Dean Liere

Variety selection is one of the most important factors to a grower's success, and who has found more successful varieties than Dean? His unique ability to understand the watermelon industry's needs as well as the breeding process has enabled him to bring new hybrids to the market that manage the current and future challenges of growers and distributors. In addition to contributing to Syngenta's Research & Development Team, Dean has been a longtime champion of public watermelon research efforts and has advocated for numerous variety trials, plant physiology studies, and consumer market research with numerous universities and state associations.

He has been committed to educating a new generation of professions in the industry by serving as a guest lecturer in university courses and as a mentor to many. Dean has a willingness to engage in open conversations with growers about the seed production process, variety selection, and production practices. He further supported growers through the development of the Full Count Plant Program, which revolutionized watermelon production by providing reliable transplants to the growers and taking the guesswork out of planting.

In his 25 years with Syngenta, Dean's passion for the watermelon industry transcended his role as a Watermelon Portfolio Manager. He deeply understands the necessity of partnerships between the seed producers and the National Watermelon Association and has been a strong supporter of the program. His dedication to the watermelon industry was documented by his commitment to support public outreach with a donation to the Watermelon Queen Program through the Full Count Program. He has also been instrumental in educating the Watermelon Queens on the breeding process and watermelon variety performance. Additionally, Dean has been key in backing Syngenta's latest partnership with the NWA to support veteran's associations as a part of the new Valor program and partnership.

Dean has been a huge supporter and partner with the National Watermelon Association, and we are forever grateful for his involvement, support, commitment and friendship. It will go without saying that he will be missed as he moves forward into retirement.  Job Well Done, our Friend-Colleague-Mentor-and Brother. You are a shining example to those that will come behind you. Thank you for all that you have done for the industry, the queens, our members and the National Watermelon Association.  Well Done!