Queen Shelby has hit the ground running since she was crowned at our convention in February. Her first appearance was the Maryland Agriculture dinner,
where she met Secretary of Agriculture, Buddy Hance. Then it was off to
North Carolina for their convention, where we had a fabulous time and enjoyed
the warm and beautiful Wrightsville Beach! It was not long and we were leaving again for Queen Training in Orlando, where NWPB had planned a wonderful weekend for our queens. Thank you to all the staff at NWPB for such an
informative training! We are very appreciative! Shelby and I had decided after
training we were not unpacking our suitcases because we left three days later
for the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC! This experience for all the
queens and coordinators was incredible. We served 40,000 cups of watermelon
to over 10,000 runners! The outpouring response from these runners when they
saw watermelon after their race was unbelievable. We also did grocery store
promotions at Bi-Lo Stores before attending the marathon on Saturday. Thank
you Ann Bryant and the SC Association for such a remarkable, well-planned
trip and your hospitality. When we returned, Shelby learned how watermelons
are germinated at Vincent Farms. A huge thank you to Ray and Clay Vincent,
as well as your staff for taking the time to teach Shelby how the process works.
Farm to School programs are quickly becoming popular in many communities
and Shelby was asked to attend a Kickoff for a Farm to School program in an
Elementary School in Laurel, DE, where she learned about the program and
the importance of fresh produce in school lunches. Shelby also tasted some of
the fresh asparagus that was on the menu for the day, handed out stickers to the
students in the cafeteria, and chatted with some of our local farmers and members of our association, Pat Hastings and Katey Evans. Shelby’s next school
visit was filled with slightly bigger “kids.” She was off to the University of
Delaware’s Ag Day, where she served slices of watermelons, handed out coloring books, stickers, recipes, and brochures. It was such a nice day that we had
served a whole bin of watermelons in less than three hours! Way to go Shelby!
As we “crawled” into May, Shelby was teaching over 500 students how to
do the Watermelon Crawl at Nemours Healthy Kid’s Day, so that they could
see how fun exercising can really be! In staying with the “healthy” theme,
Shelby served slices of watermelon at the Health and Heritage Day in Mardela
Springs, MD. Next stop was our stop at the MS Bike a Thon in Cambridge,
MD, where cyclists took a break and enjoyed some of our refreshing slices of
watermelon. Some of them return each year and had biked 100 miles in just a
few hours, so they were raving about how glad they were to have watermelon
again and see the new queen!
Shelby may be new to the queen role, but she is no stranger to watermelons, as her family also farms. The experiences that she has had thus far
have opened her eyes and I know that with the busy summer season we have
planned ahead of us, she will have the time of her life in this role!
We would like to thank Melon1 for supplying us with watermelons for
our spring promotions. This is a huge help to know we can always count on
you to have watermelons
waiting for us wherever
and whenever we need them!
I would like to personally
thank everyone in the watermelon industry for welcoming
me as the new Mar-Del
Promotions Coordinator. As
you all know, Dawn Collins
may have small feet, but the
shoes she wears are huge and I
am in close contact with her as
I step into this new role. I have
a true passion for the watermelon industry and as a nurse,
I appreciate the opportunity to
promote their benefits to overall
health and wellness. The
experiences that I too will have
in this role will help me to share
with the farmers examples of
how their product impacts the
rest of the world.
We wish everyone a successful season and we cannot wait
to get this summer started after
our cold and snowy winter!
Warm Watermelon Wishes,
Mar-Del Watermelon Association
A bin full of queens during the Cooper River Bridge
Run in SC.
Farm to School participants and members of our association,
Pat Hastings and Katey Evans.
Ray and Clay
Vincent of Vincent Farms for
the germination process
Shelby’s first trip to
Disney World we
squeezed in before
we left to come
home from Queen
Shelby is a pro at planting watermelons!
The bikers at the MS Bike a Thon could not wait to make it to
our resting stop!
Shelby planted watermelons for the Givens brothers, shown
here with their crew.
This biker had
100 miles when
she stopped for
Shelby teaches the students how they can exercise – one way
is by line dancing to the “Watermelon Crawl!”
We had the pleasure of serving this little guy his first taste of
watermelon – and he loved it!
The queens gained so much knowledge and have been well-prepared for the season ahead of promoting!
The kids at Nemours Healthy Kid’s Day loved having a queen
in their presence!
and even served
some slices of
him at the Cooper River Bridge
Ripe and ready
for a busy season of promoting our favorite
Shelby’s first in store grocery promotion at Bi-Lo’s in SC.
It was one busy day at the University of Delaware’s Ag Day!
Mar-Del and SC Queens with NC Queen at the NC Convention
held in Wrightsville Beach.
Maryland’s Secretary of Agriculture, Buddy Hance at
MD Ag Dinner.
NWPB with our queen during Queen Training in Orlando!