SAVE THE DATES:  The NWA 2022 Convention is a ‘GO’ in NYC!!! 

You may read or hear the media reports about business, landlords and other catchy news reports about New York City, but be rest assured ….. the National Watermelon Association (NWA) is planning to hold the next national convention in the heart of Times Square – New York City from February 21-27, 2022! 

Our hosts (the Marriott Marquis) are excited to greet you to their beautiful facility in the greatest city in the world – New York. The NWA has been and remains in constant contact with the Marriott Marquis (and NYC officials), and remains confident that nationals will happen as scheduled. 

You can expect a pent-up atmosphere (and excitement) as a result of this year’s convention cancellation. We will bring you some new tidbits and announcements along the way.  Save the Dates, and stay tuned for new information in a few months.  


In Loving Memory of Wanda Letson

It is with heavy hearts and much sadness we say goodbye to such a great friend of ours, Wanda Letson. Wanda was a devoted mother of 2, grandmother of 3 and great-grandmother of 2, who dearly loved her family.
Wanda was the Secretary, Treasurer and Queen Coordinator for the Texas Watermelon Association, which she started her journey in 1986 and retired in 2012. She was straightforward and witty, never beat around the bush, one of a kind, tough, what you see is what you get, kind of lady. Wanda was dedicated to the watermelon industry and her friends. She was loved by everybody.  

One of Wanda’s funny sayings was She always referred to “Central time as Texas Time”. There are so many laughs and so many memories of our friend. We are sure that so many of you have your own funny stories and memories of Wanda.
We need to never forget these memories of her. Wanda will be truly missed by so many. We look forward to the day we meet again our dear friend.

God Speed.

“Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.



Warriors for Freedom and Heart of a Lion

As we have all faced many difficult challenges throughout the past year, one group that seems to have been hit harder during the pandemic has been our veterans.  They have come home from serving and are often isolated due to their experiences.  They have sacrificed and served to protect all our families and our nation.  They have faced countless unknowns every day to support you and me. 
One way that we can thank them for all that they have sacrificed is by donating to this cause.  They offer many Veteran Programs, as well as support programs for not only veterans but for active-duty men and women as well.  For example, with their peer-to-peer support program, they are making a positive impact in the lives of these veterans and active-duty men and women.  Will you consider donating today so that they can continue programs like this and many more for our veterans and active-duty service men and women?  Please reach out to Monica at [email protected] or by calling her at the office (863) 619-7575.  She will be able to help you with making your donation.

A National Lumber Shortage is Disrupting Pallet Markets
- - Do You Have A Backup Plan? - -

The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant shifts throughout the supply chain that have affected almost every part of our daily lives.  Included in that change is the lumber market, which is scrambling to meet the needs of their customers.  With home building at its peak with tremendous lumber demands, wood has become a premium.  Some major retailers are building and retaining their pallet inventories to handle their own needs (for packaged goods), which is creating significant voids within the ‘normal’ pallet supply chain.  All of this (and more) is keeping suppliers up at night trying to secure resources to meet their customers’ needs.
CHEP is the largest pallet provider in the USA, and they (like the entire pallet industry) are experiencing shortages in pockets as a result of the numerous shifts in the lumber industry.  After talking with them, we have been assured that they are doing all that they can to meet your orders.  However, CHEP and the NWA are recommending that (no matter who your pallet provider may be) it ‘may’ be in your best interest to have a ‘backup’ plan in case your current provider cannot fully meet your needs. 
We have become aware of a couple of instances where orders have been cancelled recently due to this major challenge.  No one has a crystal ball to predict what the upcoming months may bring.  We know and trust that CHEP and other NWA members are working hard to fill those orders, but in this environment there are no guarantees.  In the current pandemic environment and all of its resulting changes, it would be best to have a backup, just in case. 


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.  USDA needs to hear from everyone in support of these efforts.  It will only take a few minutes of your time.  

Then, look at the highlights of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the immigration reform bill that the Senate will take up very soon.  There are issues galore with the House version, and this may be our only chance to work with federal legislators to make some necessary changes to the bill.  

Please take a few minutes to submit your supporting comments for the changes to the grade standards, and send us your comments & ideas about the immigration bill - - good or bad - - what you would like to have changed - - and what to change it to.  This is vital input that we really need from each and every one of our members (You included). 

Thank you all very much, and enjoy this issue of The Weekly Rind. From our Families to yours, wishing you a very Happy Easter!  

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