Dec 22, 2023
Gary Wishnatzki joins Florida strawberry hall of fame
Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Plant City, Florida-based berry grower Wish Farms, has been inducted into the Florida Strawberry Growers Association Hall of Fame.
“Gary has been a lifelong supporter of the Florida strawberry industry and an advocate pushing for progress in technology, innovation, and more sustainable practices,” Kenneth Parker, association executive director, said in a news release. “From push carts to robots, Gary has kept the culture of Wish Farms thriving by always having the company’s eye on the future. As one of the leading innovators and advocates for the industry, there is no question about his resume as a new inductee to the Hall of Fame.”
He started in the family produce business nearly 50 years ago, when it was known as Wishnatzki & Nathel. Since that time, he has been a strong voice for agriculture while pushing for innovation and embracing creative marketing efforts. Under his leadership, Wish Farms became a year-round supplier of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and pineberries. With growing operations and partnerships across the U.S., Canada and South America, the company has a 52-week supply of all five major berries, shipping to retail chains throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Wishnatzki co-founded Harvest CROO Robotics, which is on a mission to solve farm labor challenges through automation. With more than 70% of the U.S. strawberry industry invested, Harvest CROO plans to build a fleet of robotic strawberry harvesters and reach commercialization in 2024, according to the release.
“One thing Dad has always said to me is ‘If you’re not growing, you’re dying.’ He totally lives up to that mantra,” Nick Wishnatzki, public relations manager, said in the release. “He comes to work every day with a positive attitude, a fire to learn something new and a desire to strive for greatness. Our family is so proud of this achievement and the legacy he has built and continues to build on.”
About Wish Farms:
Founded in 1922, Wish Farms is a fourth-generation, family operated company. As a year-round supplier, it grows both conventional and organic varieties.