Monthly Archives: July 2015

#nwafuturisticfridays – The Millennial Trendsetters: What and How they Eat



Conscience seems to be driving the eating and shopping trends that the Millennials are setting. From increasing fresh food consumption and healthy snacking to supporting organic food production and lower food waste initiatives, this younger generation is willing to pay more to follow their heart.

Global information company, The NPD Group, reports that in-home fresh food consumption percentages are back up to levels seen over 30 years ago.

When looking at typical behaviors of Americans across the past 30 years, the consumption of fresh foods and beverages increases with age as consumers gain more cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen. It would seem Millennials’ heightened levels of fresh consumption could represent a sizeable shift in the way consumers prepare foods for decades to come,” quoted NPD’s Food and Beverage Industry Analyst, Darren Seifer in a recent press release. The release went on to say that younger adults, ages 18 to 34, are the main drivers of the shift to fresh foods and beverages. 

Although the article did say that appearance was an influential motivation for the healthier eating habits, the shift might also be in part due to the fact that these Millennials are beginning to have children which might make them even more concerned about what they buy and feed their families.

Increased trends in eating frequency are also being driven by the Millennials. Snacking in-between meals has increased significantly. Many of these younger consumers snack four or more times per day. According to a Mintel report (a market intelligence agency),  the millennial generation snacks to stay focused throughout the day, with 39% snacking for energy.  iGen/millennials are drawn to organic snacks and products with added nutrition, including protein and vitamins. 

In addition to eating more fresh and healthy foods, the Millennials are concerned about food waste. They have grown up with the slogan, ‘Reduce, Recycle, Reuse’ and rather than being an inconvenience it is their way of life. Many associations and organizations have banded together, creating alliances to solve the food waste problem; the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, is one such organization that includes the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Restaurant Association and the Food Marketing Institute. The younger generation has also jumped on board creating a number of applications to redistribute food waste using the digital framework with which they are familiar.

Food Cowboy, is a web-based app that matches truckers with needy shelters. CropMobster notifies its registered members (a free service) of local food excess and surplus from any supplier in the food chain. works with over 7189 food pantries nationwide telling growers where and when they might deliver excess or damaged produce.

These are just a few of the examples of solutions Millennials have developed in order to eat and live according to their convictions.


“U.S. Consumers Are Eating Nearly As Much Fresh Foods As 30 Years Ago.” U.S. Consumers Are Eating Nearly As Much Fresh Foods As 30 Years Ago. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2015. <>.

“Does This Article Bore You? Have a Snack.” CSPnet. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2015. <>.



#nwamembermondays – Joshua Moore

Joshua Moore 1 “Josh is energetic, hard-working, and very open to learning.  I look forward to helping him continue his journey  into becoming a highly successful farmer and watermelon producer. He is already well on his way.”

 – Pieter Westerbeek

“I have known Josh and the entire Moore family since about 2002. Josh graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013 with a degree in Agricultural Business.  He is now getting an “in the field” education to go along with his degree at NC State. For several years now it has been his responsibility to manage an entire section of the farm. That means from plant to harvest, and all that goes along with it. I always enjoy visiting the farm and seeing what he is up to. I’m glad to see Josh, and others of his generation, take  up the challenges of our industry to make it better in the years to come.”

 – Josh Rowe

Kathy Moore, Joshua’s mother has these things to say about her son.

“Joshua Moore has been involved with watermelons all of his life.  He grew up working in the family business, Moore’s Produce, with his father, Tony Moore. Each summer Joshua has worked aggressively in the business – being involved in virtually all aspects of it from the field to the packing house and beyond. He holds a degree from the North Carolina State University Ag Institute in Agricultural Business, where he graduated in May of 2013.  He began farming his own acreage in 2011.  He loves to be outside and in the field.  He has served on the National Watermelon Promotion Board for 3 years and is currently a member of the Y Generation Working Group for the Association.

During the off-season, Joshua’s favorite hobbies take place in the great outdoors.  He enjoys hunting and has combined this love with his other hobbies – videography and photography. Joshua has done some professional videography for a couple of well-known outdoorsmen – filming hunts for some outdoor channel hunting shows. Joshua is an outgoing person that enjoys people and the work that he does.”

We are proud to call Joshua and the Moore  family members of the greater National Watermelon Family and anticipate great things from our younger members in the Association. Young people, like Joshua Moore, are our legacy and carry our hopes and dreams into the future.

Joshua’s dad, Tony Moore, has this to say about his son: “I am very proud of Joshua and his accomplishments in the watermelon business. He takes his job seriously and loves and enjoys it. He is an outgoing people person and he knows watermelons from the ground up. I am thankful to be able to work with him and to call him my son.”

Joshua Moore 2

#nwafuturisticfridays – The Difference Between X and Y, Not an Algebra Problem

Slope_formula_1Media has covered the Baby Boomers since infancy and is now preoccupied with the largest generation in US history – the Millennials or generation Y, but they have apparently no interest in the generation in the middle, generation X. I wonder why it  has received so little attention. It’s ironic that much of the media coverage is written by Xers – Sarah Sladek, generational expert and director of the XYZ University is herself an Xer.  With this in mind, I’ve decided to devote this article to spelling out some of the differences between the X and Y generations.

Generation Xers were born in the late 60s through the early 80s and make up the smallest generation in US history.  Their generation listened to Duran Duran and in their teens they danced in the disco revival; they watched the Facts of Life and Cheers, they read the Far Side and Steven King novels, and their favorite movies were ET and Star Wars. Millennials were born in the early 80s through the mid 90s and make up the largest generation in our nation’s history. These Millennials listened to Britney Spears, brought back hip hop and hoodies, they grew up watching Full House and Nickelodeon; they read Harry Potter and the Enders Game, and their favorite movies included Titanic, Jurassic Park, and Space Jam.

Generation X were the drivers of the technological revolution. Their innovations transformed technology and communication forever. Personalization of computerization and the genesis of the internet – from the Apple Mac boxy home computer and word-processing laptops to the iPod and tablets – Xers  were at the forefront of the first wave of the future in regard to communication.  In contrast, the Y Generation grew up with little memory of a time without computers. They grew up playing games like the SIMs and Minecraft and as teens engaged and interacted with the technology and with one another electronically.

World events also shaped the generations. The X generation’s awareness of  the scandals involving Monica Lewinsky, catastrophic disasters like the Enron spill and 9-11 terror, the Catholic church sex scandals and the war in Iraq created a great mis-trust of government leaders, corporations, international relations and even the church. Xers are criticized for being judgemental, anti-corporate, leery of authority figures, and  skeptical of mass media – perhaps with good reason.

Millennials do not remember Clinton’s Presidency and were quite young when the Twin Towers in New York came down and the nation was devastated. Nevertheless, their world has been fraught with terror, economic instability and uncertainty, and international unrest. They have experienced gunfire in their classrooms and have witnessed horrific violence on their iPods. Millennials are known to be skeptical of the government’s ability to affect real positive change and seek to make a difference in their world on a personal level. They personally engage in media and support business that demonstrate social conscience.

Generational differences are important to understand if Associations wish to survive and remain relevant. We need to be aware of the influences and values of our members in order to meet their needs and support their professional aspirations. It is however, equally important to remember our commonalities. All generations seek to build trusting relationships, desire to make a personal positive difference in the world, and need encouragement and opportunity to  strive toward their  personal and professional potential. To the National Watermelon Association, I believe it is not the difference between X and Y that matters – but the Sum of X and Y!













#nwamembermondays – Deroy Anderson (1937-2010)

One of the earliest members of the Texas Watermelon Association, Deroy Anderson of Anderson Produce, worked in the watermelon industry for over 50 years. DeroyPhoto of Deroy Anderson and his father, JT, started selling watermelons as a side-line in the 1960s, their main businesses included growing cotton and grain and raising cattle. In the late 1970s, Deroy decided to focus full-time on watermelon and spent the rest of his career in the watermelon shipping business. He was a member of the National Watermelon Association and his son, Tony Anderson of Texas Melon Exchange, continues the legacy.

Deroy was known for his warm smile and generous nature. He served his family, his community, and the Association faithfully.  Lonnie Clark, a long-time friend, stated that there was no one like Deroy. “He would always call me,” Mr. Clark shared, “to see how many melons I would need for the Old Settlers Reunion in Brownfield, and would not take a penny. (He was) the most generous person you could ever meet.”

“I will always remember his warm welcoming smile as I walked into his office,” Rosie Aguirre of McAllen Texas recalled, ” I can picture him in the middle of a great big seedless watermelon field cutting and sharing watermelon with everyone.”

We call our members ‘Family’ because, like Deroy Anderson, they value the relationships they form in the Association and these life-long friendships span generations. We appreciate Deroy and Tony Anderson and thank them for being faithful family members of the National Watermelon Association.

Tony Anderson stated in a recent Produce News article, “A lot of our people have been with us 20 years or more, and they are the reason we ship the best watermelon day in and day out… our team is the best in the business.”

We feel the same way about our members – they are the best in the business!






#nwafuturisticfridays – Let the Conversations Begin


Conversation women

Do you check your phone messages before breakfast? Does your phone have a seat at the dinner table? Do you immediately respond to your phone’s every vibration? Do you find yourself asking people to repeat their questions? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may have technology addiction. But if it will make you feel better, you are not alone.

According to the 2015 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ annual Internet Trends report, 73% of the US population uses a mobile phone. The average time a person is on digital media is 5.6 hours per day! Over 2 1/2 of those hours are spent primarily on mobile phones. People check their cell phones on average 150 times each day. The same report finds that Millennials are the most addicted. Of the 1000+ Millennials surveyed, 87% said that their cell phones never leave their side – day or night. Over 80% admitted that they checked their phones before doing anything else in the morning and the majority say that they spend 2 or more hours every day on their phones.

You may be wondering if technology addiction has any ill-effects. Apparently communication skills are negatively impacted by the addiction; listening and speaking weaknesses are exacerbated by the use of technology. In a recent article published by The Center for Association Leadership (ASAE), Clinical psychologist and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Initiative on Technology and Self, Sherry Turkle, warns that new communication technologies have transformed human conversation. It doesn’t take a graduate degree to notice couples in restaurants not even looking at one another or families spending evenings in separate rooms on different devices. However, her research suggests that not only human relationships are impacted by technology, but it negatively affects business as well. Productivity and creativity in the workplace are enhanced by face-to-face communication, Turkle states, ” It turns out conversation is good for the bottom line.” She adds that technology has encouraged shallow, low-risk, low-investment relationships, and that people desire more meaningful communication.

We see the problem, but the solution is not as simple as doing away with technology. Our attachment to cell phones and computers may have become excessive, but they have also improved the way we do business on a daily basis.  Fortunately, it is not necessary to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water,’ so to speak. Sherry Turkle recommends a more reasonable cure. She believes we can ‘reclaim conversation.’

“By talking about why talk is important, organizations can create a genuine conversation culture both at work and among members.” Turkle adds, “Amid all the temptation to hold primarily virtual meetings and meetups, remember that people want to get together to gain the support that comes from in-person conversation. Associations must remember that getting people together is not yesterday. That need is not going away.”

In light of these findings, we can take action to improve our communication. Encouraging real conversation without interruptions and setting realistic expectations for ourselves is key. Here are some suggestions from the article, you may consider them ‘steps to recovery.’

  • Phone time-outs – giving specific time slots for cell phone and laptop use and non-use
  • Phone stacking – setting devices aside while eating (the first person to touch their phone pays the bill)
  • Lose the meeting table – subtly encouraging members not to use laptops during meetings
  • Phone Fasts – setting periods of time aside for more concentrated and productive work


Meeker, Mary. “2015 Internet Trends.” — Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. N.p., 25 May 2015. Web. 15 July 2015. <>.

Clarke, Kristin. “ASAE ® The Center for Association Leadership.” Bringing Back Conversation in the Digital Age – Associations Now Magazine. Associations Now, May-June 2015. Web. 15 July 2015. <>.

#nwamembermondays – Percy and Frances Bunch

Frances and Percy Bunch

Percy Bunch began growing watermelons as a hobby farmer in the late 1950s, little did he know at the time that his watermelon growing career would span over 50 years! His watermelon wholesale business, Murfreesboro Farms Inc., officially opened seasonally in 1973 on Union Market in Washington, DC. Percy and Frances moved the business back to their hometown, Murfreesboro, North Carolina, in 1984. Percy was president and general manager of the company until he retired in 2009 at which time his son, Michael Bunch, took over the operation and continues to do so today.

Throughout his career in the watermelon industry, Percy and the Bunch family have been active members of the National Watermelon Association. Percy served as President, started and led the North Carolina Watermelon Association, and presided over the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Percy and Frances Bunch never missed a convention throughout their watermelon years and were actively involved in the North Carolina Queen Program. Frances worked alongside her husband and served as the secretary of the North Carolina Watermelon Association for 20 years. Percy and Frances Bunch started the North Carolina Watermelon Festival 29 years ago and it has become an annual tradition in Murfreesboro every August drawing crowds of 10,000 visitors.

I recently spoke with Frances and she was delighted to share some of their proudest moments in the Association.

“Percy was so pleased when the Association dedicated a convention in his honor. His proudest accomplishment was starting the North Carolina chapter. I helped organize the North Carolina Queen program – we had 2 national queens and 2 runners-up. After going to the convention the first time alone, Percy called me and said it was really great, ‘but no where to be by yourself.’ After that, we went together to every convention. It didn’t take long to make friends with everyone. When Percy was the President of the Association, he visited every single chapter. The Association is a network and a half. Don Hiller calls Bunch, ‘Dad’ and some of our watermelon friends are now US Senators…”


Percy Bunch will be 84 years old in October and has served in the National Watermelon Association for over 30 years. He currently sits on our Lifetime Council. The Bunches enjoy traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren. Although in retirement, Percy and Frances are still actively involved in the North Carolina Watermelon Festival and invite everyone to join them in Murfreesboro July 29th through August 1st for this year’s celebration (


#nwamembermondays – Raymon Land

raymon+and+annette+landSince 1966, Raymon Land and family have been providing deliciously fresh watermelons nationwide. Raymon J Land Watermelon Sales is a national leader in wholesome, fresh watermelons. As his family has grown, his organization has followed. Produce sales are headed by Raymon J Land, Sr. owner along with Laura Land who works in sales, transportation, and heads Food Safety. Raymon, Jr. (Jody) assists in sales and transportation; he and Adrian Land produce 25% of the company’s total production volume. Annette Land heads the finance and accounting department.  

As you can see, the entire Land family is involved in the Watermelon industry. Raymon has been a member and leader in the National Association for over 30 years and has served as president of both the Florida and National Watermelon Associations. Raymon sits on the Lifetime Council today and is also an active member of the Auction Load Committee. His children have followed in his footsteps and have taken leadership positions in the Association and the industry.

It is exciting to watch entire families work and serve together. We are so grateful for the involvement of the entire Land family and Raymon and Annette for their wonderful example. The National Watermelon Association is strong because our families are strong. We look forward to engaging the next generation of Lands!

joseph lee land


#nwafuturisticfridays – Generation Quiz: How well-informed are you?

By Nicole Schrader

lego generationsTraveling through Georgia recently, a friend and I stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch. If you’ve ever eaten at a Cracker Barrel you would know that on each table there is a peg game in which you try to jump pegs, removing one with each move, in order to have the least number remaining at the end. If you are very good at the game, only one peg will remain and you will be proclaimed a ‘genius.’ I’ve never had fewer than three on the board and humbly accept the label, ‘just plain dumb.’ I may not be good at the peg game, but I have been trying to keep up with the generational trends. Over the past few months, I have been sharing articles and opinions (mostly my own) regarding generations X, Y, and Z. Today I am posting a quiz. Unlike the Cracker Barrel peg game, there will not be humiliating labels associated with scores. Nevertheless, I challenge you to see how well you can identify generational distinctions.

The following generational divisions will be used for this quiz:

A. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)

B. Generation X (born 1965-1981)

C. Generation Y/ Millennials (born 1982-1995)

D. Generation Z/Centennials (those under 18 yrs today – born after 1995)

QUIZ (Answer A,B,C, D or any combination of these for the following questions)

1. This generation currently makes up 53% of the workforce in the United States?

2. On average, 10,000 of which generation(s) retires every day?

3. Which generation texts more than 50 times each day, but do not blog, email, or leave voice messages?

4. Which generation is the most anxious about the future and is referred to as Generation Katniss?

5. Which generation has a 13.1% unemployment rate – while the national average is 7.8%?

6. Which generation(s) is most likely to say that they are stressed by work, money, and job stability?

7. In the past five years, over half of the newly arrived immigrant workers have been from which generation?

8. Which generation has the highest percentage of college graduates?

9. Which generation makes up the internet’s largest user constituency?

10. Which generation(s) is most likely to be familiar with Snap-Chat, Periscope, Whisper, and Secret?


1. C

2. A

3. D

4. D

5. C

6. B and C

7. C

8. C

9. A

10. D (but will accept C)