March 25, 2014

Congress Honors Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Legacy on National Agriculture Day

Washington, D.C. – Today Congress honors Dr. Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday and lifetime of agriculture and humanitarian achievements with the installation of a statue in his likeness in the U.S. Capitol coinciding with National Agriculture Day.

“It brings me great joy to see Congress honoring a man like Dr. Norman Borlaug,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Norman’s scientific ingenuity and compassion for his fellow human beings has saved more lives than any other person, truly making him the man who fed the world.”

Borlaug is considered the “Father of the Green Revolution” due to his extensive work with wheat, breading heartier varieties that can be grown in inhospitable climates. He used plant breeding methods that improved wheat’s resistance to detrimental diseases, which has allowed farmers around the world to increase their yields and feed hungry people.

Along with his scientific research, Borlaug also worked closely with farmers and lawmakers on effective, lasting solutions to global hunger and malnutrition, changing the course of global food production. His efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science and the Congressional Gold Medal. It is estimated that his work has helped save 1 billion people worldwide. 

“Norman said, ‘If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time, cultivate the fields to produce more bread; otherwise there will be no peace,’” Beckmann added. “Nothing could pay greater homage to the life’s work of Norman Borlaug and his Green Revolution than to eradicate hunger around the world.”

Borlaug, a native Iowan, served as an early board member for Bread for the World, helping to shape the way advocacy could be used in eradicating hunger. He also founded the World Food Prize to recognize the breakthrough achievements needed to ensure adequate food for the world. In another Borlaug connection to Bread for the World, Beckmann was a World Food Prize recipient in 2010.   

“We now have the ability to end hunger in our time thanks to the hard work of people like Norman,” Beckmann said. “I hope that his statue in the U.S. Capitol will encourage lawmakers to continue enacting effective agricultural solutions to global development and nutrition challenges.”  

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.