He was a farm-boy from rural Iowa but is considered as the man who saved a billion lives.  He became a scientist because his grandpa said, ““You’re wiser to fill your head now if you want to fill your belly later on.” He filled a lot of bellies.

He’s also known as the father of the Green Revolution.

All because he was curious.

Dr. Norman Borlaug grew up in Cresco, Iowa, but spent a great deal of time in Mexico researching wheat.  While there, he developed a strain of wheat with high-yields and disease resistant. His strain of wheat is considered to have saved over a billion people in South Asia from starving to death.

1,000,000,000 people saved from starvation because one man was curious.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, then started the World Food Prize in 1986 to honor people who have created great solutions to improving agricultural production in the world. I’m in Des Moines this week for my 5th time at the WFP. Hundreds of people from around the world gather for inspiration, education, and networking.

Agricultural production has to increase by at least 70% in the next 35 years in order to feed the world’s population of 9 billion.  The World Food Prize brings together the sharpest minds in agriculture trying to figure out how to make those numbers.

It was started by one man.

All because he was curious.