Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Memoriam: Norman Borlaug 

Texas, America and the world have lost a great man. Norman Borlaug passed away late Saturday night in Dallas. He was 95. The man often referred to as "the father of the green revolution," planted many seeds in his life, which will continue to grow his legacy for generations to come.

Mr. Borlaug is credited with feeding millions of the world's hungry. In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to high-yield crop varieties and bringing other agricultural innovations to the developing nations.

The Borlaug Institute, based at Texas A&M, is renowned around the globe for its nation building and ability to strengthen agriculture practices through scientific training and research opportunities.

I was recently honored to see Mr. Borlaug’s vision first hand. Earlier this year, I traveled to Iraq with a team from the Borlaug Institute. Scientists are in the war-torn nation giving Iraqi farmers the knowledge and support to rebuild the agriculture infrastructure. I viewed how the Institute's mission, “peace cannot be built on empty stomachs,” truly is working. Farms that have not produced for decades are now beginning to yield a bounty that will one day feed the Iraqi people and help the nation stand on its on own feet.

Norman Borlaug created a better world, gave people hope and left us with a road map to continue his dream of feeding those who are starving. He will be missed, but now he has passed the baton and it is up to us to ensure we continue to cultivate the vision he planted.

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