OXON HILL, MD. — Before deciding where to build a new mushroom farm in the United States, Ronald Wilson wants to know where he can find some chicken manure.
Wilson, the CEO of Ireland-based Monaghan Mushrooms, said he needs to mix the waste with wheat straw, providing compost to make his mushrooms grow. If all goes well, he said, he wants to open a plant that could employ 700 people.
A team of state economic development officials jumped at the opportunity during a “matchmaking session” with Wilson at President Barack Obama’s second international investment summit in suburban Maryland, a sold-out event that drew executives from 70 foreign countries this week.
“We’re going to do our dangdest to find a source of chicken manure for you,” Kelly Anthon, the city administrator of Rupert, Idaho, told Wilson.
After successfully wooing companies from Ireland, Japan, Portugal, France, Germany and Canada in recent years, Idaho officials say they’re eyeing more foreign investment as a way to aid their economy and raise the state’s profile.