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Wish Farms' Owner Gary Wishnatzki on Company's 5th Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge

Wish Farms' Owner Gary Wishnatzki on Company's 5th Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge

PLANT CITY, FL – Wish Farms' Fifth Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge, presented by Monte Package Company, raised nearly $100,000 to benefit the children of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), according to a press release.

Gary Wishnatzki, Owner, Wish Farms

“The Picking Challenge continues to grow year after year,” said Gary Wishnatzki, Owner. “The berries were big and sweet, and the turnout was our best yet. I love that our industry shares a close bond with the community. Bringing folks together to recognize our dedicated farmers and field workers, as well as RCMA’s unwavering commitment is what this day is all about.”

Wish Farms' Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge

The fundraiser mobilized 21 corporate-sponsored teams to compete in a relay-style strawberry-picking race. Some of the sponsors included the following:

  • International Paper
  • Publix
  • Farm Credit of Central Florida
  • Amalie Oil
  • ATP
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff deputies

When all was said and done, the AG Labor team, coached by Julio Cruz was crowned the 2018 “Best Harvest Crew” and became the newest recipient of the Strawberry Joe Trophy.

Wish Farms' Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge

In addition to the challenge where sponsors competed against each other, growers also nominated their best harvester for a professional picking contest in which $800 was awarded to the winner and runners-up.

The family-friendly, day-long charity also featured a strawberry shortcake eating contest, balloon artists, games, music, a special appearance by the Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Court, and the singing group “Next Radical Generation.”

Wish Farms' Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge

According to the press release, the RCMA, to which the proceeds will go, is a non-profit organization that operates child-care centers and charter schools for Florida’s rural poor, including the children of farm workers, like the "professional harvesters" who participated in the picking contest and many of Wish Farms' employees. Since the conception of the event, The Picking Challenge has donated a total of $423,000 to the children of RCMA the press release claims.

To watch the 2017 recap click here, and to stay in the know, keep reading AndNowUKnow.

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Wish Farms

Wish Farms has grown from the humble beginnings of an immigrant pushcart peddler to Florida's largest strawberry shipper....