Norman BorlaugToday marks the 98th anniversary of the birth of Iowa’s greatest hero, Norman E. Borlaug, the farm boy who received the Nobel Peace Prize for starting the “Green Revolution” and known as “the man who saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived.”

There are several birthday tributes planned for Borlaug, who died in 2009, including a new museum and Youth Institute to promote efforts to alleviate starvation.

Borlaug received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. His research led to the development of a high-yield, disease-resistant wheat variety.

During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the charge to introduce the high-yield grain along with modern agricultural techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963 and wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, providing those nations with unprecedented food security.

These collective increases in yield have been labeled the Green Revolution, and Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supplies.

Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production to Asia and Africa.

Work will continue in his memory through the creation of the Iowa Youth Institute, which will award scholarships to students who will research food-related issues around the world and develop proposed solutions.

(READ the story from the Gazette)


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