Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Meet Chad Chastain. Chad runs the day-to-day operations at J.D.I. Farms between Punta Gorda and Labelle, FL. Watermelon is the only crop grown by J.D.I., with almost 400 acres a year. Chad comes from a long line of Florida watermelon farmers, including his father Ralph Chastain. Chad still works with his father daily to produce the best Florida watermelons.
Chad has been a board member of the Florida Watermelon Association (FWA) for about four years now but has attended meetings his entire life. He became more involved and consistent in the meetings since he was only fourteen years old.
When it comes to being a part of the FWA Chad values the friendships he’s made the most. “It’s really cool to see that even though we all have our own issues on the farm, we can come together to brainstorm ideas to help each other out.”
He wants those in the industry to remember to always, “be kind and help others when you can, not so you can benefit from it later, but because that’s the right thing to do.”