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Governor Rendell Proclaims September Mushroom Month In Pennsylvania
State Ranks First in Mushroom Production
KENNETT SQUARE, Pa., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell has proclaimed September as Mushroom Month in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania is a powerhouse in the mushroom industry, ranking first in mushroom production nationwide. Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today presented the Governor's proclamation to members of the American Mushroom Institute during their 50th Anniversary Reception designating September as Mushroom Month in the commonwealth. "As the 'Mushroom Capital of the World,' Chester County truly is the heart of Pennsylvania's mushroom industry," said Wolff. "Our mushroom producers grow 465 million pounds of mushrooms produced annually-a product valued at more than $379 million annually. As we celebrate mushroom month, I join Governor Rendell in thanking and commending Pennsylvania's mushroom producers who work tirelessly to grow this labor-intensive crop." Mushroom farms dot the landscape in Armstrong, Berks, Chester, Clearfield, Delaware and Lancaster counties, supporting local economies and contributing to the state's economic well being. Pennsylvania farmers supply 55 percent of the nation's Agaricus mushrooms, known also as button mushrooms (most easily identified as those found on pizza and salads). Pennsylvania farmers also grow other specialty varieties including shiitake, oyster and enoki. In addition, 52 percent of the nation fresh market sales, and 71 percent of the mushrooms used in processing comes from PA growers. "Mushrooms are a tasty and healthy accompaniment to any meal," said Wolff. "In fact, five medium mushrooms are virtually fat free, and contain only 20 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates. I encourage you to support Pennsylvania farmers by including mushrooms as part of your next meal." For information on the industry and the American Mushroom Institute, visit http://www.americanmushroom.org/
EDITORS NOTE -- A copy of Governor Rendell's proclamation follows:
WHEREAS, American mushroom farming began on a farm in Kennett Square, Chester County, now known as the 'mushroom capital of the world;' WHEREAS, agriculture is Pennsylvania's leading industry and, with over 465 million pounds produced, valued in excess of $379 million, Pennsylvania is the leading mushroom producing state; WHEREAS, several varieties of mushrooms such as Agaricus, shiitake, enoki, and oyster provide valuable nutrients and are used to enhance gourmet and home-style dishes throughout the year; WHEREAS, Pennsylvania supplies over 55 percent of the nation's Agaricus mushrooms; WHEREAS; mushrooms are one of the most difficult commodities to grow due to the intensive labor required to produce a consistent, high-quality crop; WHEREAS, modern mushroom farms are highly technical operations that utilize computerized systems to monitor production; WHEREAS, mushroom growers carefully prepare compost, generate an indoor pasteurization process, control temperature and humidity, and harvest their crop; WHEREAS, the mushroom industry in Pennsylvania greatly contributes to the local economy and also offers a marketable product for export; THEREFORE, In recognition of our thriving agriculture industry, I, EDWARD G. RENDELL, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim September 2005, MUSHROOM MONTH in Pennsylvania. I encourage all citizens of Pennsylvania to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of all those who, working together, produce an abundant, profitable mushroom crop that has become a significant commodity in Pennsylvania. GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the city of Harrisburg, this 9th day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand and five.