I always assumed the Green Revolution started in California where all the health-conscious folks were trying to figure out what to do about smog in L.A. As it turns out, the Father of the Green Revolution grew up in Iowa. Dr. Norman Borlaug, the man who is attributed with saving over a billion lives, was born-and-raised with Iowa.
Dr. Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work developing varieties of high yield, disease resistant varieties of wheat. His discovery took place while researching in Mexico. Mexico soon became a net exporter of wheat in the early ‘60’s. Between 1965 and 1970, India and Pakistan doubled their wheat production.
I met Dr. Borlaug a few years before his death at a Borlaug Dialogues he started in Des Moines, Iowa, which are often referred to as The World Food Prize. As I visited with him – gentle man with a soft voice who was well on in years at that time- I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of impact that one person can have on the world.
The World Food Prize is a premiere conference, which brings together an international collection of people alleviating hunger through research and production of food. Started in 1986, each year one or two Laureates are chosen to receive this prestigious award that has been dubbed “The Nobel Prize for food.”
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Dr. Borlaug:
- Hunger as moral issue
- Need for collaboration
- Hunger as national security issue
I’ll spend the next four days at the World Food Prize with Outreach, Inc., both at a booth in in a couple of workshops on The Big Five of Africa vs. the Real Big Five of Africa. While Outreach is famous for engaging volunteers in packaging millions of meals for the hungry, they also so some amazing work in Tanzania and this workshop is about the 8,000 acre Shallom Farm they purchased for Research Based Programs.
Our first workshop is today at the Iowa Hunger Summit at 1:30. Come join us!