AN INTERVIEW WITH THE 2015 NATIONAL WATERMELON QUEEN

April 21st, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

In February, the National Watermelon Association convened for its annual convention in La Quinta, California. The five-day agenda included many important topics, but among the most important was the selection and crowning of the 2015 National Watermelon Queen. Emily_Brown

Seven contestants competed for the title — each a watermelon queen representing her respective region — and Emily Brown emerged as the newest royal watermelon leader. Emily is a nursing student at Vincennes University, and the reigning Illiana chapter queen.

Over the next 12 months, Emily will travel the nation, promoting watermelon at state fairs, conventions, trade shows, festivals and in-store events. It’s a busy schedule, no doubt about it, but she was nice enough to take some time for a quick interview about her new role as the National Watermelon Queen.

THANKS FOR AGREEING TO ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS. HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED NOW THAT YOU’RE THE NATIONAL WATERMELON QUEEN?

My life is full of adventure now that I have become the National Watermelon Queen!  The adventures will continue throughout my year and I will continue to be taken away by the opportunities that are presented to me.

EVERY WATERMELON QUEEN HAS SOME SORT OF BACKGROUND TIE TO WATERMELON. WHAT’S YOURS?

My first job was actually working in the watermelon fields turning vines and pulling weeds.  When I started college, I started working as a secretary for a watermelon broker and learned so much more.  I also genuinely love watermelon and it really is my favorite fruit!

WHAT PART OF BEING WATERMELON QUEEN ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?

I get to promote watermelon and the watermelon industry and travel the vast U.S. and beyond, so what’s not to look forward to!  My goal is to work hard at every promotion and not take my year as National Watermelon Queen for granted because a year flies by pretty quickly.

NOW THAT YOU’RE QUEEN, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU’D LIKE TO MAKE DURING YOUR REIGN?

Being a nursing major, health is a big deal to me. Informing the public about the nutritional benefits that watermelon has both on social media and in person at promotions is a key part of my watermelon mission this year. I’d also like to promote the versatility and affordability of this sweet, juicy fruit.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THE GIRLS OUT THERE WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE A WATERMELON QUEEN SOMEDAY?

For future watermelon queens: it’s necessary that you have a good work ethic, be approachable and outgoing, enjoy new adventures, and have a passion for watermelon. If you have those characteristics, the possibilities are endless.

UP NEXT: Fun Facts for Earth Day

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NATIONAL WATERMELON ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS (AND A NEW WATERMELON QUEEN!)

December 17th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

Each year, members of the National Watermelon Association (NWA) convene for the NWA’s annual convention. It’s a pretty big deal, and anyone who’s anyone in the watermelon industry is in attendance.

This year’s convention, held in Savannah, Georgia, was especially significant because it marked the 100th anniversary of the NWA. In addition to lots of meetings and seminars about watermelon, the convention also features a watermelon seed-spitting contest, a watermelon eating contest, and the crowning of the new National Watermelon Queen (stay tuned for a blog entry with an interview with the new queen).

In addition to the convention being the 100th anniversary of the NWA, it’s also the 25th anniversary of the National Watermelon Promotion Board and the 50th anniversary of the National Watermelon Queen program!

The convention also includes an auction – with sports memorabilia and truckloads of watermelon among the items – which this year raised a record $632,260. The total will be used to fund a majority of the National Watermelon Association’s annual budget.

watermelon presidents

Because the convention marked the 100th anniversary of the National Watermelon Association, they took some time to recognize some of the many NWA presidents who have served over the past century.

watermelon team

Like I mentioned, the various state and regional watermelon queens competed at the conference for the title of National Watermelon Queen, and the winner was Florida Watermelon Queen Brandi Harrison! Above is Brandi with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ross Chastain (right), whose #92 Ford is sponsored by watermelon.

watermelon eating contest

The convention hosted a friendly watermelon-eating contest. It’s nice to see that they provided the competitors with raincoat-like smocks to protect them during the messy contest. Somehow, I doubt smocks will be provided for the eating contest I’ll participate in later this summer.

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