Meet the Man Behind the Watermelon

watermelonMeet the man behind the Kentucky State Fair’s award-winning largest watermelon ten years in a row, Frank Mudd. He began growing massive produce years ago with the advice of his wife.

Mudd has learned to grow massive watermelons by trial and error. He is a retired golf course attendant from Fort Knox, so he had already learned the skills and had the knowledge to grow things. He uses his knowledge of genetics and different techniques when growing the watermelons. He also does his own pollination and has even created his own line of watermelons, for which he grows his own type of seed.

He did not always grow watermelons. Mudd began by growing pumpkins. He grew pumpkins for nearly 13 years, then began growing watermelons. The pumpkins require more time and effort to grow. Since Mr. Mudd is growing older, he decided to focus on growing watermelons, which still require a lot of hard work to grow, but not as much as the pumpkins. When asked which one he enjoys growing the most, he said “I enjoy growing them both. I really enjoy the challenge.”

Mudd not only competes in the Kentucky State Fair, but always tries to make it to the Indiana State Fair, Tennessee State Fair, Cullman County Fair in Alabama, and Bear Wallow Farms in Nancy, Kentucky. Last year he won the competitions at all of these events. He says he was lucky, and it was just a good year.

What Mudd enjoys the most about the Kentucky State Fair is how amazed the fairgoers are when they see his watermelon. “Everybody can relate to a watermelon, especially the real young kids and older people, and when they see it they are really fascinated on how big the watermelon has become,” said Mudd. He enjoys going from fair to fair to see the crowd’s reactions. He also said “It’s really fascinating how many thousands of pictures will be taken of people with the watermelon.”

Seeing how his massive watermelon fascinates people and what reactions they have makes the time spent growing the plant all worth it for Mudd.

Be sure to catch Mudd at this year’s Kentucky State Fair to see if he will win the largest watermelon competition again, and see his watermelon up close and in person!

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