Aurora Innovations | Eugene

Born from an aquarium supply store 19 years ago, Aurora Innovations has evolved into a company that makes organic potting soil, liquid fertilizers, dry fertilizers, and worm castings.

Staff that produce the worm castings call themselves "worm whisperers." Worm castings are a good source of nitrogen that won't hurt the plant, no matter how much you use in the soil.

"You feed the soil, you feed the plant," said Marcus Baxter, a compliance specialist.

That sentiment doesn't just apply to plants. Investments in equipment three years ago have reduced the need for manual lifting and stacking. Injuries have declined in frequency and severity, while turnover has gone down and production has almost doubled.

"In every single department, we went from lifting everything with your hands, back, knees, and body, to having a better process," Baxter said. "That's a testament to how much people around here care about safety."

Cultivating a family atmosphere, Aurora's community garden is harvested for its employees.

To learn more about Aurora Innovations, visit

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