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Father of the Green Revolution - Serving Agriculture and the World Community

Texas A&M University
By Ellen Ritter

Scientist. Teacher. Humanitarian. Nobel Laureate. Father of the Green Revolution. Those terms describe Dr. Norman Borlaug, who is distinguished professor of international agriculture at Texas A&M University, but they can't possibly capture the magnitude of his accomplishments.

This past spring, he was awarded the 2002 Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.The Academy recognized Borlaug with its highest honor for "developing new varieties of wheat and other grains and for his single-minded application of these in saving untold millions from starvation and death."

He also has been honored with the most prestigious prizes of the nation's foremost scientific organizations: the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Philip Hauge Abelson Prize in 2002, and the National Science Foundation's Vannevar Bush Award in 2000.

Dr. Norman Borlaug's lifetime achievements in developing new, high-yield wheat varieties have reduced world hunger and saved millions of lives.

Thirty-two years ago, Borlaug was the first agriculturalist to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. He was recognized for breeding hardier and more nutritious dwarf varieties of wheat in Mexico and then introducing them along with better agricultural practices into India and Pakistan, which saved those countries from famine.

"Norman Borlaug is deeply revered in India, the nation most impacted by his early work, where buildings, streets and parks are named for him," said Dr. Ed Price, assistant vice chancellor for international agriculture. Price added that in El Salvador Norman Borlaug Boulevard leads to the nation's agricultural university.

In addition, Borlaug is the holder of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and more than 35 honorary degrees. Borlaug Hall at the University of Minnesota and the Norman E. Borlaug Center for Southern Crop Improvement at Texas A&M University are among the U.S. facilities named for him.

At 88, the silver-haired Borlaug is dapper, energetic, and deeply passionate about using advances in science and technology for the good of mankind.

"Norm is very humble," said Price, "but knows his power to inspire, and wants to use his influence as far and long as possible to reduce world hunger."

"He's our ambassador for agriculture," said Dr. Mark Hussey, professor and head of the department of soil and crop sciences, where Borlaug spends each fall semester in residence consulting with faculty and speaking to various groups.

Last year Borlaug spoke on the A&M, Texas Christian, Southern Methodist, Rice, and University of Texas campuses as well as to a variety of civic, business, science and agriculture organizations.

"He's able to reach many non-agricultural audiences with the message of agriculture," said Hussey

Driven to improve the lives of the world's hungry, Borlaug continues his scientific work, spending part of each year at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico where he has conducted research since 1944.

He also leads the Sasakawa-Global 2000 (SG 2000) agriculture program, a joint venture between the Sasakawa Foundation and the Carter Center's Global 2000 program. SG 2000 works with several million small-scale farmers in 14 sub-Saharan African countries to use improved technology for basic food crops.

Through his life's work, Dr. Norman Borlaug continues his tremendous service to the world community.

Borlaug Photos Borlaug Links Quotes on Borlaug The Borlaug Rap