Mississippi Natural Products Association is a rural farmers' cooperative located in south central Mississippi that provides an alternative crop for farmers and adds value to that crop by marketing and selling it at the retail level. Research and development for the Co-op came from the combined efforts of the Small Farm Development Center at Alcorn State University, a minority university located in Lorman, MS; the Medicinal Plant Garden of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS and the National Center for Natural Products Research.
Missippi Natural grows shiitake mushrooms on special substrate blocks composed of hardwood sawdust enriched with nutrients in environmentally controlled rooms. Growing Shitakes in this manner allows them to grow year round and protects the mushrooms from pest and chemicals. They are picked by hand several times a day to ensure they are fresh and immediately sorted and refrigerated.