Florida Strawberry Picking Challenge Packs Success for Charity

Florida Strawberry Picking Challenge Packs Success for Charity

The Strawberry Picking Challenge has grown to become a mid-February tradition in Plant City, FL. The sixth annual gathering, presented by Monte Package Company and hosted by Wish Farms, raised more than $90,000 to benefit children of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA).


The event featured 20 corporate-sponsored teams competing in an exciting relay-style strawberry-picking race. Local strawberry growers cheered on competitors and coached the corporate teams through the picking challenge. Ultimately, the team backed by the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and coached by Kane Hannaford from G&D Farms was crowned 2019’s Best Harvest Crew and awarded the “Strawberry Joe” trophy.

In addition to the sponsor brackets, local strawberry growers nominated their best harvesters to compete in a professional picking competition. A total of $800 was awarded to these master pickers.

RCMA is a non-profit that operates child-care centers and charter schools serving Florida’s low-income, rural population, particularly the children of agricultural workers. Wish Farms is a long-time supporter of RCMA. Since the event began in 2014, the Strawberry Picking Challenge has donated more than $513,000 to the children of RCMA.

“The turnout was our best yet with an estimated 2,500 attendees,” said Gary Wishnatzki, Owner of Wish Farms, in a prepared news release. “This event brings the community together to celebrate the Florida strawberry season and show our appreciation for the dedicated farmers and field workers. We are grateful to support RCMA and the important work they do for our industry.”