The National Watermelon Association (not to be confused with the National Watermelon Promotion Board) is a national organization of people involved in growing, grading, handling, transporting, distributing, and selling watermelon.
Each year, the association gathers for its annual conference to discuss, plan and enjoy all things watermelon. The itinerary for this year’s three-day conference at Nevada’s Lake Tahoe was jam-packed with a variety of educational forums and entertainment, but the highlight of the conference was the National Watermelon Queen competition and the crowning of the newest royal ambassador.
After two days of friendly competition against other regional watermelon queens, Madison Laney from Ariton, Alabama was crowned the 2017 National Watermelon Queen. Madison has only been on the job for about five weeks, but she’s already busy representing the wonderful world of watermelon! Take a look through some of her first impressions, goals and the legacy she plans to leave behind.
How has your life changed now that you’re the National Watermelon Queen? It’s changed the path of my life and has given me one more year to represent all the people that I've grown to love so much as the Alabama queen this past year. This industry brought me back to life and I'm so thankful I get to continue to serve as the National Queen. I'm so excited to see all the Lord has in store for me through this once in a lifetime experience.
Has anyone ever asked you to sign a watermelon? I've actually never been asked to sign a watermelon. Maybe this next year I'll get to!
Every watermelon queen has some sort of connection to watermelon. What’s yours? The people that are a part of this industry is what connects me. I'm from a small town where farming is a way of life. I know the hard work and dedication that goes into this business first hand through my own family farm.
When it comes to eating watermelon, are you “Team Wedges” or “Team Chunks”? I love watermelon any way it's served!
What part of being the National Watermelon Queen are you most looking forward to? I am most looking forward to the relationships I'm going to make this year as the National Queen. I'm excited to travel around promoting the greatest industry in the world.
Now that you’re Queen, what’s the biggest change you’d like to make during your reign? To create awareness that Watermelon Queens are not just queens, that we are promotional ambassadors that are willing to work extremely hard to serve and promote this industry. I’d also like to generate awareness about the amount of hard work, perseverance, and family sacrifice that goes into getting watermelon from the fields to their table.
Do you have any tip for girls out there would like to be a watermelon queen someday? My advice for any young lady that wants to be the Watermelon Queen is to go for it! It is the experience of a lifetime and I have loved every second. Also, to be a successful, respected queen you have to love it. You have to be willing to serve and work well with others and have a good attitude. This opportunity will change your life if you let it.