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Subject:  Melonhead field trip to the USDA Lab in Charleston

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Arden, NC

Dear Growers,
The Southern Growers have been offered the opportunity to tour the United States Department of Agriculture Southeastern Vegetable research Lab in Charleston, SC on a Friday in early March (either the 1st or the 8th). The day would involve a 2.5 to 3 hour tour of the facility and lunch with staff of the research lab where you would be able to have a cordial back and forth with the scientists as far into the afternoon as is agreeable. The research lab is currently engaging in a 4 year project to sequence the genome of the giant watermelon. Dr. Amnon Levy is their lead geneticist and responsible for the giant watermelon genome sequencing. The Southern Growers had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Levy at our meeting last year and after talking to a number of our growers he offered a tour to any of the growers (Southern or not) that would like to come to Charleston. He was exceptionally complimentary about the knowledge of the growers and felt like the growers knew the plants better than the scientists that work with watermelons every day. The lab at Charleston is the main lab where watermelon research is conducted in the US. The tour would include projects on entomology (nematode research), genetics, watermelon virology and growing melons in a controlled environment. As I understand it not only would there be USDA research staff there but also professors and researchers from Clemson University. Spouses would be welcome. Lunch would be provided by the Southern growers (either catered or at a restaurant). Getting yourself there is your responsibility.

1/29/2024 11:21:13 AM


Arden, NC

If you are interested we need to go on the date that will give the most people the opportunity to attend. They would like to have a minimum of 15 growers. Friday March 1st or Friday March 8th are our two choices. If you want to go and are absolutely sure you can make it on the date you choose please email me at LETRFLY@att.net.
Please don't be like many who say they will come and then never show up or communicate their change in plans. These events take a lot of work to put together and our ability to follow through with what we say we will do impacts future endeavors to tap this valuable knowledge resource. We've always operated on a win-win basis with any group we collaborate with so bring your most troublesome questions but be prepared to share what you've observed and experienced growing the giants not only with the scientists but fellow growers. The scientists are interested and we all have a lot to learn from each other.
If we can put a group together we will also check into getting a group hotel rate etc. The tour would start by 9am and we can stay till the end of business Friday. Are you interested? Email me at Letrfly@att.net and communicate the date (s) when you would make the trip. I'll compile the responses and get back to everyone. Please communicate your interest by Feb 2nd, 2024.

Susie Zuerner

1/29/2024 11:21:22 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Sounds like a fun day!

2/3/2024 7:46:55 AM



I am very much looking forward to it!

2/4/2024 6:13:42 PM

Total Posts: 4 Current Server Time: 6/19/2024 12:47:24 PM
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