The 2015 National Watermelon Queen, Emily Brown of Vincennes, Indiana, was crowned earlier this year at the National Watermelon Association’s annual convention (look for an interview with Emily in an upcoming blog entry). The national queen stays very busy throughout the year, but did you know that there are eight other queens who represent various states and regional watermelon associations.
The queens will be tasked with promoting their area’s watermelon crop and will represent the watermelon industry special events, store openings, schools, festivals and parades. They’ll also perform media interviews and may be asked to speak to large groups of people.
All those interviews and appearances mean their speaking and presentation skills need to be sharp. To help with that (and much more), the queens paid a visit to Raleigh, North Carolina this past weekend for a weekend of training sponsored by Bayer CropScience.
On the agenda were sessions about performing media interviews, how to make the most of an event or in-store demo, and even lessons on appearances and etiquette. The day started off with Watermelon 101, transitioned to Queen 101 and continued with communications and presentation training. To wrap up the day, hosts from Bayer CropScience presented on the company, the crop and the watermelon’s many attributes. Bayer presenters included Caitlin Tierney, Chuck Elam, Russ Beckham and Rob Beets. And that was just one day.
The weekend kicked off with a reception on Friday, where the queens met with Bayer CropScience leadership, the National Watermelon Promotion Board team, and also North Carolina NWPB board member and vice president Tony Moore of Moore’s Produce. Not only do the nine watermelon queens come for training, but several states also send their first runner up to be trained for coverage if and when they are double booked during their promotional year.
Saturday afternoon’s media and communications training was facilitated by agency professionals with Porter Novelli. Sunday morning was spent back at the Bayer Bee Care Center with presentations and a tour of the facility by Becky Langer and Sarah Myers with Bayer CropScience.
During their time in Raleigh, the queens were hosted at the Bayer Crop Science Bee Care Center (above and below). While there, they learned about the important role that bees play in bringing watermelon (and many other crops) to life.
National Watermelon Promotion Board Executive Director Mark Arney (left) and Chuck Elam (right) from Bayer CropScience/Nunhems USA were also in attendance at the Bee Care Center. Did you know that bees help pollenate more than 100 crops in the U.S. and more than a third of the foods that we eat? Check out our past blog entry for more info about the amazing work that bees do.
UP NEXT: TWO Watermelon Recipes