NAPLES, Fla. — The Farm-City BBQ is back for its 66th annual event serving Collier County residents from all over and supporting local youth organizations.
"We've got a ton of people out here to help celebrate this harvest time of year as crops kick off down here in Florida and as the holiday kicks off," said Jaime Weisinger, Lipman Family Farms.
After canceling last year's barbecue because of Hurricane Ian, Weisinger says people are back and happy to celebrate the county's resilience.
Local farmers came together in support of local youth groups:
- Collier 4-H
- Immokalee Foundation
- Collier County Junior Deputies League
- Kiwanis Kids
- Youth Leadership Collier
Russell Budd, event chair, calls the event a "family reunion" and says it gets students out of the classroom and into working while giving them to opportunity to show off their own hard work.
"There are kids 4-H who cut up all the vegetables, prepare an Immokalee salad, it was our Junior Deputy kids were doing the car parking," said Budd. "We're trying to correlate their role now to what might be their future roles in the community."
With the help of local farmers and volunteers donating their time and crops, they are educating the public on the importance of local agriculture.
"Most of the winter vegetables that go to the northeast are grown in Florida, so it is so important that we protect our farmers," said Senator Kathleen Passidomo. "Agriculture is the backbone of our state, it's one of the three-legged stools, and it's really important for our students for our kids to understand how important agriculture is for the economy."