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Extension Education

Carolyn Saft


Florida Extension has offered limited classes on shiitake mushroom production on logs in the past.  Two Agents realized the potential and biological efficiency of producing oyster mushrooms using bag culture with cottonseed hulls and wheat straw. Objectives were; 1) develop a variety of educational and promotional materials, 2) raise awareness of the potential value of growing gourmet mushrooms by attending several events, 3) each year 100 farmers, Master Gardeners and hobbyists would increase their knowledge by 50% on small-scale mushroom production, 4) class attendees will produce 100 pounds of oyster or shiitake mushrooms annually.  Promotional brochures and displays were created.  PowerPoint presentations, experiential activities and notebooks were created for workshops. Two toolkits were developed with supplies to grow either shiitake or oyster mushrooms.  Agents attended Sunbelt Expo, “Agritunity”, local fairs and festivals to promote workshops.  Over 800 people participated in workshops held in eight counties throughout the state  So far, 802 small farmers, Master Gardeners, and hobbyists have attended 24 workshops on small-scale gourmet mushroom production, processing, and marketing. The average knowledge gain was 82%.  Agents have given out 838 inoculated oyster mushroom kits and 568 inoculated shiitake mushroom logs valued at $24 and $26, respectively, a total value of $34,880. Following completion of the workshops, attendees have grown over 2,514 pounds of oyster mushrooms and 8,520 pounds of shiitake mushrooms valued at $88,272 ($8/lb). This program can be duplicated as long as time and labor is allotted for: set up; execution of hands-on activities; and assembly of toolkits.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: C.S. Saft, A. Gazula, S. McCoy, C. Olson
  1. Saft, C. HORTICULTURE AGENT, University of Florida IFAS Extension Suwannee County, Florida, 32064
  2. Gazula, A. Horticulture Agent, University of Florida IFAS Extension Alachua County, Florida, 32609
  3. McCoy, S. Rural and Agribusiness Development Agent, University of Florida IFAS Extension SVAEC, Florida, 32060
  4. Olson, C. Agriculture Agent, University of Florida IFAS Extension Taylor County, Florida, 32348