Cordivano growers named Farmer of the Year.

Needham honored for longtime service
Cordivano growers named Farmer of the Year.
By Chris Barber
Donald “Buster” Needham has been growing mushrooms in the West Grove area for more than 50 years. Last week the county Agricultural Development Council presented him with its distinguished service award for his contributions to and innovations within the industry.Needham, 73, was born in West Grove, the son of a mushroom grower there. He recalled that in the early days of the industry, there was only one crop per year because the mushrooms needed cool conditions in the houses but there was no air conditioning at the time. During the summers, he said, the growers spent their time repairing equipment and bringing in hay and dirt for the next season’s crop.

Now, he said, with advancements in indoor climate control, a grower gets four-and-a-half crops of mushrooms a year.

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