Sara Rux, Olympic Ag
Olympic Ag LLC is 16 miles up the Wynoochee River Valley just north of Montesano, Washington. As a recently permitted Beneficial Use Facility (BUF) and land application site that provides winter storage of biosolids, Olympic Ag is providing an alternative for local biosolids generators in Western Washington that typically must travel long, and often treacherous routes to transport their biosolids to BUFs in Eastern Washington. In the spring the stored biosolids will be land applied to the surrounding 100 plus acres of farm land.
Olympic Ag LLC is owned and operated by Ryan & Sara Rux.
Read how Sara became part of the biosolids world and what she envisions for the future of biosolids in her own words, below. Responses have been edited for clarity and abridged for length
How did you end up working with biosolids?
My husband and I made a conscious decision to raise our children in a rural setting that would afford them many of the same experiences we had growing up in the country. In the spring of 2016, we found our family farm out in the Wynoochee Valley. One of the first issues that needed to be addressed was the condition of our fields. The fields had not been actively managed since the 1980s. The soils have an acidic pH, low nutrient levels and are unable to support a healthy grass stand. This led us to look for a budget friendly nutrient source. Realizing we no longer had “free manure” nearby we started discussing options and biosolids was at the top of the list. As an employee at a local WWTP, Ryan was knowledgeable of the benefits biosolids provide as a soil amendment. My own parents used biosolids on their hay fields in Lewis County for over 15 years with great success.
We are still in the start up phase of our business, but we have come a long way in a short time and are looking forward to seeing the results in our fields as we go forward. We are proud that we are part of a movement to educate others about the benefits of biosolids and in the process help eliminate the reliance of farmers on manufactured fertilizers.
What’s something most biosolids folks wouldn’t know about you?
My career has been in commercial food processing, food safety and quality control. It makes me smile to see the route my career has taken. Now I am covering food from one end to the other!
What is your best Biofest memory?
Biofest 2018 was my first year as an attendee. I was very impressed by the speakers, the professionalism, and the quality of the valuable material presented. It was also a very valuable networking opportunity, I am looking forward to Biofest 2019.
What do you envision for the future of biosolids management?
We try to help people understand the benefits of biosolids, the need for healthy soils and farm land. Comparing the smell of biosolids to chicken/cow manure or composted fruit seems to help. I would like to see us teach our youth that biosolids are safe and offer great benefits. Perhaps one day the human food and nutrient cycle will be the accepted norm.