Greetings from Alabama,
Watermelon season is here and Queen Lenze has
been busy learning about the watermelon industry
from start to finish. The 2015 Queen Tour started
with the annual National Watermelon Promotion
Board Queen Training in Raleigh, NC. Bayer Crop
Science and Nunhems welcomed us to their amazing Bayer Bee Research Facility. Queen Lenze and
our 1st runner up Paige left training prepared and
ready to start their promotions.
Next we were off to Charleston, SC to the Cooper
River Bridge Run. Queen Lenze and many other
state queens helped the South Carolina Watermelon
Association pass out watermelon to thousands of
runners. This run is ranked as the 3rd largest 10k in
America. From one race to another…Queen Lenze
had the opportunity to attend two Winn-Dixie
Stores and the Talladega Race with the watermelon
race car driver, Ross Chastain. What a great start to
a great season!
With watermelon season in full swing comes watermelon festivals. Queen Lenze attended the Newberry
and Chiefland Watermelon Festivals where she rode
in the parade, visited the festivals and welcomed the
newly crowned festival queens. While in Florida,
we were able to visit a few special people and see
them in action this season. Thank you for taking
the time to visit with us: Mr. Billy and Mrs. Corliss
Smith with Billy Smith Watermelons, Mr. Jeff and
Mrs. Bobbie Jo Garrett with Clifton Seed, Mr. Trey
and Mrs. Amber Smith, Mr. Terry Parrish with Clifton Seed, Mr. Rantz and Mrs. Stephanie Smith with
Smith Farms, and Mr. Dan Thomas with Diamond
99. Thank you all for your hospitality and support!
Queen Lenze was invited to speak at the annual Alabama Ag in the Classroom convention. She spoke
to over 100 teachers on how to use watermelon in
their classroom and shared the Breakfast A-Go-Go
recipe. Alabama Ag in the Classroom provides
teachers with the tools needed to educate students
on the importance of agriculture and how it affects
their daily lives.
We have covered a lot of ground already and have
much more to cover. The next few months will be
filled with farm tours, grocery store promotions,
watermelon festivals visits, farmers’ market visits,
and media interviews. We hope to see you soon in
Alabama Watermelon Association
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, 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 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 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.
What a view in Charleston SC before the Bi-Lo Expo
Ross Chastain and Queen Lenze handing out watermelon at the
Winn-Dixie Race Festival
National Queen Emily, Queen Lenze, and 1st runner up Paige
investigating bee hives first hand
Learning how seeds become seedlings at Valdosta
Plant Company with Mr. Tom Daughtry
Enjoying the Chiefland Festival with Stephanie and Rantz
Smith and Murray Tills
Queen Lenze and two of the runners at the Cooper River Run
Welcoming the 2015 Chiefland Watermelon Queen
FL Queen Kelli
and Queen Lenze
ready for the Chief-
Congratulations to the 2015 Newberry Watermelon Queen
Touring Clifton Seed with Mr. Jeff Garrett in Moultrie Georgia Watermelon for the Win! Ross and Queen Lenze ready to go
on the Talladega Race Track
ready to pass out
fuel the athletes at
the Cooper River
Queen Lenze and National Queen Emily handing out samples
at the Bi-Lo Expo
Queen Lenze and some of the teaches at Alabama
Ag in the Classroom
Trey Smith showing Queen Lenze how watermelons get from
the field to the packing shed
Queen Lenze and Mr. Billy and Mrs. Corliss Smith at
Billy Smith Watermelons