Happy New Year Y’all! I pray everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
We have been very blessed to have Queen Kendall as the 2013 Texas
Watermelon Queen. Kendall has been a wonderful queen. She has
been very helpful, easy to travel with, and always willing to try new
things. I have asked her to give a review of her year from her perspective, so she has written the rest of this letter.
Barbara Duda TWA Secretary/Coordinator
Most recently I attended our annual Texas Watermelon Convention at South Padre Island. This was a bitter sweet weekend. I was
so happy to be there and share my year with everyone, but finally
realizing that my year representing the Texas Watermelon Association
is coming to an end was a very surreal moment. I would like to thank
everyone who supported me and helped make my year as incredible
as it was. I would like to extend a big thank you to Borders Melons,
Mc Whirter Farms, Anderson Produce, and Javi Farms for a great
promotion in Plains, TX. I fell in love with this small town in the one
day I was there. Everyone came out to the festival sharing their love
of watermelon by playing games, shopping, listening to music, and
catching up with friends. I had a blast playing games with everyone
and even judging a car show!
Attending Race for a Cure in Minneapolis was an amazing promo-
tion thanks to Warren Produce. We were able to hand out an abundant
amount of watermelon cups to runners and by standers who were all
there to support the fight against breast cancer. Although it was freez-
ing cold we still put on our watermelon eating contest, and boy was that
something else! Watermelon was everywhere! This promotion really
stood out to me because we were there to help support a good cause and
hand out watermelon to hydrate those who were “running for a cure.”
This year I made two trips to Washington, D.C. and although I
went to the same city both times, it didn’t feel like it at all. During
our first visit to Washington, D.C., the government shut down. This
first time Mrs. Duda and I flew out to attend the United Fresh Public
Policy Conference. We were able to meet with Congressman, Sam
Johnson, and talk about bills that affect the watermelon industry. We
also attended the many seminars put on by United Fresh that really
helped to expand my knowledge on all aspects of the farming busi-
ness. My next trip to Washington, D.C. was for the Marine Marathon.
I met so many new people on this trip who shared their stories with
me, all which I was very inspired by. This was the first promotion that
all the state queens were able to attend together; it was great to see
everyone. Thank you to the National Watermelon Promotion board.
It was an amazing feeling for all of us queens to finally give a little
something back to those who serve our country. We were able to pass
out over 32,000 individually packaged watermelon chunks to runners
as well as by standers.
This summer I also was able to do my one school promotion in the
small town of Yantis, Texas. A teacher in this school won a contest put
on my the National Watermelon Promotion Board, so Mrs. Duda, Mrs.
Barlow, and myself flew out to celebrate and reward the school. The
kids were great and loved to play all of our fun watermelon games.
We had two bins of watermelons to slice and the kids just couldn’t get
enough. The watermelons were delicious! This summer’s watermelon
travels also consisted of the First Annual Alamo Watermelon Festival
and Edinburg Steak Cook-off. During both of these promotions it was
extremely hot outside, so of course the free watermelon was a hit with
This year has been an amazing experience and a true blessing to
me. I feel so honored to have spent my year traveling and representing such a great association. With my travels I was able to meet many
inspiring and friendly people along the way. The relationships I have
built within our association and through my travels are what I cherish the most. I greatly enjoyed each of the promotions I attended this
year, all of which brought awareness to the watermelon industry. I
cannot thank all my sponsors enough, as well as one of my biggest
supporters, the Texas Watermelon Association. I am very excited to
continue representing Texas Watermelon Association at the National
Convention in Savannah! It has been an honor being your Texas Watermelon Queen.
Queen Kendall visited with Texas Congressman,
Sam Johnson in his office.
Kendall and the Florida Queen, Brandi Harrison, visited with
servicemen from England and the U.S.
Later in October Kendall was back in Washington, D.C. at the
Kendall learned a
great deal about issues facing farmers
at the United Fresh
her seed spitting
skill- never easy
with a crown on
Tony and Cheryl
bought an auction item for the
The youngest seed
Queen Kendall made
sure to thank Mark
Dickerson and his
beautiful wife, Helen
for her gift.
Rocco Fasano and Kendall visited at the President’s Reception
at Louie’s Backyard.
Queen Kendall with her proud parents, Ken and Sonja Duke
Early in October Queen Kendall enjoyed visiting the Capitol
and all of Washington, D.C.
Ken Mears, the TWA President, Mark Dickerson, Queen Ken-
dall and I had a great time at the TWA Convention in South
Padre Island, Texas.
The Illiana Queen, Briston Anderson, National Queen, Amber
Nolin, Georgia Queen, Carol Anne Mitchell, Alabama Queen,
Jordan Skipper and Queen Kendall at the reception for
Brandi and the
fun passing out
at the Marine
Rick Linkenhoger and Sue Ellen Thomas did some catching
up with Kendall, learning about her year.
Kendall and a group of Texas lobbyists at the congressional