The USDA is seeking nominations for four open importer slots on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. ( File photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking four importers to fill seats on the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

The three-year terms start Jan. 1. A nomination teleconference is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern June 13, and interested individuals should call (866) 588-5525, using access code 6518808280. Nomination forms can be requested from the board’s director of operations and industry affairs, Rebekah Dossett or industry affairs manager Andrea Smith at (407) 657-0261.

With the additional four watermelon importers, the board membership would be 41, according to a news release. There are 14 growers, 14 handler/distributors, eight importers and a member of the public.

More information on the board and nomination process is available on the National Watermelon Promotion Board website and the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service website.

Industry members who want to vote by proxy should provide signed, dated statements, including their printed name, address, phone numbers, identity as an importer and the name of the member authorized to cast the proxy vote by noon Eastern June 13, according to the release. The information must be sent to USDA marketing specialist Stacy Jones King at [email protected], or by fax at (202) 205-2800, according to the news release.