Table to Farm: A sustainable systems-based approach for a safe, healthier melon supply chain in the U.S.
We are working with researchers at the University of Arizona School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences (UA-ACBS) and Texas A&M University to address critically important melon issues. Table to Farm: A Sustainable systems-based approach for a safe, healthier melon supply chain in the U.S., a $4.4 million, 4-year USDA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative project lead by a team of specialized melon researchers and breeders at Texas A&M, will develop melon varieties that appeal to consumers with better flavor and aroma while minimizing food safety risks, using marker-assisted breeding technologies. $200,000 is dedicated to YCEDA's role of growing test varieties at the Yuma Ag Center to evaluate which cultivars are best suited for Arizona. Samples of these test varieties, as well as melons from commercial fields, with accompanying air, water, and soil samples will be sent each year to UA-ACBS researchers for food safety evaluations and Texas A&M for flavor and aroma testing.