Burlington, Wisconsin. In 1975, Bill Rose was a chef in a Chicago restaurant who was frustrated by the lack of fresh mushrooms. Fed up with canned mushrooms, Bill moved to Wisconsin to start a mushroom farm with the goal of providing for Midwest-based restaurants. The farm had a rocky start, with the government seizing the first plot of land shortly after starting. Then, while moving farming operations to new land in Burlington, Bill and a farmhand were killed in an automobile accident. Eric, Bill's son, took over farming operations after the tragedy and has grown the farm ever since.
Today, River Valley Ranch is more than just a mushroom farm. The RVR Kitchen is a place for chefs to pickle mushrooms and make salsas, dips and hot sauces. Eric's son, Jordan, moved to Chicago and started the River Valley Farmer's Table, a farm-to-table restaurant that uses produce from River Valley Ranch.