Future Watermelon Farm Leaders program
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 now exceeding 58.
There are numerous benefits to experienced leadership in every business, especially in our storied National Watermelon Association. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to sustain the future of our industry by creating a pathway that will encourage a consistent influx of new leaders with fresh perspectives with energy and ideas to pursue new opportunities.
The Future Watermelon Farm Leaders (FWFL) program recognizes and celebrates the next generation of growers who will lead the industry (and this great Association) into the future. They 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.
Congratulations to the First Class of the FWFL program:
“I have grown up in and around the watermelon business, following in my father’s footsteps to learn everything I can about growing, buying & selling watermelons. I also have an entrepreneur mindset starting my own farm in 2011.”
“I am a third generation watermelon farmer and started my own farm at the age of 21. I have been a part of the farming industry since birth. I have experience in all aspects of farming, and managing harvesting & packing operations.”
MSS Farms, Inc.
“Being a fifth generation watermelon farmer, I have discovered that farming is not just a job; it is a way of life. This program will allow me to take what I enjoy the most and make it better with a group of young adults who share the same dreams as I do.”
Jesse Wiggins Farms
“My generation has matured in a world of technology that has become ever-present and necessary in our lives. This has helped us to become more connected and informed. I would savor the opportunity to help the NWA evolve and succeed.”
M and M Produce
The future of watermelon farming, and of the National Watermelon Association, will be in the hands of young farmers like these young men soon to come. While they experience the NWA convention, they will begin to build the future of their Association while continuing the respected trade of a watermelon farmer.
Congratulations to the Second Class of the FWFL program:
“I would like to participate in this program to sustain the association past the current generation of leadership. The major challenged facing the industry are food safety and labor. The major opportunities presented to the industry are technology and science.”
Vero Beach, FL
Gibson Produce and Watermelon Sales
“I feel as though my participation in the program would open the door for me to interact with other like-minded people that are wanting to continue to push the industry forward. Participating in the program, would also open the door for me to meet and network with new people with fresh ideas.”
Howell Farming Co.
“As a participant in the Farm Leaders Program, I see myself as being able to broaden and expand not only my knowledge and business, but increase the quality of my crop. Then I will be able to provide a better watermelon production to my customers.”
Rob Glover Farming
National Watermelon Association Contact Information
190 Fitzgerald Road, Suite 3, Lakeland, Florida 33813