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IMG 7154LAKE TAHOE, NV -- The National Watermelon Association kicked off its 103rd annual convention at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, NV, drawing 400-plus attendees, who braved abundant snowfall and whiteout conditions to make it here. Bob Morrissey, executive director of NWA, said it is the biggest turnout ever for a convention west of Texas.

John Lapide of Melon 1 and Art Perry of George Perry & Sons.

BOLTHOUSE-FARMSThe SpartanNash Jungle of Savings Midwest Spring Expo drew 170 exhibitors and more than 1,000 attendees from across the United States to the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis Feb. 15-16. A full range of supermarket offerings was presented, including produce, deli, bakery, meat, floral and general merchandise. Special trade show prices and vendor auctions were featured for SpartanNash corporate-owned stores and its affiliates, in addition to independent grocery stores.

 

Justin Bedwell from Bari Produce in Madera, CA.

IMG 7318COLUMBIA, SC — Gilbert Miller, a Clemson University researcher at Edisto Research Center in Blackville, SC, was elected president of the South Carolina Watermelon Association Jan. 14 at its 45th annual meeting, here. The association also celebrated the crowning of a 2017 South Carolina Watermelon Queen Blakely S. Johnson of Denmark, SC; raised $104,800 for South Carolina watermelon research and promotion during a live auction; and set a marketing plan for the year.

 

Lynn Williams of Williams Farms in Lodge, SC, who earlier had been a South Carolina Watermelon Queen contestant and this year was a judge for the contest, met with Minta Wade, watermelon queen coordinator from 1985 to 1997, who guided four South Carolina queens to national titles.

IMG 1935LAS VEGAS, NV -- The 2017 NGA Show opened with over 3,400 registered attendees, making it the seventh consecutive year of record-breaking attendance. Alongside a sold-out expo floor, the National Grocers Association’s annual convention also witnessed record attendance from retailers and wholesalers.

“The NGA Show continues to experience growth, showcasing that this event is truly the event where independents gather. We are excited to continue to build off of the momentum from previous NGA Shows,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and chief executive officer of NGA.

 

Chris Mendes and Ray Mason with Red Sun’s lineup of specialty and artisan tomatoes.

NJag4256ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Agricultural interests across the Garden State gathered in early February for the 2017 New Jersey Agricultural Convention & Trade Show and New Jersey's State Agricultural Convention. The event took place Feb. 7-9 at Harrah's Resort & Waterfront Conference Center, here.

This was the 102nd State Agricultural convention and the sixth year of co-locating the annual convention with those of the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Blueberry Association.

Robert Pustizzi and Dan Deola of the Vineland Produce Auction.