Webinars to Teach about Regulations, Certification, and the Specialty Mushroom Industry

Join the Cornell Small Farms Program and CCE Harvest NY this winter to learn how to navigate the various regulations and certifications in a specialty mushroom enterprise. The type, location, scale, and markets of a given farm all affect the programs that farmers are required or can choose to join.

Specialty mushrooms are defined by USDA as any species not belonging to the genus Agaricus (button, crimini, portabella). Examples of programs we will discuss in this two-part series include FSMA Produce Rule, GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices), New York Grown and Certified, Certified Naturally Grown, and Organic Certification. 

This content will expand on resources already available in our Specialty Mushrooms project’s Harvest to Market guide. Both webinars will be recorded and posted for later viewing. Registration is free for anyone interested in learning about these topics. 

Register now to receive a link to attend.

GAPs, FSMA, and Food Safety in Mushroom Production: Webinar #1 

Wednesday, January 26, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This session will cover how contamination is spread, provide an overview of microbial risk reduction, basic food safety practices, and clarify the differences between food safety audits vs. inspection. We will also hear directly from Smallhold, a NYC-based certified organic mushroom operation that uses a distributed farming network and local, urban farming hub to sell specialty mushrooms and is a participant in the GAPs certification program.


  • Yolanda Gonzalez, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Harvest NY
  • Robert Hadad, Cornell Vegetable Program 
  • Hannah Shufro, Smallhold 

Certification of Mushroom Production Practices: Webinar #2 

Wednesday, February 23, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Several options exist for verification programs that growers can utilize to certify their production practices and increase their market potential. This webinar covers the practices and procedures for becoming Certified Organic, Certified Naturally Grown, and New York Grown and Certified. Hear from the people who offer these options and from mushroom growers who utilize them, and get your questions answered. 


  • Alice Varon, Certified Naturally Grown 
  • Jessica Terry, NOFA – NY 
  • Participating Farms TBA

Steve Gabriel

Steve is an Extension Specialist focused on specialty mushroom production and agroforestry. Throughout his career, Steve has taught thousands of people about the ways farming and forestry can be combined to both benefit the ecology and economies of small farms.  He is also a farmer, author, hiker, and musician.