National Watermelon Queen, farm make East Texas proud

The Smith County Commissioners Court adopted a resolution Tuesday honoring a local farm for their donations to those in need in the Piney Woods and the National Watermelon Queen from East Texas.

National Watermelon Queen, farm make East Texas proud
Wiggins Farms donates to East Texas Food Bank (Source: ktre)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Smith County Commissioners Court adopted a resolution Tuesday honoring a local farm for their donations to those in need in the Piney Woods and the National Watermelon Queen from East Texas.

It’s great to have you guys here today, really, because this is a celebration for what is best about our country," Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said.

Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran speaking at Commissioners Court about Wiggins Farms and this year’s National Watermelon Queen Miss Paige Huntington of Tyler.

“It’s been a little bit different than what the National Queen normally does, but I really enjoyed it," Huntington said.

Huntington serves as an ambassador for the watermelon industry at events throughout the country, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, she says she’s had to get creative virtually.

“This year I’ve focused on reaching out to our farmers with segments called “Farm Fridays,” featuring them and the amazing work that they do in our industry," she explained. "I also do “Watermelon Wednesdays” and “Melon Mondays,” where I get to talk about some of the amazing health benefits that our amazing fruit has. Every Thursday [I present a] craft or a watermelon recipe that everyone can try out at home.”

Also part of that resolution, Wiggins Farms based in Center. In honor of this year’s National Watermelon Queen being from Tyler, Wiggins Farms donated 100 watermelons to the East Texas Food Bank today for Hunger Action Month.

"It’s always nice to give back, said Jesse Wiggins, “and while we were up at the Food Bank, it made me realize how many people are struggling today because of the pandemic that’s going on and the crazy times that we are in. That 1-in-4 adults and 1-in-3 children are struggling with hunger right now, and it was great to give back to the community.”

“We’re trying to help everybody out,” Jared Wiggins said. “It’s fun, and it’s great.”

Started in 1999, the Wiggins family own and operate the farm which distributes 40 million pounds of watermelons to grocery stores around the country and Canada and now providing help to the East Texas Food Bank.

“It’s a very important donation," CEO of the East Texas Food Bank Dennis Cullinane said. "Watermelons is the number one sought after item in our produce program that we have.”

For more information on the National Watermelon Queen, click here. This is being held at Wiggins Farms, click here for more.

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