Happy New Year everyone! The Georgia Queen 2013 Tour is winding down, and a new year is gearing up! Our 2014 GWA convention
is returning to St. Simons, GA and will be held at the Sea Palms
Golf and Tennis Resort. The hotel contact number is 1-800-841-
6268. If you need assistance, call our office and 706-845-8575. The
weekend is packed with exciting opportunities including educational
sessions, receptions and live and silent auctions! Join us as we
kick of the 2014 Watermelon Season! As the year closes, we want
to issue a special thanks to all of our donors and sponsors for the
2013 promotions tour. Without your support, the association and the
queen program would not continue to be the success it is today!
The month of October was jam-packed for Queen Carol Anne!
First, we joined with other Georgia industry representatives and
headed to Washington D.C. for the Washington Public Policy
Conference. We marched Capitol Hill, and heard from Senate and
House Agriculture Committee Representatives in one of the most
historic times for our country. We sat down with Congressman
Jack Kingston, among others, on the day of the shutdown – and
even in that stressful time – it put a smile on his face to visit with
growers and especially the watermelon queen. We took advantage
of our time there to remind congressmen and women about the
importance of the produce industry, and how the industry needs
a farm bill and immigration reform. From there, Carol Anne and
the Watermelon Association headed to the bayou for the Produce
Marketing Association’s annual Fresh Summit meeting in New Orleans. We were able to network with produce buyers from across
the country, and support all of the Georgia producers represented
under the Georgia Pavilion. We also visited the NWPB’s exhibit
and helped hand out watermelon samples! More time well spent
marketing for the Georgia watermelon Industry!
At the end of October, Carol Anne joined with other state queens
for the NWPB’s major promotional sponsorship with the Marine
Corp Marathon and Fitness Expo in Washington DC. Final numbers for the marathon estimated that our queens, NWPB staff, and
state coordinators distributed more than 48,000 watermelon samples. Fitness gurus, chefs, and athletes alike are beginning to realize the nutritional value of watermelon, and this event was a major
contribution to that publicity! A HUGE thanks to Jenna Saxon,
stand-in coordinator for Georgia, the NWPB for their event planning, and Don Hiller for supplying the watermelon! An additional
Thanks to the NWA for their financial support to each association
that participated! We accomplish so much as an industry when we
team up together for promotional events!
Queen Carol Anne will represent GWA at the National Watermelon
Associations 100th celebration in February in Savannah, Georgia.
Carol Anne will do an excellent job for us there, and has been a
blessing to work with this year. She is outgoing, friendly, has a
true love for watermelon and the agricultural industry, and shows
passion and excitement in everything she does. GWA is very
proud of all she has done for us this past year, and we look forward
to supporting her in February.
As I come to my 1 year anniversary as promotions coordinator
for GWA – thanks to all of you who have been a resource for me!
Thank you also for letting me into the family with such grace and
acceptance, and thank you for introducing me to an amazing segment of the produce industry!
We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming conventions, and
thank you again for your support of the Georgia 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 Achieve-
ment Award. Mrs. Corliss Smith of Billy Smith’s Wa-
termelons 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 out-
standing 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 Mc-
Melon, Miss Amber Nolin of Enterprise, sponsored by
Billy Smith’s Watermelons, and Miss Jaime Minor of
Muscle Shoals, sponsored by Gulf Seed. Congratula-
tions 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.
Carol Anne at the Georgia Grown Pavilion at PMA in
attendee in DC
Carol Anne Passing out Watermelon at the NWPB Booth
Promoting at Whole Foods during the Mar-Del Queen Tour
We have had
Thanks to the Class Produce Group for the watermelons to
pass out at the Marine Corp Marathon!
We marched on Capitol Hill on the day of the government
Shaking hands with Congressman Kingston at Washington
Public Policy Conference
Watermelon Queens and Chef Poon at PMA
Passing out watermelon at the Marine Corp Marathon! Anne!
Carol Anne with Rusty and Pam Autry at PMA