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Byline: Diane Dietz The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - Agronomist Frank Wann has fooled around with fertilizer fertilizer, organic or inorganic material containing one or more of the nutrients—mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and other essential elements required for plant growth.  for more than two decades - and now his efforts are coming to a big, brassy fruition fru·i·tion  
1. Realization of something desired or worked for; accomplishment: labor finally coming to fruition.

2. Enjoyment derived from use or possession.


Wann's company, Oregon's Only Organics, just bought a $1.5 million warehouse on Olympic Street in Springfield, where it will produce mass quantities of plant food. Wann expects sales to pass the $1 million mark this year, double in 2010 and reach $20 million within five years.

"It's like moving on to a whole other chapter," he said.

Wann's company, which was started with Springfield garden store owners Scott Ostrander and Ryan Stanley, makes 25 products - some liquids, some granules Granules
Small packets of reactive chemicals stored within cells.

Mentioned in: Allergic Rhinitis, Allergies
 - meant to goose goose, common name for large wild and domesticated swimming birds related to the duck and the swan. Strictly speaking, the term goose is applied to the female and gander to the male.  the energy systems of high value agricultural crops, such as apples, potatoes, carrots, strawberries, leeks, onions and garlic,

Two of the products retail as Zeus Juice, an amino acid amino acid (əmē`nō), any one of a class of simple organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and in certain cases sulfur. These compounds are the building blocks of proteins.  elixir elixir /elix·ir/ (e-lik´ser) a clear, sweetened, alcohol-containing, usually hydroalcoholic liquid containing flavoring substances and sometimes active medicinal ingredients.

, and One Shot, granules that can feed a plant for up to a year after a one-time application, he said.

The company's financials are strong enough that Wann and his partners were able to obtain loans last week from the Small Business Association, Selco Community Credit Union and the Oregon Business Development Loan Fund.

Wann declined to be specific about the amount but said, "Let's put it this way, it's over a million."

The state's portion of the financing package was $492,000, a spokesman from the Business Oregon agency said.

Wann graduated from Washington State University Washington State University, at Pullman; land-grant and state supported; chartered 1890, opened 1892 as an agriculture college. From 1905 to 1959 it was the State College of Washington.  in June 1984 and worked for years with crops in Eastern Oregon Eastern Oregon is a geographical term that is generally taken to mean the area of the state of Oregon east of the Cascade Range, save the region around The Dalles and sometimes Klamath County. The area around Bend is considered to be Central Oregon rather than Eastern Oregon.  and Washington. He helped found Pacific Calcium, a 25-year-old fertilizer company in Tonasket, Wash.

While maintaining ties to Pacific Calcium, Wann has worked in Western Oregon This article is about the region of Western Oregon. For the University, see Western Oregon University.
Western Oregon is a geographical term that is generally taken to apply to the portion of the state of Oregon that is west of the Cascade Range.
 for the past decade, developing products and often serving as field consultant to organic farms.

He moved to Eugene a year ago because "that's where the customer base is. That's where people are interested in organics." he said.

Wann, 52, said he started his current fertilizer manufacturing business in his 550-square-foot garage. He established supply chains for his base products - bone meal and feather meal Feather meal is the dried and ground waste from the poultry processing industry. Although total nitrogen levels are fairly high, the nitrogen is released slowly as the feathers decompose. .

He buys the bones from soup manufacturers, such as Progresso.

Soup makers put beef and pork bones in steam vats and melt all the meat and fat off them, Wann said. "The bones that are left over, I buy those."

He also buys feather meal from chicken processors. "A city like Portland will go through 150,000 chickens a day. I buy the leftover parts," he said.

Seeking a market for his fertilizer, Wann had tried to sell directly to the farming industry, golf courses, landscape companies, nurseries and municipalities, but with limited success.

"It's not what you know, it's who you know. You've (got to) know the right marketing guy," he said.

Wann has now found that guy in Scott Ostrander, 37, who in early 2008 founded the Oregon's Constant Gardener organic, hydroponic vegetable gardening shop at 423 Q Street in Springfield. The third partner, Stanley, 27, also is a partner in the garden store.

Ostrander has forged a deal with a national distributor in Indiana, Wann said. "We've got it all verbally taken care off," Wann said. The partners will fly to the Midwest later this month to sign distribution agreements.

Now Wann is gearing up for large-scale production.

"We are talking more than tons: Semi loads, let's put it that way," he said. To start, it's at least one tractor-trailer load a week, he said.

He'll need $300,000 to $400,000 worth of processing equipment at the newly purchased 20,000-square-foot warehouse on 4 acres east Springfield, a deal that broker Justin Schmick of Windermere Commercial represented him on.

"We will need to add onto (the building) in a year," Wann said.

The company has a half-dozen employees. "I foresee up to 30 people, probably within the next year or two," Wann said.

After that?

"Where do I see it going? Insane INSANE. One deprived of the use of reason, after he has arrived at the age when he ought to have it, either by a natural defect or by accident. Domat, Lois Civ. Lib. prel. tit. 2, s. 1, n. 11. ," he joked.
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Title Annotation:Real Estate and Housing
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 4, 2009
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