Farming can be strenuous, and the Florida heat does not make conditions easier.
The heat is not the only battle Florida farmers face. When farmers are disabled, they have no choice but continue working for food and income. The Amazing Give Charity Event seeks to help farmers like Mika Hardison-Carr who struggle with physical limitations.
“I have a disease called ankylosing spondylitis, and really essentially what that means is that your spine fuses. So, normally your spine has the ability to bend. Or what happens with ankylosing spondylitis is that is becomes rigid, and you lose the ability to bend forward,” Hardison-Carr said.
Her main source of income is beekeeping. She needs tools to help her lift 60-pound boxes.
“To have worked all season, gone in the boxes, made sure the bees were fine, all the hives were healthy. And then to not be able to do the main portion which is transport all of those boxes of honey is a problem,” she said.
This year the Gainesville-based center for independent living of North Central Florida will be raising funds for the Florida AgrAbility project. The fundraiser will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The goal is to raise $10,000. The program aims to help as many farmers as possible.
A UF professor who works with the fundraiser says farming is one of the only industries in which people 65-plus still have to work.
“For me, it’s just helping them. Farming is so meaningful for everybody. Maybe you know in agriculture, farmers, it’s the only occupation people, they don’t get retired,” Serap Gorucu said.
The fundraiser will help farmers with overcoming disability-related limitations. Assistance includes assistive technologies — modified work practices — and more.
For more information visit www.agrability.ifas.ufl.edu.