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.”