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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

MU specialty mushroom workshop, Feb. 17-18, offers facts on forest farming opportunities

Dec. 21, 2005

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Whether you want to grow enough to supply area restaurants or just enough for your morning omelets, those interested in learning the basics of producing and marketing shiitake and other specialty mushrooms can do so at a University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry workshop, Feb. 17-18 in Columbia, Mo.

The workshop begins at 6 p.m. Friday with registration at the Ramada Inn Conference Center, 1100 Vandiver Drive, said Julie Rhoads, events coordinator for the center. An exhibit room displaying value-added mushroom products and mushroom-growing books, catalogs and supplies will be open from 7 to 8 p.m.

Saturday's program begins at 8 a.m. Mary Ellen Kozak and Joe Krawczyk, owners of Field and Forest Products in Peshtigo, Wis., will give back-to-back presentations, one on cultivating wine-cap Stropharia and oyster mushrooms, and one on producing shiitake mushrooms outdoors. Nicola McPherson, owner of Ozark Forest Mushrooms, wraps up the morning sessions with a discussion on marketing and selling value-added specialty mushroom products. In addition, Center for Agroforestry economist Larry Godsey will cover the basics of budgeting and planning for a niche market business such as mushroom production.

"It's great that Mary Ellen, Joe and Nicola are willing to share information about their businesses with a group that's potentially new competitors," said Rachel McCoy, Center for Agroforestry senior information specialist. "This event is an excellent example of farmer-to-farmer networking that can help open doors to new value-added agricultural opportunities, even for those who are new to the potential of agroforestry practices."

In the afternoon, the group departs for the MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, Mo., for a tour of the mushroom study sites there. "Participants will then have the opportunity to get hands-on with shiitake mushroom production," Rhoads said. "They'll go through each step of the mushroom log inoculation and preparation process."

Johann Bruhn, MU associate professor of plant pathology who specializes in edible mushroom production, will be on-hand to update participants on the center's research.

Cost for the workshop is $89 for registrations postmarked by Feb. 13. An additional $10 fee is required for walk-ins and registrations postmarked after Feb. 13. Space is limited to 60 registrants. A workshop program and registration form is available for download at

The Ramada Inn is offering a special room rate until Feb. 3 for both Friday and Saturday nights. The discounted rate is $58 and includes up to two tickets for a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. Call (573) 449-0051 for reservations, and mention you are with the mushroom workshop.

Workshop sponsors include the MU Center for Agroforestry; the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Field and Forest Products; and Ozark Forest Mushrooms. For more information, contact Rhoads at (573) 882-3234 or

Source: Julie Rhoads (573) 882-3234

--Jason L. Jenkins
Senior Information Specialist
Extension & Ag Information
University of Missouri
(573) 882-2980

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