NC Watermelon Association – Annual Meeting – 2002

The 22nd Annual North Carolina Watermelon Association Convention is almost here. It is scheduled for Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, 2002, and will meet at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside. An educational program kicks off the convention on Friday afternoon beginning at 1:15 pm. Registration begins at 12:30 pm. The education program features two out-of-state speakers from Clemson University with expertise in disease control and watermelon production. Dr. Keinath, plant pathologist, has done some innovative work to manage watermelon foliar diseases, while Dr. Hassell, horticulturalist, will cover the key things one must do to have success in growing watermelon transplants. Other topics to be covered include weed management, insect control and management, watermelon cultivar developments, watermelon pollination developments, and methods to control and manage gummy stem blight. All these topics will be covered by a bevy of North Carolina researchers, some the nations finest! The program concludes near 5:00 pm with the President’s Reception that follows.

The Saturday educational program continues and begins at 8:30 am with an informal time to discuss and exchange information. Although informal, this format provides one of the best parts of the program. This is a time to learn what buyers want and for growers to make contacts with them in order to sell their product. The time will also be dedicated to discussing the latest with regards to commercial cultivar development, and what marketing efforts are taking place. The education session concludes at 9:30 am and is followed by the general session.

The general session highlights some of the national watermelon programs and begins the process of selecting the next NC Watermelon Association queen. Various fun activities fill the remainder of the day culminating with the banquet at 6 pm Saturday evening.

There is no cost to agents or growers for the Friday program. Agents are encouraged to come and ride with a grower (or several growers). This will be an excellent program and one you won’t want to miss! The entire program is below.

Registration for Saturday’s program will be $50. This will cover lunch, all other associated activities during the day, and a wonderful evening banquet. To register, call Cathy Price, Secretary of the NC Watermelon Growers Association, 919-334-0093. To reserve a room at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel, call 910-763-5900. Room rate is $95 for single/double.

Time Title / Event (with link to abstract) Speaker (Affiliation)
Friday, March 8
12:30 pm Registration Hilton, Wilmington Riverside
1:15 pm Welcome Randy Avery, NCWA President, Meg Scott-Phipps, Commissioner of Agriculture (NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
1:25 pm NCSU and CALS Update Eric Young, Associate Research Director (NC State University)
1:30 pm Growing Transplants – The Complete Package Richard Hassell (Clemson University)
2:00 pm Pollination Developments in Watermelon Mike Stanghellini (NC State University)
2:30 pm Timing Fungicides to Manage Foliar Diseases on Watermelon Tony Keinath (Clemson University)
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Gummy Stem Blight Resistance Gabriele Gusmini (NC State University)
3:45 pm Papaya Ringspot Virus Resistance Nihat Guner (NC State University)
4:00 pm Orange and Yellow Watermelon Breeding Todd Wehner (NC State University)
4:15 pm Fungicide Performance and Melcast Forecaster for Gummy Stem Blight Gerald Holmes (NC State University)
4:30 pm Two Arthropod Pests of Watermelon and How to Control Them; Mites and Cucumber Beetles Ken Sorensen (NC State University)
4:45 pm Update on Weed Management Strategies for Watermelon David Monks (NC State University)
5:00 pm Adjourn
6:00 pm President’s Reception (heavy hors d’oeuvres)
Saturday, March 9
8:00 am Registration Hilton, Wilmington Riverside
8:30 am Information Exchange and Discussion Section Jonathan Schultheis (NC State University)
8:30 am Variety Updates Jonathan Schultheis (NC State University); Richard Hassell (Clemson University); Seed company representatives
9:00 am Marketing Efforts Debye Scheidt (NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
9:15 am Buyer Updates All representatives from grocery store chains
9:30 am Adjourn
10:00 am General Session – Call to Order Randy Avery, NCWA President
10:15 am Invocation
10:30 am Welcome
10:45 am NWA Report Nancy Childers, Executive Secretary (National Watermelon Association)
11:00 am NWPB Report William Watson, Executive Director (National Watermelon Promotion Board)
11:15 am Introduction of Judges
11:30 am Speech Competition
11:45 am Closing Remarks
12:00 n Lunch and Sportwear Competition
1:15 pm Queen Contestant Interviews (contestants and judges only)
2:30 pm Seed Spit Contest
2:45 pm Social Hour and Auction
6:00 pm Banquet and Convention
8:30 pm Dance