Monday, September 14, 2009

Borlaug Tribute

Father of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug dies at 95

Dallas--Dr. Norman E. Borlaug--the man credited with saving more lives than any other person who has ever lived--passed away Saturday, September 12, 2009 at his home in Dallas, Texas.

Widely known as the "Father of the Green Revolution" and "The Man Who Fed the World" for his pioneering work developing high-yielding wheat for areas with limited cultivated land and increasing population, Dr. Borlaug was one of only five people in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal (an honor shared by Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr.).

Dr. Borlaug devoted his life to ensuring food security for what he termed "the forgotten world," mostly developing nations, where "most of the people, comprising more than 50% of the total world population, live in poverty, with hunger as a constant companion."

When Dr. Borlaug received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, then-President Gerald Ford stated that Borlaug's work "has pushed back the shadow of hunger on this planet and given us precious time to force its final retreat."

"Dr. Norman Borlaug was the father of the Green Revolution that transformed much of the hungry Third World," said former Senator George McGovern. "As U.S. Food for Peace
Administrator in the 1960s, I shipped 4 million tons of food aid per year to India; now it can export food. Dr. Borlaug’s scientific leadership not only saved people from starvation, but the high-yield seeds he bred saved millions of square miles of wildlife from being plowed down. He is one of the great men of our age."

Dr. Borlaug was born March 25, 1914, near Cresco, Iowa and often stated "Whatever I've been able to do in life for large part goes back to the experience of growing up on the soil, [on] a very small farm in Howard County, Iowa."

In 1985 Dr. Borlaug was the driving force behind the establishment of the World Food Prize, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and awarded annually to persons who have made outstanding contributions to food and agriculture throughout the world.

--from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

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