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2000 Distinguished Alumnus

Posted: June 12, 2009

Charles Brosius '52 Dairy Science
Charles Brosius

Charles Brosius

Charles Brosius is a leading figure in the world's mushroom industry and former Pennsylvania secretary of agriculture. Brosius, a native of West Grove, Pennsylvania, has achieved an international reputation as an innovator in mushroom cultivation and marketing. The Brosius family business, Marlboro Mushrooms (from which he retired as president in 1995), led the state industry in adapting and developing production techniques to meet the growing fresh-market demand in the 1960s.

His lecturing, sponsored research and published papers continue to establish him as a national authority in mushroom production. He was recently appointed to serve on the National Mushroom Council by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He served as Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture from March 1995 through May 1997. As secretary, he chaired the Commissions of Animal Health, Soil Conservation, Farm Show, Horse Racing, and Farmland Preservation, as well as many other boards. He was instrumental in the formation of the Penn State Agricultural Law Center, a partnership with the Dickinson School of Law.   

After graduating from Penn State in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in dairy science, Brosius managed the family's dairy and mushroom farm, overseeing its concentration on mushroom production and its development of marketing for the New York City fresh markets, with emphasis on Asian produce buyers and subsequent expansion and acquisition of a distribution/trucking concern and real estate holding company. As a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees from 1989 through 1997, he chaired the Hershey Medical Center Advisory Committee. He served on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and as vice-chairman of the board of directors of Agway, Inc. farm supply cooperative. He is also a former director of Telmark, Inc., an agricultural easing and financing company.

From 1989 until 1995, he was a director and finance chairman for Curtice Burns Foods, Inc., a national food processing and marketing corporation. In 1978, he was recognized as a Pennsylvania Master Farmer, and has been honored with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, the Chester County Commissioners' Agricultural Leadership Award and the American Mushroom Institute Distinguished Service Award