Jactone Arogo Ogejo


Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 1997.

M.S., Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 1989.

B.S., Agricultural Engineering, University of Nairobi, Kenya. 1983.


Professional Engineer, State of North Carolina (License No. 028310)


July 2011 - present - Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA.

Jan. 2005 - June 2011 - Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA.

March 1999 - Dec. 2004 - Research Associate, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

June 1997 - Feb. 1999 - Assistant Researcher, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.

Jan. 1989 - Aug. 1992 - Lecturer, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya.

Sep. 1983 - Dec. 1986 - Assistant Lecturer, Egerton College, Njoro, Kenya.

Selected Major Awards

  • 2008 - Blue Ribbon: "BSE Engineering Update" Publications, Long (17-32 pages). July 2008. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
  • 2007 - Outstanding manuscript reviewer, Structures and Environment Division. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
  • 2000 - Superior Paper Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Manuscript “Mass transfer coefficient for hydrogen sulfide emission from aqueous solutions and liquid swine manure. Trans. of the ASAE 42(5): 1455-1462”.

Courses Taught Last Five Years

  • BSE 4514 - Industrial Bioprocessing (team taught)
  • BSE 2294 - Agricultural Structures
  • BSE 5944 - Graduate Seminar

Program Focus

My research program focuses on (1) understanding and advancing the knowledge of how aerial pollutants (such as ammonia, odorants, and greenhouse gases) are formed, released, and mitigated (primary interest are sources within animal feeding operations); (2) management of poultry and livestock manure and other agricultural residues to recover nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) and energy with a goal to minimize their environmental pollution potential; and (3) development of process based models to quantify gaseous emissions from sources within animal feeding operations.

I work with colleagues in agricultural economics, crop and soil environmental sciences, dairy science, and environmental engineering on different elements of my research.  An example of our work on managing manure nutrients effectively, uses the concept of “designer manures” defined as the development of manure management technologies that produce manures with the appropriate balance of N and P fertilizer values required by different crops. For example, removing the excess P using the designer manure concept allows the continued use of manure as a fertilizer in areas that may be restricted by the P-based manure application regulations. Using the designer manure concept, we have successfully demonstrated chemical treatment technology at field scale for large manure volumes (batch) that can be used in dairy farms with liquid manure storage systems to help them meet the new nutrient management regulations.

Current Projects

  • “Integrating education and development of biodegradable litter amendment to mitigate ammonia emissions from poultry houses”. This multidisciplinary project integrates research and extension missions to (1) develop and test a biodegradable litter amendment (BLA) made from agricultural residues such as corn cobs, corn stover, soy beans straw, and peanut hulls to reduce ammonia emissions, (2) develop and implement a collaborative, consensus-based adaptive evaluation protocol between researchers and poultry producers to identify and analyze economic, behavioral and cultural barriers to implement BMPs to manage ammonia emissions; and (3) develop an agricultural air quality extension education program to enhance understanding of air quality issues related to ammonia in Virginia.
  • “Reducing ammonia emissions and runoff from broiler litter”.  This project is funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to demonstrate the efficacy of (1) ammonia reduction by scrubbers attached to an exhaust fan on poultry houses, (2) addition of sodium bisulfate (PLT) to litter in poultry houses on the reduction of ammonia emissions from poultry houses, and (3) reduction ammonia emissions using a litter incorporator to apply litter on cropland as a fertilizer. The project is part of the efforts to reduce nitrogen load to the Chesapeake Bay
  • “Evaluation of the Vanderhyde Dairy Inc. anaerobic digester”. This project is funded by the Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to evaluate the performance of the anaerobic digester at the Vanderhyde Dairy Inc. (VDI). The evaluation will help with the documentation of: (i) the quantity and quality of biogas produced, (ii) characteristics of the digester feedstock and effluent, and (iii) operation and maintenance needs. The results of this evaluation will enable the VDI to know whether the digester is operating as designed. More importantly, the information will provide VDI with specific information  (i) about the characteristics of the materials fed to the digesters which can be used to determine what materials produces most gas in a cost effective manner, (ii) about digester effluent (nutrient content profile) to be used in revising and/or writing the nutrient management plan for their farm, and (iii) to use to develop education materials about the anaerobic digester to share with other farmers, state agencies in Virginia, and the general public, who may be interested in the technology.
  • “Assessing and enriching phosphorus accumulating organisms to improve the stability of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) from dairy manure. This project is funded by the Biodesign and Bioprocessing Research, Virginia Tech.  The objectives of the project are to (1) evaluate the distribution and relative abundance of phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAOs) and the total microbial community in systems associated with high enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) systems or reactors and (2) assess changes in the population of the PAOs over time and relate such changes to the success or failure of the EBPR systems
  • “Transitioning small dairies to phosphorus balance”.  This project focuses on implementing a comprehensive phosphorus-based nutrient management on small dairy farms in the Shenandoah Valley. The planned activities include (i) development, implementation and/or updating whole farm continuous improvement plans (CIPS) for small dairies, (ii) incentive payments to encourage farmers to follow the recommended guidelines tin the CIPS to achieve phosphorus balance, and (iii) demonstration and evaluation of a mobile manure treatment system moving from farm to farm to recover phosphorus and nitrogen.
  • “Community DECISIONS (Community Decision Support for Integrated, On-the-ground Nutrient Reduction Strategies)” – this multidisciplinary project funded by USDA focuses on development of a group decision aid for watershed nutrient planning and management. The decision aid facilitates the participation of stakeholders in the process of identifying and prioritizing watershed goals and strategies to achieve those goals.

Program Focus

The goals of extension program is to improve the management and use of animal manure to achieve environmental sustainability by minimizing water and air pollution, improve agricultural productivity by improving animal health and reducing manure management costs, and provide alternative farm energy sources. I conduct training on current and emerging manure management technologies and agricultural air quality for extension agents and employees from federal and state agencies. In collaboration with other BSE colleagues, we have created a Bioenergy Engineering Education Program (BEEP) focused on bioenergy production and utilization. Regionally, I contribute to the Mid-Atlantic Water Quality coordination program as an instructor at the Better Composting School conducted every two years. Nationally, I co-lead a team developing educational materials for manure management on small farms and responses to frequently asked questions about manure management and responding to manure questions delivered via the web as part of the livestock waste management community of practice of eXtension.

Current Projects

  • Development of agricultural air quality education program as part of the research project “Integrating education and development of biodegradable litter amendment to mitigate ammonia emissions from poultry houses”.
  • Exploring on-farm solar energy applications in Virginia. This project is funded by Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to examine cost-effective opportunities for expanding on-farm solar energy use, implementation and development in Virginia.

Selected Recent Publications

(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student, *** post-doc)

  • Liu***, Z., J.A. Ogejo, A. Pruden, K.F. Knowlton. 2011. Occurrence, fate and removal of synthetic oral contraceptives (SOCs) in the natural environment: a review. Science of the Total Environment 409 (24) 5149-5161
  • Sparks**, J.A., J.A. Ogejo, J. Cyriac**, M.D. Hanigan, K.F. Knowlton, S.W. Gay, and L.C. Marr. 2011. The effects of manure handling technique and dietary protein intake on ammonia emissions from dairy cow manure. Transactions of the ASABE 54(2):675-683
  • Shen**, Y., J.A. Ogejo, and K.E. Bowers. 2011. Abating the effects of calcium in the precipitation of struvite from liquid dairy manure. Transactions of the ASABE 54(1): 325-336
  • Ogejo, J.A., R.S. Senger, and R.H. Zhang. 2010. Global sensitivity analysis of a process-based model for ammonia emissions from manure storage and treatment structures. Atmospheric Environment 44: 3621-3629
  • Ogejo, J.A., S. Wildeus, P. Knight**, and R.B. Wilke*. 2010. Evaluating goat and sheep manure production and their nutrient contribution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 26(6): 1061-1065.
  • Zhao**, Z., K.F. Knowlton, N.G. Love, and J.A. Ogejo. 2010. Estrogen removal from dairy manure by pilot-scale treatment reactors.  Transactions of the ASABE: 53(4): 1295-1301.
  • Ogejo, J.A. and L. Li**. 2010. Enhancing biomethane production from flush dairy manure with turkey processing wastewater. Applied Energy 87: 3171-3177.
  • Westerman, P.W., J.A. Ogejo, and G. Grabow. 2010. Swine anaerobic lagoon nutrient concentration variation with season, lagoon level, and rainfall. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 26(1): 147-152.
  • Li**, L., J. Cyriac**, K.F. Knowlton, L. C. Marr, S.W. Gay, M.D. Hanigan, and J.A. Ogejo. 2009. Effects of reducing dietary nitrogen on ammonia emissions from manure on the floor of a naturally ventilated free stall dairy barn at low (0-20°C) temperatures. Journal of Environmental Quality 38(6): 2172 – 2181.
  • Güngör***, K., M.B. Müftügil**, J.A. Ogejo, K.F. Knowlton, N.G. Love. 2009. Prefermentation of liquid dairy manure to support biological nutrient removal. Bioresource Technology 100(7):2124-2129.
  • DeBusk**, J.A., J.A. Ogejo, K.F. Knowlton, and N.G. Love. 2008. Chemical phosphorus removal for separated flushed dairy manure. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 24(4): 499-506.
  • Ndegwa, P.M., A.N. Hristov, J. Arogo (Ogejo), and R.E. Sheffield. 2008. A review of ammonia mitigation techniques for concentrated animal feeding operations. Biosystems Engineering 100(4): 453-469.
  • Bendfeldt, E., K.F. Knowlton, K. Holm, J.A. Ogejo, T. Denckla-Cobb, and E. Dukes. 2007. The Waste Solutions Forum: An innovative and cooperative approach to support the agricultural community and protect water quality. Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society 38(4): 85-93.

Selected Recent Funding

  • “Integrating education and development of biodegradable litter amendment to mitigate ammonia emissions from poultry houses”.  PI:Ogejo, J.A., Co-PIs:  F.A. Agblevor, R.S. Gates, N. Franz, K. Stephenson, and W.F. Pierson, USDA – NIFA, $598,000. Jan 2009 – Jan 2013.
  • “Evaluation of the anaerobic digester at the Vanderhyde Dairy Inc. for the production of methane”.  PI: Ogejo, J.A., Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy, $17,000, Apr 2011 -Mar 2012.
  • “Reducing poultry house emissions and broiler litter runoff”. PI: Maguire, R., Co-PIs:  J.A. Ogejo, and M. Reiter. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. $700,000, Sep 2010-Aug 2013.
  • “Transitioning small dairies to phosphorus balance”. PI: Knowlton, K.F., Co-PIs: J.A. Ogejo (BSE), R.O Maguire (CSES), Ignosh, J.P. (VCE, BSE), Welsh, J.L. (VCE), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, $600,000, Sep 2011 – Aug 2014.
  • “Assessing and enriching phosphorus accumulating organisms to improve the stability of enhanced biological phosphorus removal from dairy manure”, PI: J.A. Ogejo (BSE), Co-PIs: A. Pruden-Bagchi (CEE), K.F. Knowlton (DASC). Biodesign and Bioprocessing Research Center, Virginia Tech, $62,244, Apr 2010 – Apr 2012.
  • “Community DECISIONS: Community Decision Support for Integrated, On-the-ground Nutrient Reduction Strategies for watershed nutrient planning and management”, PI: J. Pease (AAEC), Co-PIs: D. Bosch (AAEC), M.L. Wolfe, J. Arogo Ogejo (BSE), C. Zobel (BIT), K. Knowlton (DASC), G. Evanylo (CSES), H. Boyd (AEE), USDA Integrated Grants Program, $596,000,Sep 2007-Sep 2012.
  • “Assessing opportunities for implementing combined nutrient management and energy recovery technologies in the Shenandoah Valley to minimize nutrient loss from farms”, PI: J.A. Ogejo, Co-PIs: J. Ignosh, E. Bendfeldt, J. Welsh, H. Boyd, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, $30,000, Sep 2008 – Aug 2010.
  • “Reducing manure phosphorus content through solid separation and phosphorus Recovery by Struvite Precipitation in the Shenandoah Valley”, PI: J.A. Ogejo, Co-PI: D. Gardner (VA Dairymen), Farm Pilot Project Inc., $68,200, Jun 2008 – Sep 2008.
  • “Effects of dietary nitrogen manipulation on ammonia emission from housing and storage facilities for dairy cattle”, PI: L. Marr (CEE), Co-PIs: M.D. Hanigan, K.F. Knowlton, (DASC), J.A. Ogejo (BSE), USDA – NIFA, $499,531, Jan 2006 to Dec 2008.
  • “Developing and validating a process based ammonia emission model for confinement animal feeding operations”, PI: R.H. Zhang (UC Davis), Co-PIs: J.G. Fadel (UC Davis), J.A. Ogejo (Virginia Tech), H. Xin (IA State), A.J. Heber (Purdue), USDA-NIFA, $498,741, Feb 2006 – Jul 2009).
  • “Pilot scale pyrolysis demonstration and research for uses of pyrolysis product”, PI: F.A. Agblevor, Co-PIs: J. Barone, J.A. Ogejo, E. Bendfeldt, J.P. Ignosh’ Farm Pilot Project Inc., $342,700, Jan 2008 to Dec 2008.
  • “Exploring Bioenergy Production Potential for Virginia Dairies”, PI: J.A. Ogejo, Co-PI: J.P. Ignosh, Virginia Agricultural Council, 31,565, Jul 2008 – Jun 2010.