Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist and organic gardener who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast and cultivating fungi both commercially and experimentally for more than 22 years. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga. The company, his platform for exploring applications for mushrooms in various industries, currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. He’s particularly fond of coming up with low-tech and no-tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, South Carolina, to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects. Tradd, Olga and their daughter, Heidi, live in Liberty, South Carolina, in the northwestern part of the state.

Tradd will be our keynote speaker and will also be leading a course on, The Future of Medicinal and Agricultural Fungi

For millions of years fungi have torn apart and restructured the Earth to stabilize ecosystems. Understanding how mushrooms, molds, mycorrhizae and endophytes function in their roles can create novel solutions for agriculture and medicine. These two key paradigm shifting scaffolds that modern civilization relies on, is currently in a downward spiral. Let us reimagine the possibilities, and they will materialize if we assemble and support the needs of our planet first, the rewards will be truly magical.