The United States has a rich agricultural history, with watermelon farmers serving as a shining example of the American Farmer. Family farms once employed nearly half of the country’s work force, but that has changed to about 2% of today’s workers, with an average farmer’s age exceeding 58. It is vital that we do what we can to encourage younger generations to continue to farm and ship, especially within multi-generational farm families.
There are numerous benefits to experienced leadership in every business, especially in our storied National Watermelon Association. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to build a sustainable future for the Association (and our industry) by creating a pathway that will encourage a consistent influx of new leaders with fresh perspectives, along with energy and ideas that allow them to pursue new opportunities.
The Future Watermelon Farm Leaders (FWFL) program recognizes the next generation of growers and packers who will lead the industry (and this Association) into the future. They do (and will) represent the generation that will meet the demands of a growing global population, sustain family farms, and provide the nutritious food that will feed the world.
Godwin, North Carolina
Turkey, North Carolina
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Vero Beach, Florida
Bailey, North Carolina
Barnwell, South Carolina