Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

National Watermelon Association executive director Bob Morrissey calls the annual meeting “more of a family reunion.”

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

The NWA named four Future Watermelon Farm Leaders at the award banquet Feb. 24: Jared Wiggins (from left) from Wiggins Farms, Center, Texas; Kitt Moore from Melon 1, Barnwell, S.C.; Brady Mouzin from Mouzin Bros. Farms, Vincennes, Ind.; and Haley Keenan from Vincent Farms, Laurel, Del.

Greg Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

Mark Arney, executive director of the Winter Springs, Fla.-based National Watermelon Promotion Board, says an independent study shows retail watermelon prices are 17 cents per pound higher with promotion from the board.

Greg Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

Monsanto’s Seminis seed division is expanding in the watermelon industry with four new varieties in the last four years. Adam Marschel (left), Eastern U.S. & Canada marketing manager and Buck Dobrow, technology development representative, talked with NWA attendees about the company’s new Tailgate watermelon variety, which started this season.

Greg Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, said the farm bill expires in September, so that will be a big policy priority this year.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

Outgoing National Watermelon Queen Madison Laney receives a gift from queen coordinator Elanor Bullock and John Gee with Eagle Eye Produce and first vice president of NWA.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

The NWA inducted three watermelon legends into its Hall of Fame Feb. 24. Bruce Price was credited with drafting a proposal in 1983 to create the National Watermelon Promotion Board in order to reverse a decline in per capita watermelon consumption. He was a seed grower and represented Texas on the NWA board for many years. “It’s been an honor to be associated with you folks,” he said at the award dinner. “You’re the salt of the earth.”

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

The NWA honored Trig’s supermarket of Rhinelander, Wisc., for its watermelon marketing promotion of the year. Store director Don Theisen collected the award.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

The eight watermelon state queens visit attendees one more time before one was chosen national queen Feb. 24 at the NWA annual meeting.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

National Watermelon Queen Madison Laney with Blakely Johnson, the 2017 South Carolina Watermelon Queen, and second runner up for national queen for 2018.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

2017 National Watermelon Queen Madison Laney with Paige Severino, the 2017 Alabama Watermelon Queen, and runner up for national queen for 2018.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

2017 National Watermelon Queen Madison Laney crowns 2018 National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen of Florida.

Sadie Johnson

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Sadie Johnson captured these moments from the 2018 National Watermelon Association convention Feb. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn.

2017 National Watermelon Queen Madison Laney celebrates with 2018 National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen of Florida.