The AG Labor team, coached by Julio Cruz, was named 2018’s Best Harvest Crew. ( Courtesy Wish Farms )

The fifth annual Strawberry Picking Challenge raised nearly $100,000 for the Redlands Christian Migrant Association.

Twenty-one corporate-sponsored teams — ranging from International Paper to the Hillsborough County, Fla., sheriff deputies — competed in a relay-style strawberry-picking race, according to a news release.

The AG Labor team coached by Julio Cruz was declared 2018’s Best Harvest Crew and winner of the Strawberry Joe Trophy, according to the release.

“The Picking Challenge continues to grow year after year,” said Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms, in the release. Wish Farms organizes the event, which raised $328,000 in its first four years. Monte Package Co. sponsored the event this year.

“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,” he said in the release. 

The event also featured a public strawberry u-pick also benefiting charity, a strawberry shortcake-eating contest and an appearance by the Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Court, according to the release.

 
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