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Prize recognizes sustainability work

Seth Truscott, WSU Cornelius Adewale with strawberry plants
SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS: Cornelius Adewale is being honored by the Bullitt Foundation for his work in boosting farm production.
A Washington State University student has been recognized for his work on new farm practices.

The agriculture industry faces a number of challenges in the next few years, but perhaps the work of one Washington State University grad student can help. Cornelius Adewale is researching ways to improve the environmental impact of agriculture, with an eye toward boosting output.

His work includes ways farmers can store more carbon and create practices to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, and his work is being recognized by the Bullitt Foundation. Adewale is actually the third WSU recipient of the Bullitt Environmental Prize in the past six years.

In announcing the award, Denis Hayes, CEO, Bullitt Foundation, said that “without food in their bellies, people have no time for anything else. Cornelius is working at the leading edge of research to find ways to produce more food, even as we fight climate changes and dramatically reduce the use of pesticides.”

Hayes is the first national organizer of Earth Day.

Adewale commented, in the media statement, that his grandmother taught him to think big. “The Bullitt Price offers me the chance to expand my work to a global scale, ” he said.

Adewale took a circuitous path to WSU. Raised by his grandmother in rural Nigeria, he turned down a safe job and steady income to pursue a dream — farming. After building a successful organic farm outside the large Nigerian city of Lagos with just $20, he came to WSU. The university is the first with an academic major in organic agriculture. “I am trying to change the way we farm," Adewale said.

The 2017 Bullitt Prize is a $100,000 cash award over two years. The aim is to help recipients advance their research. You can view a list of Bullitt Environmental Prize winners at, where you can also learn more about the foundation.

Source: Washington State University

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