Dear AMI Members:
This year’s Happy New Year message from the Census Bureau says it all:
The most pressing challenges the world faces over the coming years will need to be solved by those working in agriculture. To feed a population of some 8 billion people and growing, with decreasing resources, and addressing the inevitable impact of climate change, while protecting the Earth’s capacity to sustain us, will be a huge task.
Sustaining agriculture into the future will require new approaches – ones that put ecosystems back at the heart of cultivation so as to ensure genuine food security, not to mention long-term human health.
I’m so glad AMI has the opportunity to work on this issue as proud representatives of what I consider the most versatile food available—we can control our own climate and are high in nutrients and protein. Moreover, the mushroom industry is not just in the ag business but is really itself an ecosystem of ag communities. It’s truly amazing how mushrooms reduce, reuse and recycle agricultural products and by-products. This fascinating process of sustainability in growing mushrooms is part of the “mushroom moment” and “fungi story” fueling the current, ongoing global fascination with mushrooms.
If you follow AMI on Instagram—@AmericanMushInst—you’ll see that our followers range from mushroom artists to nutritionists to scientists to chefs, and plenty of mushroom enthusiasts.
In 2020, AMI plans to harness as much of this mushroom goodwill as possible and work on the day-to-day need for more efficient ag growing and business policies affecting mushroom production—from ag labor to EPA regulations to farm estate tax rules (see below). We plan to bring food safety and best practices to multitudes of small growers across the country who can benefit from the thought leadership and institutional knowledge of our members while freshening our own perspectives on opportunities. We plan to remain dialed-in closely to North American and international policies, as well as business and compliance issues so members can have more tools at their disposal and a wide view of their place in the national and global market. We plan to put Mushroom News in more universities and classrooms and work closely with Mushroom Council to educate and excite consumers about all other ag components that mushrooms are grown with, how they made and what they can do. And so much more.
Here’s to an exciting 2020!