Tag Archives: National Watermelon Association

Why Should You Eat Watermelon Everyday?

This weeks Futuristic Friday post we are looking at one of the most important things in the future. Your health! This article is packed full of interesting tidbits that explain how eating watermelon everyday can have a positive impact on your future self. Enjoy! – National Watermelon Association


Experts recommend that increasing consumption of watermelons can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease! One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. Some health benefits of watermelons are they help prevent asthma, prevent cancer, reduce risk of blood pressure, reduce inflammation and are great for the skin.

Benefits of Watermelon

For all watermelon lovers, here’s the good news. Experts recommend that increasing consumption of watermelons can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease! One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. Also, the National Watermelon promotion Board states that watermelons contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Have a look at all the health benefits of watermelon due to which you should consider consuming this delicious fruit everyday:

Asthma Prevention

So, your risks of developing an asthma can maximize if you’re not consuming enough nutrients, especially Vitamin C. Hence consuming this fruit can help increase your nutrient intake.


Watermelons are an excellent source of antioxidants and can help combat the formation of free radicals that are the cause of cancer. Lycopene intake, for example, has been linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer prevention in several studies.

Blood Pressure

According to the American Journal of Hypertension, watermelons are known to reduce blood pressure of middle-aged adults with hypertension. The study also showed that watermelon consumption improved arterial function.


Watermelons contain choline which alleviate chronic inflammation. This vital nutrient aids in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It also helps in the transmissions of nerve impulses, maintains the structure of cellular membrane and helps in the absorption of fat.


It’s a food for great skin! Watermelons contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

Edited by Pragya Sharoff

Member Monday: Nunhems USA Helps Growers Become Members

Watermelon farmers are the lifeblood of the National Watermelon Association.  Without their dedication to the soil there would not be a need for the Association.  Thankfully though, there are those that have the diligence and the fortitude to urge little sprouts to grow into the developed vines that bear us so much fruit.

That being said, it is imperative that we draw more growers into our Association so that we can share with them all the tools that we have to offer.  With new laws, disease pressures and other adversities, the National Watermelon Association can and does help growers face them with their best foot forward.

Nunhems logo

Bayer Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems) understands how important growers are, that’s why they have chosen to fund first year membership to eligible watermelon farmers who aren’t members of our great association yet. By partnering with the Association, Bayer is opening the door to this possibility for growers.  Having the ability to show growers that we are there for them will be beneficial for all in the long run.

We would like to officially welcome four new grower members who have taken advantage of this unique opportunity. Gary Cecil from Owensboro Kentucky has joined the Illiana watermelon Association. Greg Wright from Byers, Colorado, and Gerardo Alberto Flores Cavazos from Mexico have both joined the Texas Watermelon Association. Galen Crawford from Ontario, Oregon is now a member of the Western Watermelon Association. We are thankful that these watermelon growers and their family businesses have joined our watermelon family and will begin to benefit from the member services that the Association offers to them, all through the work and support from Bayer Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems) generosity.

Members:  If you know of a watermelon grower that is NOT a member of our association, please share this opportunity with them. The more members that we have, the stronger that we will become as individuals and as an association. When we are stronger, we can do more to help our members and the National Watermelon Association.

Millennials In Produce

It’s no secret that Millennials are exceptionally different than the generations before them. Technology has given them different eyes with which to see the world. Their approach to life and all the aspects in it is so distinctly different that many struggle to relate to these “new-comers”. Their work style is foreign to Baby Boomers and Generation X. It leads us to wonder how the next generation will affect our industry, the produce industry, in years to come.

First Class of Future Watermelon Farm Leaders - Wiggins, Singletary, Page and MooreGeneration Y people want to enjoy their lives and the time that they spend, whether the time is paid or not. They tend to lean towards jobs that are interesting and fun, that don’t necessarily “feel” like work. As a recently employed millennial, I understand the draw to find a position that is intellectually engaging but is still enjoyable. Fortunately, for me, I have found an occupation that does just that and so much more. I get to use my creativity and (will) work with others to get major projects done correctly and working fluidly. My job is fulfilling and makes me feel as though I am working towards a greater purpose than just myself. That greater purpose and feeling of fulfillment is key to Millennials.

Millennials have a higher job turnover rate than their parents and grandparents. Perhaps this is because they are trying to find something that they enjoy and feel is worth sticking with. Fortunately for me I have found the “perfect fit” for myself. For the produce industry it’s important for us to appeal to the younger generation. With only 3% of college graduates choosing positions in agriculture we NEED to draw them to us and make these future employees want to stay and grow with our companies, association, and industry.


If we provide these future employees with incentives for working in our companies, we can anchor them in and create a future for this industry. These incentives can be, but aren’t limited to, flexible schedules, professional development, training, team work and collaboration. Many of these incentives are beneficial to the companies too. Things like professional development and training will only create better workers and work environments.

The double edged sword of Generation Y is that they will require us to change, but all the while we need them. Without them we can’t proceed into the future. They may present some obstacles, but change is inevitable. Millennials can revolutionize and bring new ideas and technologies to our industry. Generation Y will help us bend and work with our ever-changing market.

Kelli Wilder

Harthin, Carrie. “Connect. The Network Media Partners Blog.” » Driving Millennial Engagement. Network Media Partners, 02 May 2016. Web. 06 May 2016.

College graduate agriculture job statistic. Digital image. Facebook. Adam Putnal, n.d. Web.
Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.

#nwafuturisticfridays – Keep Your Eyes on the Screen

eye health

Keep your eyes on the screen… or better yet, don’t! At the end of the day, do you suffer from headaches, dry eyes, neck or back pain, blurred vision, eye twitching or red eyes? These are all common symptoms of what is now referred to as ‘digital eyestrain’ or ‘Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).’ Digital eyestrain is the direct result of overexposure to digital devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablet, and even televisions. A recent report from the Vision Council, states that symptoms of digital eyestrain occur when people use devices for two or more hours daily. It goes on to report that young adults (those under 30 years of age) are more likely to suffer from these symptoms than older adults – which is not surprising.

Some other statistics from the report include the following:

  • 90% of Americans use digital devices for more than 2 hours daily;
  • 60% of Americans use digital devices for more than 5 hours each day – and the majority use two or more devices at one time;
  • 65% of Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eyestrain (36% experience neck/shoulder/back pain; 35% complain of eyestrain; 25% suffer from headaches; 25% report blurred vision; and 24% experience dry eyes). (Associations Now)

Although overexposure to digital screens is said to be the cause of eyestrain, it’s the exposure to high-energy (HEV) artificial blue-light, focusing fatigue, and glare that are major contributing factors. “Cumulative exposure to artificial blue-light can contribute to vision problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.” (GUNNAR Optiks) When working at a computer, people blink 30% less than normal; dry, irritated, red eyes is the direct result.

Our dependence upon digital technology at work and at home is on the rise. The majority of Americans use their smartphones and computers to get directions, look up recipes, read books, shop, and check the weather. We can only imagine what the cumulative effect will be on the eyes of our children. These statistics are not encouraging, however the future for our eyes is not hopeless.  There are common sense practices that can alleviate eyestrain and new devices to bring relief to our tired eyes.

All About Vision.com suggests ten things we can do to bring relief to our digitally strained eyes. Closing blinds, working away from windows, replacing flourescent lightbulbs with those which approximate natural light, and adjusting computer display settings can all be effective ways to reduce glare in the workplace and relieve eyestrain.

Exercising your eyes, taking frequent breaks, and modifying your workstation can also inhibit the symptoms of digital eyestrain. Simple exercises, like the ’20-20-20 rule’, reduce fatigue that is caused by constantly focusing on your screen. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Taking a 5-15 minute break away from your computer screen, a couple of times a day, has not only reduced eyestrain, but has also been shown to improve productivity. Improving posture and position at the computer screen have also been effective at warding off computer vision syndrome. The center of the computer screen should be approximately 15 degrees below your eyes and 20-24 inches away.

Lastly, companies have designed eyewear that prevent some of the most common symptoms of digital eyestrain or computer vision syndrome. These glasses have special lenses that add additional contrast to ease viewing, filter high-frequency blue-light emitted from digital devices, eliminate visual distractions with anti-reflective coatings, and wrap around the head to keep moisture in the eyes reducing dry eyes. (GUNNAR Optiks)

While future technology may take consumer comfort into consideration, we need to be aware of the consequences of our dependence upon it. It is my hope that you will employ some of the suggestions herein and enjoy www.watermelon.ag for many years to come.

Nicole Schrader



Smith, Ernie. “Report: Digital Screens Still a Sight for Sore Eyes.” RSS 20. Associations Now, 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

Heiting, Gary, and Larry K. Wan. “Are You Spending Too Much Time Looking at Digital Devices? Learn How It Can Affect Your Eyes.” All About Vision. All About Vision.Com, 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

“Why You Need Computer Glasses | GUNNAR Optiks.” GUNNAR Optiks. N.p., 03 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

The National Watermelon Hall of Fame Class of 2016 – the next four!


HOF banner with slice
The National Watermelon Association has a long history of remarkable leaders from the watermelon industry that have contributed their time, energy, and expertise to the Association and its members. The Association’s Hall of Fame has been created to honor the lives and contributions of these members, both past and present. We will inaugurate the Hall of Fame and recognize the first class of inductees during the National Convention in New Orleans, February 25th-27th, 2016.
We introduce the next four in the Class of 2016:
Tom Ayoob, JR
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tom was known for his integrity and willingness to help others. He never hesitated to donate his time or money to the industry.
Known as the Watermelon King of Pittsburgh, and coined the phrase, ‘eats like sugar.’
Ayoob was usually the top contributor at the Watermelon Association auctions.  Tom served on the board of both the Florida and National Watermelon Associations.
A graduate from Duquesne University in 1955, Tom Ayoob spent 2 years in the Army where he coached softball.  He attended law school at Georgetown University for 1 ½ years, until his father asked him to come and take over the family business, Tom Ayoob Inc. He updated the company, improved technology, and expanded the product line.
Tom was also the president of the Pittsburgh Wholesale Produce Association at the time of his death.
John Campbell
Lakeland, Florida
John Campbell operated Growers Marketing Service in Leesburg, Florida. Mr. Campbell was the second vice president of the Melon Distributors Association in 1937-38, and he served as the President of the National Watermelon Association prior to 1947. John also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee and the Executive Council.
In 1945, Lake, Marion, and Sumter county watermelon growers organized and formed the Watermelon Growers Association. The first president was John M Campbell – also the president of the growers’ marketing service in Leesburg at the time.
John was one of the 10 original committee members that established the original Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association in 1943.
John Campbell was known for his generosity.
Oren Childers
Cordell, Georgia
Oren Childers operated Cedar Creek Melons in Crisp County – just outside Cordele, Georgia.
He served as National Watermelon Association President 1985-6. He was in leadership roles for the Association from 1983-1988, and served as an Executive Council member in his later years.
Oren farmed over 3000 acres and raised watermelon on about 1000 of those acres in Crisp County.
Al Harrison
Nogales, Arizona
The Harrison Brothers wholesale produce company was established in Los Angeles, California in early 1930s by Al and Robert Harrison.
Al Harrison bought out his brother, moved the company to Nogales, Arizona and renamed the operation Al Harrison Produce Co Distributor Inc. He perfected melon and hard squash production and packaging. Al also established an internal transportation department.
By the 1970’s, Harrison captured nearly 90% of the watermelon market in the region and soon became known as the ‘Watermelon King.’
Al Harrison had a vast concept of marketing. One example was the ‘Mile Long Railroad Freight of Watermelons’ he organized as a promotion for a Canadian chain store and received a large amount of fanfare in the early seventies.

#nwafuturisticfridays ~ Feeding the World with Leftovers

feed the world

While we currently produce enough food to feed the world’s 7.3 billion people, 795 million go hungry. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated a third of the world’s food fit for human consumption does not reach consumers.

Transportation, refrigeration, and preservation have always been major obstacles to be overcome in the distribution of food resources. Modern production lines have improved and these bumps in the road have become navigable.  A large part of the discrepancy, at least in the United States, remains due to waste by distributors, retailers, and consumers every year. A 2013 UN report estimated that 550 million tons of food are discarded every year – in the United States alone, 30% of all food is thrown away annually. Interestingly, food waste in developing countries occurs early in the production chain due greatly to managerial and technical constraints, while food waste takes place later in the process in industrialized countries. The United Nations and the United States have agreed to work toward a reduction of food waste over the next 10-15 years.

Promising solutions to the problem of food waste have already been presented and are being implemented in Europe and here at home. The sale and use of visually unappealing foodstuffs have been the focus of many of these programs. Nicolas Chabanne, a French entrepreneur with connections to fruit and vegetable farmers, has established a creative campaign he calls, ‘Gueules Cassees’ or in English, ‘Ugly Mugs.’ He has designed and sells a sticker-logo (a smiling apple with a black eye and single tooth) that is affixed to blemished produce and is sold at a reduced rate (at least a 30% discount). Mr. Chabanne, donates the majority of the proceeds from the sale of the stickers to other organizations that fight food waste. The Ugly Mugs concept has spread to other countries in Europe and America. similarly, in San Francisco, Imperfect Produce is a home-delivery service that sells damaged fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and food celebrities are also rallying against food waste with solutions of their own – creative cooking. In Milan, restaurant owner Massimo Bottura, in conjunction with Caritas Ambrosiana and Davide Rampello,  opened an experimental soup kitchen which serves delicious meals from salvaged food waste. The best chefs in the world, along with local volunteers, serve meals to a selection of Milan’s homeless population. They’ve turned day old bread into sweet puddings, black bananas into fabulous banana breads, and weekly broths and minestrone from bruised vegetables, scraps, and peelings. These recipes can be reproduced at home inexpensively by those on even the tightest budget. “These dishes change the way we feed the world, because they can be cooked by anyone, anywhere, on any budget,” said Mr. Bottura about the dishes served in Refettorio Ambrosiano. “For families in need, it’s a way to bring dignity back to the table – dignity based not on the quality of the ingredients, but on the quality of the ideas.”

Reducing food waste with programs like the ones I’ve mentioned, can not only provide food for those who might otherwise go hungry, but it also has an impact on our environment and natural resources. The squandering of food is also a squandering of water, land, energy and labor. Reducing food waste can only be accomplished if each of us considers ways in which we may better steward our own resources. We may not be able to feed the hungry in far away lands, but we do have opportunities to make a difference in our own community. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the One who fed 5000 with two fish and five loaves, it is my hope that we would look for ways in which to meet the needs of our fellow-man and woman.

Nicole Schrader


“Food Waste Facts.” World Environment Day –. United Nations environment Programme, 2009. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <http://www.unep.org/wed/2013/quickfacts/>.

Chauvet, Caroline. “Save the Planet. Eat Ugly.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/11/business/energy-environment/save-the-planet-eat-ugly.html?_r=0>.

Bottura, Massimo. “Chef Massimo Bottura on Why the Future of Food Is in Our Trash.” WSJ. The Wall Street Journal, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <http://www.wsj.com/articles/chef-massimo-bottura-on-why-the-future-of-food-is-in-our-trash-1449506020>.

Meet the Hall of Fame Class of 2016


HOF banner with slice
The National Watermelon Association has a long history of remarkable leaders from the watermelon industry that have contributed their time, energy, and expertise to the Association and its members. The Association’s Hall of Fame has been created to honor the lives and contributions of these members, both past and present. We will inaugurate the Hall of Fame and recognize the first class of inductees during the National Convention in New Orleans, February 25th-27th, 2016.
The following are the second four members of  the inauguration class of 2016!
F H Dicks, Jr
Barnwell, South Carolina
FH Dicks Company of Barnwell began growing and selling watermelon in 1935.
F H served as the President of the National Watermelon Association from 1962-1963. He also served many years on the Executive Committee of the NWA. He was the President of the South Carolina Watermelon Association.
He served the community as a merchant of the General Store of Dunbarton, SC in 1951 and was Mayor in 1951.
J D ‘Johnny’ Lowe, Jr
Henderson, Texas

Johnny operated JD Lowe Jr Co, Inc. and established the

HIGH – LOWE trademark.
He helped found the Texas Watermelon Growers and Shippers Association and served as its President. Johnny was President of the National Watermelon Association from 1970-1971.
The Association recognized him at the 1971 Convention for outstanding contributions and devotion to the National Watermelon Growers and Distributors Association. He served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the NWA in 1971.
Johnny was a wholesale distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vincent ‘Jim’ Vitale
Detroit, Michigan
Faro Vitale and Sons was established in the 1940s. Jim, joined his father’s business after World War II. They moved to Eastern Market and transitioned to produce.
Jim soon became known as the ‘Watermelon Man’ by the 1980s; he was selling over 24 million pounds of watermelon a year.
He served as President of the National Watermelon Association from 1980-1981. He was a Lifetime Council member of the National Watermelon Association until his death in 2007.
Ernie Zaferis
Los Angeles, California
Ernie was a produce wholesaler and established United Melon Distributors.
Ernie was an active member of the NWA from 1965-1990. He was an active participant in the auctions and was devoted to the watermelon industry.
Zaferis Brothers Produce – initially sold produce door to door.
Touched a lot of people at his funeral there was standing room only at St Sophia’s (1500+ people) – where he was a member of the Board of Trustees.

National Watermelon Association introduces it’s Hall of Fame Inductees of 2016

hall of fame w logo

The National Watermelon Association has a long history of remarkable leaders from the watermelon industry that have contributed their time, energy, and expertise to the Association and its members. The Association’s Hall of Fame has been created to honor the lives and contributions of these members, both past and present. We will inaugurate the Hall of Fame and recognize the first class of inductees during the National Convention in New Orleans, February 25th-27th, 2016.
The following are the first four members of  the inauguration class of 2016!
BG Anderson  bg anderson image
B. G Anderson Company, Eustis, Florida established 1968.
Old Dobbin Watermelons (51-27, was the special select variety of B G Anderson Company. It was expressly grown and packaged for B G Anderson by the Simpson Nursery Company of Monticello, Florida (the world’s largest growers of watermelons for seed).
Bill Knowles
Knowles and Co, Leesburg, Florida
Sergeant At Arms of the Melon Distributors Association from 1937-1938.
Bill was one of the original members of what we now call the ‘National Watermelon Association.’
“He was a registering agent for the NWA – until the Association changed its name” – Buddy Leger
Foremost Fertilizer Company est 1947
J B Easterling
JB Easterling was a watermelon broker in Montezuma, Georgia.
He was one of three founders of Southern Frozen Foods, Inc. and
Easterling Pecan Co, Inc.
JB was one of the oldest members of the NWA.
He served on the Executive Committee and Executive Council of the  National Watermelon Association.
Bob Dietz


Bob Dietz, R H Dietz and Sons Inc – established in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois.
Bob was known as the “Watermelon King of Chicago.” He received the Auction Watermelon King Buyer Award 1976, 1977, and  1984.
Bob served 24 years on the Executive Committee and Council for the National Watermelon Association.
Bob also held the world record for watermelon large seed spitting at 66 feet and 3 inches!
 Every Monday, for the next seven (7) weeks, we will familiarize you with each member of this inaugural class.

#nwafuturisticfridays – Christmas is Coming…


Kenneth Moore_Scrooge_1970

Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving, but it seems that Christmas is already upon us. Our little town of Lakeland held it’s annual Christmas parade last night and Santa’s entrance reminded me that Christmas is just around the corner. Although the season brings with it a multitude of things to do, it also ushers in an atmosphere of excitement, joy, gratitude, and generosity, like no other time of the year. On Fridays, I usually focus on issues related to the future. Today I considered writing about the response of the greeting card industry to the downward slope of sales due to the lack of appeal to Millennials. But instead, in response to the sights and sounds of Christmas pressing in around me, I’m going to join Scrooge and consider Christmas Present.

In the classic tale, ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Scrooge is taken by three ghosts on a journey of his past, present and tentative future Christmases in a successful effort to bring about a transformation in his character. During his time with the ghost of Christmas Present, his perspective is broadened as he witnesses the Christmas celebrations of his employee and his nephew. I do not intend to take you on that kind of journey, but I do believe it would benefit us all to take time to consider the value of those with whom we most closely associate.

In reference to the use of new technology and ‘the cloud’, unorthodox methods of communication or procedure, and requests for unprecedented venues or work hours, any executive may respond in a more ‘Scrooge-like’ manner. Nevertheless, the workplace is changing rapidly as are the methods of doing business – and at the forefront of the change are the Millennials.

In a recent article, ‘Millennials are not Fruitcake,’ the XYZ University staff writer tells us that, although Millennials are not like the traditional and somewhat inedible Christmas confection, they do bring ‘gifts’ to the workforce and workplace. Phil Dell points out that because Millennials have grown up with technology, they instinctively use it to get things done. What might have been deemed untraditional or unprofessional in regard to processes and methodology, is becoming commonplace. Embracing the innovative and enthusiastic nature of these young professionals and appreciating their skills will truly result in many happy returns.

Relationships and a natural integration of work and personal life have always been a challenge for full-time employees, and often sacrifices were required and expected. These values are meaningful to Millennials and respecting them will bring about the best possible outcome in your workplace as well as on your bottom line.

To truly celebrate the holiday season well, we ought to take the lessons learned by Ebenezer Scrooge to heart and recognize the worth of those around us. Merry Christmas!


Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!


Nicole Schrader


“DREAMS ARE WHAT LE CINEMA IS FOR…” : SCROOGE 1970. N.p., 27 July 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2015. <http://lecinemadreams.blogspot.com/2013/07/scrooge-1970.html>.

Dell, Phil. “Part One Millennials Arent Fruitcake.docx.” Google Docs. XYZ University, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015. <https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B65KhrCPEpdiVHhpcGpielFhVWc/view>.

#nwafuturisticfridays – The Millennial Migration?

migrating birds

I grew up in downtown Chicago – Old Towne, New Town, Uptown, and  Belmont Harbor. My family didn’t own a car, we walked to school. My mother rode her bike to work and to the grocery store. We shopped on Michigan Avenue, ice skated on the lagoon in the Lincoln Park Zoo, spent our allowance in Piper’s Alley, and carved our names in the tables at Gino’s East after high school football games. My first major investment was a pair of roller skates with big, colorful wheels. I could skate from my house all the way to the Water Tower along the lakefront by myself. I loved living in the city.

Apparently, after some years of urban flight, city living has become very popular with Millennials – at least that is what I have been reading in the media and online. Aging downtown neighborhoods in Washington D.C. have been completely renovated as significant numbers of Millennials move into the city. Between 2000-2012, the population in the city swelled 23% as Millennials poured in.  As a result restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars, gyms and boutiques have replaced empty commercial areas. Neighborhoods have undergone a significant face-lift and are almost unrecognizable to their residents of the past.

Nevertheless, not all cities have experienced this influx of young people. Popular cities, like Chicago, Boston, and Portland, have actually seen a decrease in this population. Some areas that have seen a significant rise in Millennial population are not dense urban areas, but college towns like Austin, Texas and Columbus, Ohio – which retain many of their students after graduation.

Surprisingly the greatest increases in population, primarily consisting of Millennials, are in Southern and Intermountain West cities like Orlando, Florida and Riverside-San Bernardino, California. The large Hispanic communities contribute about 20% of the nations Millennials and that’s where they live. In his article entitled, Millennial Boomtowns: Where the Generation is Clustering, Joel Kotkin, states, “Rather than white hipsters, many millennials are working class and minority; in 2012, Hispanics and African-Americans represented 34% of the 20-29 population. Presumably many of them are more concerned with making a living than looking for ‘fair trade’ coffee or urban authenticity.”

When I was young, I was told that cities grew rapidly because they were the place where young people could find jobs, opportunities, and adventure. Today, jobs can still be found in urban areas, however, the emergence of global markets and the world-wide web has meant that destination does not signify opportunity. Young people today are living in their parent’s homes in subburbs and cities alike. They move into affordable apartments and first homes where jobs are available and they feel safe.

Perhaps adventures can be found where ever you choose to make your nest.

Nicole Schrader

Chang Elizabeth Chang, Neely Tucker, Jessica Goldstein, Cllinton Yates, Marcia Davis, Elizabeth, and Neely Tucker. “Millennials in Washington, D.C.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2013/10/18/march-of-the-millennials/>.

Kotkin, Joel. “Millennial Boomtowns: Where the Generation Is Clustering.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 4 Aug. 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2014/08/04/millennial-boomtowns-where-the-generation-is-clustering-its-not-downtown/2/>.