Summary. Organix is an organic residuals management company specializing in the management, production, utilization, marketing and sales of organic-based soil amendments – primarily those generated by confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and municipalities. The Company was founded in early 2001 as a result of the challenges with managing a growing compost and yard debris recycling facility in a suburban area of Portland, Oregon. To date Organix has processed over 4 billion pounds of material across the Northwest and beyond offering organic waste consulting, finished product sales, environmental impact resolution and public relations campaigns.
Primary Client Services: The Organix business model includes oversight in the area of equipment procurement, site design, securing of complimentary feedstock, securing and negotiation of transport, permit compliance, site management of equipment and personnel, business development, sales and marketing of finished products, public relations and concerted media campaigns.
Ancillary services provided to clients: Client questionnaire for defining goals, strengths and weaknesses; defining regional sales markets; reviewing value-added services like anaerobic digestion and finished material application; creating site pro-formas; coordinating mailers, phone advertising campaigns, press releases, etc.; permit processes and regulatory assistance; trade magazine exposure.
Primary target feedstocks: Dairy, poultry, feedlot, agricultural waste, fruit waste, wood waste, municipal food and yard waste.
Target market of amendments: landscape supply, nursery, erosion control, animal bedding, agricultural amendments, soil remediation, streamside restoration, golf courses, organic growers, methane production.
Company strengths: management, relationships, market timing, experience, customer service, market development, communication, location.
Research and Development: Organix has entered into several strategic relationships with companies to harness the potential found in commercial food waste, yard wastes and manure. Municipalities are under increasing pressure to divert organic residuals from the landfill. Methane digestion plants for electricity or natural gas conversion are now being explored. CAFOs are also under great pressure nationally to manage manure. The USEPA and USDA have jointly issued regulations requiring CAFOs to comply with manure handling guidelines.
In recent years, U.S. organic waste producers have become targets for various regulatory agencies and environmental watchdog groups due to waste stream production—often referenced as nutrient load.
Organix specializes in taking agricultural, municipal and other organic wastes and turning them into valuable, revenue generating soil amendments through composting and power production in order to minimize organic waste accumulation and consequences.
Growing up on a small timber community in western Oregon, it was obvious at a young age that Russ’s natural desire to be around people was not going to be a good fit in the remote forests of the northwest. After high school, he attended an electronics trade school that would eventually lead him into a telecommunications career that would span 20 years. Working his way up through the ranks, he wound up founding and playing a key role in some of telecoms early pioneering technology companies in the areas of cellular telephones, prepaid phone cards and cellular directory assistance. A significant milestone took place in 1996 when one of the businesses he co-founded, Metro One Telecommunications, went public on NASDAQ – reaching over $1 billion in market capitalization over the next several years.
In 1997 he concluded that it was time for a career change and bought a small organic materials recycler in Wilsonville, Oregon. Russ was interested to see if the little hobby business could be leveraged into something of regional significance. The result was Oregon Bark – which quickly outgrew its space and required a change of plans. Through a series of transactions, Oregon Bark was traded off and Organix, Inc. was born.
In 2001 Russ launched Organix, Inc. The concept behind Organix was to find agricultural related businesses that were having difficulty with their waste management programs and re-purpose this material into marketable products. In 2002, the company secured the huge Threemile Canyon Farms dairy/farm project in Eastern Oregon as a large-scale, integrated compost facility. The concept behind integration was to change the farm mentality from “waste” to “unprocessed resource”. Although the farm now keeps all material for on-farm use, the Threemile facility continues to convert hundreds of thousands of tons of residuals annually into valuable bedding, fertilizer and soil amendments.
Organix currently provides a dozen dairy clients in south central Washington with waste and recycling service – converting the potential liabilities of waste into assets. Russ designed a patented process called FibeRite™ that converts anaerobically digested manure into RePeet™ – a renewable peat moss alternative. In 2016, Organix teamed up with BioFiltro to address and solve agricultural effluent concerns. Russ expects natural water treatment systems using worms to be the next frontier.
Russ brings to the company ideas, sales, marketing, media and public relations experience. Over the years, he has been a featured speaker in telecom, composting and renewable energy expos and conferences. He has written over a dozen articles for industry trade magazines and newspapers and continues to be sought after for his ability to take an idea and make it into a marketable product.
Russ lives in Walla Walla and is happily married to the woman of his dreams and has four beautiful children, who love to ask him to explain why he picked dairy manure as a career.
Kimberly Swopes is the Office Manager at Organix, where she ensures the daily operations run smoothly. Since she joined the company in 2005, she maintains payroll, account payable, accounts receivable, monthly billing, compost orders, truck dispatching etc. Formerly, Kim worked with Moss Adams Accounting in Portland, Oregon. She attended Walla Walla Community College where her studies focused on an Associates Degree.
Kim was raised in Walla Walla but moved to Portland, Oregon in 1996. In 2005, decided to move home with her husband and two young boys. She’s an active “soccer mom” and “football mom” and has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with the Seattle Seahawks. When she’s unwinding Kim likes to fish, hunt and watch football (Go Hawks!)
Jerad Ashbeck grew up in a farming community in Eastern Oregon. He was very active in the daily operations of his family's wheat farm and multiple sports in high school. Jerad moved to Walla Walla shortly after graduating and acquired his associates degree from Walla Walla Community College. He has lived and worked in the Walla Walla Valley for more than twenty years; most recently in beverage sales and distribution.
At Organix, Jerad's roles include sales and operational oversight. He appreciates the benefits of a hard days work and the importance of doing whatever it takes in helping clients steward their land that is feeding the world. His background in farming and customer service drives him to serve Organix customers.
Jerad has been happily married for eighteen years and has two high school age sons. He is a proud dad and can be seen at his sons' many sporting events. In his spare time he enjoys camping, fishing, and being with his family and close friends.