Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner appointed six producer and six handler members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Two producer members have been reappointed for a second term, and four new producer and six new handler members have been appointed to serve on the board for the next three-year term of office beginning Jan. 1, 2008, and ending on Dec. 31, 2010.

Reappointed producer members are: Randall L. Hageman, Prosser, Wash., District 5; and George Cordero, Hemet, Calif., District 7.

Newly appointed producer members are: Michael Owen Horrall, Oaktown, Ind., and Will T. Hales, Salisbury, Md., District 4; Adam Icardo, Bakersfield, Calif., District 5; and Jack S. Thomson, Bakersfield, District 7.

Newly appointed handler members are: Michael "Kelly" Tyner, Vincennes, Ind., and Joshua R. Bailey, Schoolcraft, Mich., District 4; Daniel Allen Van Groningen, Manteca, Calif., and Ron Perry, Ripon, Calif., District 5; and Raul Paez, Nogales, Ariz., and Justin Schmidt, Ladera Ranch, Calif., District 7.

Authorized under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act of 1985, the board administers an industry-funded national research and promotion program to maintain and expand markets for watermelon. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service monitors the operations of the board.

More information about the research and promotion programs can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/fv/rpb.html .