Thank you to everyone that attended our 2017 Annual Conference!

"Bringing Our Soils Back to Life"

Agenda: Click here for the schedule of events that happened.

Speakers: Click here for our speaker bios.

Presentations: Click here to see the conference presentations.

Location: Semiahmoo Resort. Golf. Spa 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine, WA, 98230.

Congratulations to our 2017 Award Winners!

Composting Excellence Award: Don Bailey, Bailey Farm
The Bailey family has been farming in the Snohomish River Valley since 1913 growing a variety of vegetable and seed crops for 5 generations along with dairy operations.  They began composting their own manure to use on their crops and reduce commercial fertilizer needs.  They began selling Bailey compost to the public in 1995. 

Baileys make a well-aged, quality compost from shredded yard waste, manure, silage and crop residuals.  It is a consistently high quality compost, certified in the USCC STA program.  Don & Barb Bailey have been supporters of compost use and members of WORC since ____.  They’ve built a strong following of loyal customers, many of whom attribute their own gorgeous flower and vegetable gardens to Bailey Compost.

Besides compost the Baileys grow multiple vegetables and run a U-pick farm stand and pumpkin farm providing healthy food and education to the public.  They are involved with a number of programs to protect their land and water quality for future generations.  They have a terrific relationship with their regulators. The Snohomish County Health Dept: “Don Bailey is a hands on owner.  He keeps tabs on what is happening and that makes all the difference.” “They do a great job and always take the time to tour and help educate students or new hires when we ask to bring people on site. They’re awesome!”

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 Leadership & Innovation Award: Gregg Ovenell, Ovenell Farms
Ovenell Farms in Quincy, WA is a family run business that has been a WORC member for nearly 10 years.  Owner Gregg Ovenell started composting manure from his own dairy heifer replacement operation about 11 years ago.  After perfecting his windrow composting process using manure from his own cows, Gregg offered manure collection services to dairies in the area. Seeing an opportunity to make his windrow compost even better, Ovenell began adding local food processing wastes and agricultural by-products to the composting process.   He is passionate about turning “waste” products (manure and food processing debris) into a valuable soil amendment that adds much needed nutrients to Central and Eastern WA soils.  Ovenell is also willing, ready and able to make compost blends based on client requests and crop requirements.  

Once he realized there was a need for someone to provide compost application services, Gregg and his sons Kyle and Nate modified some of their equipment so they could also provide application services to regional fields.  The Ovenell family enjoys the challenges and rewards of working with local growers, finding the right blend of compost, and the application time that fits each client’s specific needs.  Gregg readily admits there’s never a dull moment when making compost.  

Gregg provides a valuable service in Central Washington by taking products that can create environmental problems and turning them into an environmental asset.  His passion for creating a high quality compost and implementing a distribution and spreading service have furthered efforts to improve agricultural soils in Washington.  Gregg and his family have faced some interesting issues in the past few years (Gregg readily admits there’s never a dull moment when making compost), but he has remained a steadfast supporter of the importance of converting organic material into compost and an advocate for the value of improving soils through the regular application of compost.   

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 Lifetime Achievement Award: Gabriella Uhlar-Heffner
From the clopyralid wars to apple maggots, when the going gets tough, Gabriella Uhlar-Heffner has always stepped up with smart, collaborative solutions.  Her research, ideas, leadership, and teamwork on sensible regulations and legislation have given Washington a strong foundation for organics recycling. 

At the City of Seattle, Gabriella has:
- helped create organics contracts that built an industry,
- pioneered construction and demolition recycling,
- and overseen pilots in anaerobic digestion and other innovative technologies.

As a long-time WORC board and US Composting Council member, and chair of WORC's legislative and regulatory committee, Gabriella has:
- championed solutions that combine science and common sense,
- and involved all the stakeholders in finding solutions that work. 

On behalf of WORC, and the whole organics and recycling industry, I want to say "Thank you, Gabriella!" We are stronger together because of your vision and hard work.


Thank you to our sponsors!