Partner Profile: North Carolina Watermelon Association

Juicy, sweet watermelon is almost synonymous with North Carolina summers. In the same family as pumpkin, cucumber, squash and specialty melons, watermelon is over 90% water and its pulp is an excellent source of lycopene and vitamin A, B6, C, potassium, and citrulline. The North Carolina Watermelon Association (NCWA) represents growers, shippers, buyers, seed companies and others associated with watermelon production. They have a vested interest in helping farmers and all associated with producing a healthy crop of the fruit. The NCWA was an early supporter of the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI). We caught up with co-executive director Bonnie Holloman to learn more about NCWA.

Please tell us about the North Carolina Watermelon Association and your mission.

The North Carolina Watermelon Association (NCWA) is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of its watermelon family of those who grow, handle, grade, buy, distribute, transport, and sell watermelons.  

The NCWA is a proud member of the National Watermelon Association, the voice of its members on trade, labor, invasive pest and disease, pesticide and nutrient use, federal legislation, scientific research, farm & packer-based food safety, trucking, etc.

We also have a NCWA Queen as part of our promotional efforts. The Queen is selected annually in conjunction with our annual convention. She receives a scholarship and spends the year traveling to cities and towns all over the state, talking to people in supermarkets, at fairs and festivals, telling everyone about the nutritional benefits and economic values of watermelon. The Queen is available for media appearances, in-store promotions, fairs, festivals, or functions where watermelon is featured.

Why were you interested in supporting N.C. PSI?

Agricultural research helps our members. We’re hoping that the collaboration and research that N.C. PSI fosters will help not just watermelon farmers, but all farmers in the state so that we have healthy, profitable yields.

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Dinah Schuster
Senior Director of Development, Plant Sciences Initiative
P: 919.513.8294
daschust@ncsu.edu