First Lady Lori Shapiro tours Mother Earth’s organic mushrooms, highlights Pennsylvania’s role as national leader in agriculture industry

Pennsylvania leads the nation in organic mushroom production and produces nearly half of all conventionally produced mushrooms grown in the US

The Shapiro Administration’s investment will increase the competitive advantage of PA mushroom growers.

West Grove, PA – First Lady of Pennsylvania Lori Shapiro joined Agriculture Minister Russell Redding for a tour of Mother Earth’s organic mushroom farm in West Grove, among the businesses that make Pennsylvania the nation’s number one producer of organic mushrooms. Shapiro Administration investments fuel the continued growth of the nation’s leading industry through targeted investment to address the challenges unique to mushrooms, and organic mushroom production in particular.

“It was a pleasure to join Minister Redding this afternoon along with representatives of the American Mushroom Institute and Mother Earth Fungi,” said First Lady Lori Shapiro. “Josh and I are proud that the Commonwealth is a national leader in mushroom production – and we will continue to work to provide resources and support the needs of Pennsylvania’s agricultural community to continue to innovate and thrive.”

Mother Earth is a USDA certified farm that has been in business for over 100 years. The family business covers every phase of mushroom production from compost, to cultivation, packaging and delivery.

“Our mushroom industry’s long history of innovation and ingenuity demonstrates why the world looks to Pennsylvania for leadership.” Secretary Reading said. “Mushrooms grow in the dark, but the Shapiro Administration’s investments are made in the light by listening to the voices of growers like The owners of Mother Earth Jerry Yeatman and Tim Hinnand American Mushroom Institute President Rachel Roberts to hear what their challenges are and learn where we can provide opportunities for growth and help them meet their challenges.”

Pennsylvania leads the nation in organic mushroom production and produces nearly half of all agaricus mushrooms grown in usa The industry injects nearly $1.2 billion into our state economy annually and supports more than 9,300 jobs paying over $313 million.

“The last few years, while challenging, have been an opportunity for the mushroom industry to show that sustainability is not just an attitude, but an ever-changing business strategy,” said American Mushroom Institute President Rachel Roberts, who joined the tour to introduce additional voices of the Pennsylvania industry. “Produce continues to fight for a bigger share on consumers’ plates, as well as a fair share of support from the USDA and other regulatory agencies. Among the products, mushrooms are the original ecosystem service of the environment, whose taste and nutritional value are unique and exciting. Our Commonwealth’s commitment to our industry and vice versa is not just a wonderful story, but an important partnership. We are grateful for the opportunity to join the First Lady today and discuss this.”

Among the critical investments in agriculture in the Shapiro administration’s 2023-24 bipartisan budget is $1 million to create a first-of-its-kind Organic Center of Excellence to empower and support organic producers like Mother Earth. The center will support food safety testing to maintain product integrity and increase consumer confidence.

The new PA Preferred Organic™ brand, created last week when Governor Shapiro signed House Bill 157, will offer an additional tool for organic producers to foster consumer confidence and build product sales.

To Governor Shapiro The 2023-24 budget continues to strategically invest where Pennsylvania’s agriculture and food industries need it most through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, building on a foundation of more than $150 million to date in strategic investments in challenges and strengths unique to our state’s food system.

A diverse range of funding supported in Budget 2023-24 is available to power the future of the mushroom industry. Among these opportunities are PA Farm Bill Farm Vitality grants for business planning and expansion, Specialty Crop Block Grants to increase market opportunities and product promotion, Agriculture and Youth Grants to build the workforce the industry needs to stay afloat competitive; as well as conservation finance to strengthen farm resilience and reduce climate change impacts; and more than $2 million in agricultural research grants to develop innovative solutions to combat pest and disease challenges and to strengthen organic and regenerative agriculture.

Find more information about Pennsylvania’s investments in a stronger, more sustainable agriculture and food industry at

Media contacts: Meagan Abbott, Office of the First Lady – meabb[email protected]; Shannon Powers, Agriculture — [email protected]

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