The watermelon industry took regional and state queens to the fields to learn more about the fruit during the first “watermelon knowledge tour.”

Watermelon queens tour production areasThe national watermelon queen, eight regional queens and runners up visited Syngenta’s test plots in Naples, Fla., May 12-13.

The event helped provide the queens, who represent the industry at community and public events, an education on watermelon.

The queens frequently visit growers’ operations, but the Syngenta visit focused on the science of trait selection and plant breeding.

“Once all the queens are crowned, there’s no prerequisite for them to be watermelon experts, so we want to open their eyes to what the world of watermelon offers,” said Stephanie Barlow, the director of public relations and social media for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, Fla. “This visit to the fields helps them with their personal watermelon story.”

The event also included presentations on industry issues, roundtable discussions and communication training.

Syngenta sponsored the trip.


Note on correction: This story originally incorrectly mischaracterized the sponsorship of the event in the last paragraph.