Watermelon Standards Need Your Supporting Comments


Log-on Today and Support the Updates. The National Watermelon Association formed a Grade Standards Committee 13 months ago to work with USDA to modernize the grade standards and update the photo library to both reflect the varieties and business of today.  That effort, chaired by Jordan Carter of Cordele, Georgia, has accomplished as much as possible, even with the 2020 shut-down and travel limitations.  Now that the country is beginning to reopen, it is time to get the ball rolling again.

A Watermelon Proposed Notice was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, March 11 with a 60-day period to submit comments.  After the submission period closes, and it is determined that the sum of the comments support the revisions, and there are no further revisions to be made, USDA will develop a Final Notice and send it to the Federal Register.  If all goes well, possibly by late summer, the revisions will become effective. 


It’s Baseball Season, and YOU ARE AT BAT! 
Take a Big Swing ….. Please!

This issue begins with two vital topics of interest for the NWA and our members …. You!  We need to you to step up to the plate and hit it out of the park.  It’s your turn to load the bases.  Begin by logging on to the Federal Register and support the pending changes to the watermelon grade standards, which are being modernized to reflect today’s varieties – today’s watermelon crop – which will help growers and inspectors alike. 



Vaccine distribution and education for Rural America

The Biden Administration announced a $10 billion investment in COVID-19 vaccine distribution and public education on the vaccine.  This investment will expand access to vaccines in rural communities, provides funding for local governments to partner with community-based organizations on public education around the vaccine, and will fund additional vaccinators in rural communities.

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Give Us Your Input – Immigration Bill

As the Farm Workforce Modernization Act makes it way from the House to the Senate, the path forward is yet unknown.  We know that the House bill has a number of areas that need improvement.

How or if that possibility will come available is yet to be determined.  Being prepared is our key for the possibility to make some changes to the House version.  That is where you come in. A recap of the House bill will give you a bird’s eye view of the highlights of the legislation.



House May Take Up Second Bill to Revise H-2A Worker Program

The House has already passed a sweeping reform of the H-2A guest worker program which would allow a year-round workforce and provide a path to citizenship for farmworkers - the Farm Workforce Modernization Act – which faces tough odds in the Senate.  House Agriculture Committee Member Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) sees problems with the FWM Act and has introduced his own plan to rework H-2A in his bill called the Agricultural Guest Worker Reform Initiative (AGRI) Act.