Sarah Wensink is the new 4H Camp Manager at Canter’s Cave

Please join us in welcoming the new Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp Manager, Sarah Wensink!

Sarah is a native of Wood County, Ohio, where she has been actively involved as a 4-H volunteer, specifically helping with camp for 20 years. Sarah will officially start in her new role as the Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp Manager on Friday, April 26th. Don’t worry, we will have her decked out in Canter’s Cave gear in no time!

Welcome Sarah!

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OSU Livestock Judging Camp

Wanting to learn more about livestock judging? Check out this camp with the opportunity to work alongside the Ohio State University Judging team! Registrations are due May 1st.  The OSU Livestock Judging team is looking forward to hosting a great event and wants to make sure that you are there if you have an interest in fine-tuning your livestock evaluation skills!
Click on the link for a printable form.


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Wild Mushrooms: Edible or Poisonous?

Over the weekend, I had a chance to get into the woods and do some mushroom hunting. We were not as successful as we had hoped to be but we did find close to 60 Morels. It was enough for a nice addition to a weeknight dinner. As the warm weather continues to provide the right conditions and many are searching for the “honey hole”, proper identification is extremely important before consuming any mushrooms. There is an old saying “There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.”

The following information is from an Ohio State Factsheet that provides important information and identification about edible and non-edible mushrooms. This factsheet also busts a few myths about mushroom identification and safety.

Sarah Ellis Williams, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University
Britt Bunyard, Editor-in-Chief, Fungi Magazine
Walter Sturgeon, Field Mycologist

There are 2,000 or more kinds of wild mushrooms in Ohio. Some are poisonous, and some are edible and delicious when properly prepared. The edibility of the majority is either not known or they are not considered for food because of their small size or poor flavor or texture.

Even though not everyone is interested in collecting mushrooms to eat, it is important to understand most have an important and beneficial role in the environment. They grow in a wide variety of habitats. Most of the mushrooms seen on a walk through a woods are beneficial. Many species are quite specific about their food source and will be found only under or near certain kinds of trees — some under pines, others under oak, etc. Some are important as decay organisms, aiding in the breakdown of logs, leaves, stems and other organic debris. This important role of mushrooms results in recycling of essential nutrients. Some mushrooms grow in and form their fruiting structures on living trees, causing decay of the sapwood or of the heartwood. Many woodland mushrooms are essential to good growth and survival of trees. They establish a relationship with roots of living trees that is mutually beneficial. These are called mycorrhizal mushrooms.

All mushrooms, whether poisonous or edible can be admired for their beauty and their fantastic variety of form, color and texture.

Which Mushrooms Are Safe to Eat?

Some edible mushrooms are very similar in appearance to poisonous kinds and may grow in the same habitat. Edible mushrooms are known to be safe to eat because they have been eaten frequently with no ill effects. Poisonous mushrooms are known because someone ate them and became ill or died. There is no test or characteristic to distinguish edible from poisonous mushrooms. This indicates a need to identify with certainty one of several of the proven edible species and pick and eat only those positively identified. At the same time, you should also learn to identify some of the common poisonous mushrooms, especially those that are similar to edible kinds. It is especially important to learn the characteristics of the Amanita mushrooms, since several of the species common in Ohio are poisonous and a few cause serious illness and sometimes death.

The word toadstool is often used to indicate a poisonous mushroom. Since there is no way to distinguish between a so-called toadstool and an edible mushroom, it is more precise to speak of poisonous or edible mushrooms.

The season for collecting wild mushrooms in Ohio for food begins in late March and early April when the first morel or sponge mushrooms are found. These choice edible mushrooms are most abundant during April and the first two weeks of May. The false morels (members of the Gyromitra genus) are found at this same time of the year, but they must be regarded as poisonous and not collected for eating. It is true that many have eaten false morels with no apparent ill effects. However, recent research has shown toxins to be present in some of the false morels that can cause death or serious illness. Do not eat the false morels.

From mid-summer to late autumn, a great variety of mushrooms may be found in Ohio. A number of these are choice edibles. Photographs and brief descriptions of several of the more common mushrooms found in Ohio are included in this fact sheet and in the book Mushrooms and Macrofungi of Ohio and the Midwestern States.

Edible vs. Poisonous: True or False

  • Poisonous mushrooms tarnish a silver spoon. False
  • If it peels, you can eat it. False
  • All mushrooms growing on wood are edible. False
  • Mushrooms that squirrels or other animals eat are safe for humans. False
  • All mushrooms in meadows and pastures are safe to eat. False
  • All white mushrooms are safe. False (In Ohio, the most common “deadly” mushrooms are white.)
  • Poisonous mushrooms can be detoxified by parboiling, drying or pickling. False

Collecting Wild Mushrooms

No mushroom should be eaten unless edibility is absolutely certain. Assume that all mushrooms are poisonous until proper identification is made. Even at that point, eat at your own risk!

  • Be sure of your identification. Eat only kinds known to be edible.
  • Do not eat mushrooms raw.
  • Eat only mushrooms in good condition.
  • Eat only one kind at a time. Do not eat large amounts.
  • Eat only a small amount the first time; even morels, generally considered to be excellent, may cause illness in some persons. If you do eat a mushroom you’ve picked, save a sample. In case you become ill, the sample can be used to determine if the mushroom caused your illness.
  • Don’t experiment. There is an old saying, “There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.”
  • Obtain a copy of one or more books or publications on mushrooms and/or join a mushroom club.
Figure 1. Chanterelle (Cantharellus) is bright yellow to orange and found from June to September under hardwood trees, especially oak, and under hemlock, which is its favorite host in Ohio. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard. Figure 2. Giant Puffball (Calvatia) Edible. It ranges in diameter from 8 to 24 inches and is found in parks, meadows, pastures, open woods and urban areas from late August to early October. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard.

Figure 3. Shaggy mane (Coprinus). One of the inky caps. Late summer to fall in grassy areas and hard-packed ground. Edible. Gills and cap soon become inky. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon. Figure 4. Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rachodes). This scaly capped, edible mushroom is often found in compost, mulch and lawns, often near spruce trees. It has a white spore print. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard.

Figure 5. Fly Amanita. Reddish-orange, orange to yellow caps with whitish “warts.” Poisonous. Under trees. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard. Figure 6. Morel mushroom (Morchella). Five species in Ohio late March to mid-May. Edible. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon.

Figure 7. Meadow mushroom (Agaricus). In grassy areas, late summer and early fall. Pink gills, becoming chocolate brown. Edible. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon. Figure 8. Russula mushroom (Russula sp.). Many species in Ohio of various colors: green, yellow, orange, purple, red, white, etc. All woodland and mycorrhizal. Some edible and some poisonous. Summer and fall. Brittle in texture, especially the gills. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon.

Figure 9. Sulfur or Chicken mushroom (Laetiporus). Orange-yellow with pores. On wood. Edible, especially the tender edges. Summer and fall. Photo courtesy of J. Justice. Figure 10. False morels (Gyromitra sp.). Note the conical-shaped true morels versus the false morels. Do not eat false morels. April and May. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard.

Figure 11. Jack-O-Lantern mushroom. (Omphalotus, Clitocybe). Orange-yellow with gills. Base of stumps, decaying tree roots. Poisonous. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon. Figure 12. Slippery jack (Suillus, Boletus). A fleshy pore mushroom. Under 2- and 3-needle pines. Edible. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon.

Figure 13. Smooth white Lepiota. Grassy areas, late summer to early autumn. Edible for most people. Be aware of look-a-likes. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard. Figure 14. Destroying Angel (Amanita sp.). Three, all white similar species, common in Ohio in mixed woods. Found July to October. Poisonous, deadly. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard.

Figure 15. Eyelash cup. Grows on wood. Dark hairs line the edges of the cup. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard. Figure 16. Green-Spored Lepiota. Often appears in large fairy rings in lawns. Poisonous. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard.

Figure 17. Lactarius or milk mushroom. One of many woodland species. Some edible, some not. All are mycorrhizal. A latex (white or colored) exudes from injured areas. Summer and fall. Photo courtesy of B. Bunyard. Figure 18. Common brown cup mushroom (Peziza). Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon.

Sources of Information


  • Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff. Alfred A. Knopf. 926 p. 756 color photographs with descriptions of all species.
  • Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America by Kent and Vera McKnight. 429 p. and 48 pl. (A Peterson guide) Houghton Mifflin Co. 500 species described and illustrated in color. Another 500 discussed.
  • Mushrooms and Macrofungi of Ohio and the Midwestern States: A Resource Handbook by L.H. Rhodes, B.A. Bunyard, W.E. Sturgeon and S.D. Ellis Williams. The Ohio State University. Color photographs, 140 mushrooms.
  • Mushrooms of North America by O.K. Miler. E.P. Dutton and Co. Over 400 species described; 292 color photographs; illustrated glossary.
  • The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide by A.H. Smith and Nancy Weber. Univ. of Mich Press. 316 p. and 282 color photographs.

The authors of the above guides are professional mycologists. These guides are often available online, in local bookstores or in public libraries.


North American Mycological Association
P.O. Box 64
Christiansburg, VA 24068
Mr. Walter Sturgeon
Ohio Mushroom Society
288 E. North Avenue
East Palestine, OH 44413

Contact the above for more information. The membership dues are nominal. Newsletters are issued several times a year, and field trips, forays and workshops are scheduled. These clubs are for anyone interested in any aspect of mushrooms. Both have professional mycologists to help identify mushrooms and lead field trips.

Updated 4H Quality Assurance Dates

Attached to this post is a flyer for the upcoming dates for Quality Assurance Trainings. The QA scheduled for April 23rd at Eastern Brown High School has been canceled but will be rescheduled. All Quality Assurance must be completed and documentation submitted by July 1, 2019.

Raise Your Hand for Ohio 4-H

Have you raised your hand yet for 4-H in 2019? Go to and fill out your information to Raise Your Hand for 4-H! Did this last year? You can vote again this year! ANYONE who supports 4-H can participate.

If Ohio wins, the $20,000 prize will be split between the counties with the most hands raised. Help Ohio and Brown County be in the top!


Dorothy Pelanda’s Visit to Brown County

Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture made a visit to Brown County on April 8th. Dorothy shared information about her background and experiences. Dorothy also provided an update on water quality issues and Senate Bill 57. Pictured above, members of OSU Extension meeting with Dorothy. In the picutre from left to right: James Morris, Brooke Beam, Senator Joe Vecker, ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda, David Dugan, State Representative Doug Green, Kristy Watters and Kathy Bruynis.

2019 New Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training


To register for training classes contact the Pesticide Safety Education Team at 614-292-4070 or The cost for a morning session is $35 and the afternoon session is $30. All classes will be held at Ohio Department of Agriculture, Bromfield Administration Building 8995 East Main St. Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.  More information can be found below and on the attached pictures.



(Core and Categories 5, 6c, 8)

This training program provides an overview of pesticide safety information. Everyone attending the morning session will receive documentation that they have met the requirements of Trained Serviceperson training. A Trained Serviceperson can apply pesticides in Ohio as long as they are working under the supervision of a licensed commercial applicator. The afternoon sessions will review Ornamental Weed Control (Category 6c). Attendees will choose between Industrial Vegetation (Category 5) and Turf (Category 8).

Testing is available at the conclusion of the day. A photo ID is required for the test.

Registration and check in opens at 8:30 a.m. The class begins at 9:00 a.m. The class fees include a continental breakfast, instruction, and class notes. Lunch is included with pre-registration. To receive study materials for the class, you must apply for a license with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which requires a separate $35 fee. Signing up for this class will not deliver you study materials.


On-site registration accepts cash and check ONLY. No credit cards can be used for on-site registration.

Refunds and Cancellations: There will be a $25 processing charge per registrant for any refunds. No refunds will be given after two weeks following the class. There is a $30 fee for any returned checks.


Registration and check in begins at 8:30 a.m. Below is the class schedule. Exams are available at the conclusion of the class, around 3:30 p.m. You will choose what exams you would like to take during the check-in process at the beginning of the day. Attendees that attend the morning session will receive a Trained Serviceperson certificate.

9:00 Morning Session
Core and Trained Serviceperson Review
Laws and Regulations Applicator Safety and Environment
Calculations and Formulations Label Interpretation and Quiz
Lunch: 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. Afternoon Session
Weed and Herbicide Basics
Weed control principless and herbicide terminology for:
Ornamental Weed (6c) Industrial Vegetation (5)
Turf (8)
2:10 Breakout Sessions
Turf (8)
Industrial Vegetation (5)
Seminar Room A
Turf Insects Applications and Calculations
Turf Disesease Label Reading
Noxious Weed ID



License and Study Materials

The New Applicator Pesticide Training course is designed to help you prepare for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator test. To become licensed, you must apply for your license with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The application for a pesticide license requires a separate $35 fee be paid to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Once you have applied for your license, you will receive study materials. It can take 4-6 weeks to receive your study materials. We recommend that you apply for your license before taking this course. A representative from the ODA will be available on site to distribute study materials, if you have not yet received them.

You must pass the core test and at least one category test to receive your license.