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Everson mushroom farm to shut down by June

Mushrooms at an Ostrom farm in Lacey. Ostrom Mushroom Farms, a family-owned company headquartered in Olympia, announced Thursday it will phase out operations at it 60-acre farm near Everson.
Mushrooms at an Ostrom farm in Lacey. Ostrom Mushroom Farms, a family-owned company headquartered in Olympia, announced Thursday it will phase out operations at it 60-acre farm near Everson. The Olympian

A longtime mushroom farm near Everson will be closing in the coming months, resulting in the loss of 65 jobs.

Ostrom Mushroom Farms announced Thursday it will be phasing out its operations on the 60-acre farm, with the closure expected in early June.

The company has begun the process of helping those 65 employees find new jobs, including bringing in the state job training services agency WorkSource to help, said Fletcher Street, director of marketing and sales for Ostrom.

Several factors led to the decision to close the farm. Built in 1980, the aging buildings and equipment at 7334 Goodwin Road were no longer cost-effective to operate. It has also become increasingly difficult to attract workers to do what is fairly labor-intensive work, Street said.

Much of the work involved is in the harvesting about 55,000 pounds of mushrooms a week by hand, Street said. The Everson mushrooms are shipped daily to the company’s Olympia farm for packaging and distribution.

Ostrom, a family-owned company since 1928, is headquartered in Olympia. After closing of the Everson satellite farm, Ostrom will grow more of its brown mushrooms in the Olympia area and buy more of the white mushrooms from other farms. The company currently produces 15 million pounds annually and distributes the product throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Street said the decision to close the Everson farm won’t impact supplies to stores, which includes Fred Meyer, Safeway and Haggen.

After the closure, the 60-acre property is expected to be put up for sale, Street said.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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