You are here: Home / Users / sean.hubbard@okstate.edu / Cleaning up the dirt

Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Cleaning up the dirt

STILLWATER, Okla. – The self-proclaimed “dirt worshiper” and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management (NREM) at Oklahoma State University, Adam Cobb, recently made life a little easier on himself.
Cleaning up the dirt

Adam Cobb

Annie’s Homegrown, an organic and sustainable food products company, awarded Cobb a $10,000 scholarship for his efforts to cultivate a healthier and happier world through an ecologically friendly production of nourishing foods.

“Adam is extremely bright, self-motivated and passionate about sustainable resource management, especially improvement of soil-based management practices,” said Gail Wilson, NREM professor. “Adam is focusing his research on harnessing beneficial soil organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, to decrease the need for fertilizer and water inputs for crop production.”

Cobb has a deep-rooted interest and passion for meeting the food and nutrition needs of a growing population, without disturbing the natural habitat.

“If we do not learn how to grow food in ways that regenerate and sustain the soil, we face shrinking food supplies,” Cobb said. “The potential to restore and manage is modeled in nature.”

Decreasing the need for greater inputs into the soil and protecting the natural vitality of the soil is the idea.

“Natural ecosystems display stability because of the symbiotic interactions and other soil dynamics,” he said. “Modern agricultural practices have tended to replace those ecological factors with chemicals and mechanics.”

His research is not limited to just the United States. Rather, Cobb is thinking big.

“Most of the world’s emerging croplands are in Brazil and Sub-Saharan Africa, and these soils are fragile,” he said. “To best tackle this issue, I have been studying agriculture and ecology with an emphasis on international development and soil-plant interactions.”

The substantial scholarship funding from Annie’s Homegrown allows Cobb to expand his research, and include travel to work with scientists in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. His ultimate goal is to help reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition in developing countries by understanding and using sustainable management founded on fundamental ecological pillars.

###

Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.

REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
145 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

 

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000