new 2016 National Watermelon Queen on an outstanding weekend in New Orleans for the National Watermelon Annual Meeting. We could not be more proud to see her
succeed and continue to use her passion for the people in this
industry to promote watermelon! Looking forward to seeing
you all this summer!
Georgia Watermelon Association
Membership Services Coordinator
P O Box 1109
LaGrange, GA 30241
(706) 845-8575 Office • (706) 883-8215 Fax
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 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.
GWA 2016 1st Runner Up Savannah Hartley, Queen Andi, 2nd
Runner up Marlena Collins
Congratulations 2016 GWA Queen, Andi Dickerson!
With Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black
At the Georgia Grown showcase with Harveys
Queen Andi went to visit her sponsor Borders Melons East!
Congratulations 2015 GWA Queen Carla Penney on your
new title as the 2016 National Queen! We are so proud!
Teaching kids in Dooley Co. about Georgia Watermelons
They love stickers!
Ag Day at the Capitol in Atlanta, GA
Show us your ‘W’!