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Norman Ernest Borlaug

Norman Ernest Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa, in 1914. He attended the University of Minnesota where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry in 1937. He later received his Master's degree in 1939 and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics in 1942. In 1944, Borlaug joined the Cooperative Wheat Research Production Program in Mexico as a geneticist and plant pathologist. Over the next 16 years, Borlaug developed a strain of high-yield, disease-resistant, semi-dwarf wheat. During the 1960s, countries such as India, Pakistan and several others imported thousands of tons of Borlaug's wheat. Borlaug's wheat helped these countries become self-sufficient in wheat production and saved millions of people from starvation. These developments, as well as other developments in the field of agriculture, became known as the Green Revolution. In 1986, Borlaug created the World Food Prize, which recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world. Borlaug envisioned the prize as a way to create role models that would inspire others. Each year, the World Food Prize is awarded in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1970, Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to increase the world food supply. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Borlaug also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007, and numerous other awards spanning several decades. Borlaug passed away on September 12, 2009. Content can be used with the following standards: 4th grade SS 4.26 Changes to Agriculture and 7th grade SS 7.27 Iowa Role in Global Issues Today in a lesson on Iowans' contributions to modifications and solutions to worldwide issues such as starvation and malnutrition. For more information or educational resources on Norman Borlaug, use the following links: https://www.normanborlaug.org https://www.normanborlaug.org/education.html https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1970/borlaug-bio.html For any use other than instructional resources, please check with the organization that owns this item regarding copyright restrictions.
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Due to the increasing population world-wide and the decreasing fertile land to grow crops, a epidemic of malnourishment had taken over several countries. While modern countries were able to advance their agriculture engineering with a good ecnonmy, the lack of money meant developing countries were not able to reach the high production of food required for their growing population. To work towards a solution, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations funded a research system to find better ways to grow rice and wheat (two main sources of food for developing countries). Experimenting with fertilizers, crop breeding, safe chemicals and irrigation, scientists were able to increase crop production. Coined the "Green Revolution" by US Agency for International Development Administrator William S. Gaud, agriculture began to improve.