WEST GROVE, PA — Pennsylvania’s First Lady Lori Shapiro and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding recently toured the Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms farm in West Grove, Chester County. Their visit underscored Pennsylvania’s leading role in organic mushroom production nationally.
Pennsylvania produces nearly half of all conventionally grown mushrooms in the U.S., leading the nation in organic mushroom production. The state’s mushroom industry contributes almost $1.2 billion annually to the state economy, supporting over 9,300 jobs that pay more than $313 million.
During the tour, Shapiro highlighted the administration’s commitment to bolstering the industry through targeted investments, addressing challenges unique to mushroom and particularly organic mushroom production.
“It was a pleasure to join Secretary Redding this afternoon along with the representatives from the American Mushroom Institute and Mother Earth Mushrooms,” said First Lady Lori Shapiro. “Josh and I are proud that the Commonwealth is a national leader in the mushroom industry – and we will continue working to deliver the resources and support Pennsylvania’s agriculture community needs in order to keep innovating and thriving.”
Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms, a family business with over a century-long history, is a USDA Organic-certified farm overseeing every phase of mushroom production, from composting to growing, packing, and delivery.
“Our mushroom industry’s long history of innovation and resourcefulness demonstrates why the world looks to Pennsylvania for leadership,” stated Secretary Redding. He stressed the importance of understanding the challenges faced by producers like Mother Earth’s owners, Jerry Yeatman and Tim Hihn, and American Mushroom Institute President Rachel Roberts.
The Shapiro Administration budget for 2023-24 includes $1 million to establish the first-ever Organic Center of Excellence. This center will support organic producers like Mother Earth by conducting food safety testing to uphold product integrity and boost consumer confidence.
Additionally, the new PA Preferred Organic™ Brand, established earlier in November when Governor Shapiro signed House Bill 157 into law, will further aid organic producers by promoting consumer confidence and increasing product sales.