About Us

The W.A. Callegari Environmental Center is the LSU AgCenter's research and training facility for composting organic waste and for water and air quality. Located on an eight-acre site on the Central Research Station south of Baton Rouge, the Callegari Center serves researchers, agricultural producers, private companies, governmental agencies and the general public in the area of water quality.

Water Quality

The Callegari Center serves as the home for the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, which helps agricultural producers voluntarily address the environmental concerns related to production agriculture, as well as enhance their production and resource-management skills that will be critical for the continued viability of Louisiana agriculture. This program helps producers become more knowledgeable about environmental stewardship, resource-based production and resource management through a voluntary producer-certification process.

Integral to the Master Farmer Program is the Callegari Center’s analytical services for water quality. In addition to serving agricultural interests, the laboratories provide research capabilities for AgCenter scientists, private industry and local governments. The laboratories can perform more than 40 analytical procedures from simple to sophisticated to determine the chemicals in water and solid and semi-solid materials. Materials that can be tested include:

  • Agricultural runoff water (ditches or sediment ponds)
  • Ambient water (ponds and streams)
  • Well water (non-potable)
  • Drinking water (screening for contaminants only)
  • Animal wastes and lagoons
  • Organic byproducts (agricultural residues, agricultural processing wastes, wood and green wastes, municipal biosolids and wastewater sludges, etc.)
  • Composts and organic soil amendments (non-fertilizer sources)

In 2005 the Callegari Center completed a pair of laboratories for evaluating water quality. The labs are used to quantify nutrients and sediments in runoff water from farm fields that use crop-specific best management practices. AgCenter investigators also use the laboratory services to evaluate alternative uses for dairy manure, including biomass energy production through liquefaction. The laboratories also provide private well and pond owners with low-cost analyses. They also played a significant role in analyzing water samples for potential toxic and pathogenic elements following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The water quality laboratory employs specific analytical methodologies approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for accredited water, waste water and biosolids analyses. A United States Composting Council’s STA Program-compliant lab, the lab uses the latest analytical methods for organic waste and compost analysis.

William and Ann Callegari

William Callegari, who was born in Cottonport, La., is a water and wastewater consultant in Houston, Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from LSU in 1963. A mechanical engineer who designed wastewater treatment plants, Callegari recognized the need for environmental quality research and training in Louisiana.

In 1998 with a pledge from William and Ann Callegari and matching funds from the AgCenter, the W.A. Callegari Environmental Center expanded to an eight-acre site with an 8,500-square-foot building and a larger mission

…helping to improve environmental quality, profitability and standards of living for Louisiana residents and industries.

Mailing Address:

W.A. Callegari Environmental Center
Agricultural Chemistry Building Rm. 102
110 LSU Union Square
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-0001

Shipping Address:

Agricultural Chemistry Building Rm. 102
LSU Highland Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-0001

Phone: 225.342.5812
Fax: 225.342.0027
Labs: 225.353.9559

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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture