Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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Premier Mushroom Grants awarded to Colusa County Non-profits

Premier Mushrooms Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh (center) is pictured with the 2014 Premier Mushrooms Inc. Grant program  recipient representatives during the annual awards breakfast. Pictured back row (l-r) Juanita Smith and Patty Hickel (Colusa County Food Basket Association), Carol Geyer (Arbuckle Elementary & Grand Island Elementary), Patti Turner (Colusa County Resource Conservation District; Colusa County Grown). Front row - Valerie Stirling (Safe Haven Drop-In Center).
Premier Mushrooms Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh (center) is pictured with the 2014 Premier Mushrooms Inc. Grant program recipient representatives during the annual awards breakfast. Pictured back row (l-r) Juanita Smith and Patty Hickel (Colusa County Food Basket Association), Carol Geyer (Arbuckle Elementary & Grand Island Elementary), Patti Turner (Colusa County Resource Conservation District; Colusa County Grown). Front row – Valerie Stirling (Safe Haven Drop-In Center).

Five Colusa County non-profit groups received Premier Mushroom Inc. grant awards at a breakfast held January 29 at the Colusa Visitor Center. This is the third annual grant award program hosted by the local mushroom growers.

The non-profit groups including Safe Haven Fund, Arbuckle Elementary School, Grand Island Elementary School, Colusa County Food Basket Association and Colusa County Resource Conservation District (Colusa County Grown project) received grant funding ranging from $125 to $250 each. 

The funds were generated through mushroom sales during the 2013 Colusa Farmers Market.

The Colusa-based mushroom growers partnered with the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce by donating mushrooms for sale each week during the Market. 

Lynda Reynolds, coordinator of the market and Colusa County Chamber executive director Gary Teragawa sold the mushrooms. Premier’s financial contribution coupled with the mushroom sales generated $1,000 in grant funding. One hundred percent of the sales were contributed to the program and dispersed as grants. The grant applications were open to all Colusa County non-profit groups. 

Representatives from each winning group were invited to attend the breakfast hosted by Premier Mushrooms Inc. 

During the breakfast, Premier Mushrooms Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh announced the award amounts. “We are very pleased to be a part of this program,” he said. “This has become a successful venture, and we hope to continue it.” 

Ashbaugh added that Premier Mushrooms is grateful to be a part of the community and that it is a pleasure to give back however it can.

First-time grant recipient Colusa County Food Basket Association representative Patty Hickel commented that she thought it was great that Premier would do something like this for the county non-profits. “They have found a great way to give back to the community,” she said.

Reynolds who was unable to attend the breakfast also commented that she really en-joyed being apart of the mushroom sale process. “I loved talking to market goers about the mushrooms and the farm that we have right here in Colusa,” she said. 

“We are so thankful to have a company like Premier Mushrooms doing business in Colusa County. “They have been good to us, and I truly thank them,” she said.

Premier Mushrooms is one of the county’s largest private sector employers now employing 210 employees. 

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