The World Food Prize Foundation

The Borlaug Blog


For 30 years, the World Food Prize has worked to build on the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug, the man who saved a billion lives, by recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Our Laureates, our close partners, and our staff work tirelessly to alleviate hunger through innovative approaches, and we hope to share their expertise, research, and personal stories on The Borlaug Blog.

Each week on The Borlaug Blog, we will post a blog featuring stories, research, and expert opinion from our Laureates, partners, and staff. It is our hope that this blog series will create a conversation between farmers, NGOs, CEOs and people across the globe.

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Seek What They Sought

By Paxton WIlliams posted on 03/18/2019 at 8:00 AM
On Oct. 15, 2002, Dr. Norman Borlaug delivered the Inaugural Borlaug Lecture at Iowa State University. I was one of hundreds in the room that evening. His words inspired us, educated us, chastised us, and caused us—or at least I can speak for myself, caused me—some discomfort. There was still...

Remembering Dr. Norman E. Borlaug - He Would be 105 Years Old this Month

By Ruth Oniang'o posted on 03/11/2019 at 8:00 AM
“Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world.” “Yes, Africa has potential, but no one can eat potential.” The above quotes are by the late world-renowned hunger fighter, philanthropist, scientist, US Congressional medalist, Iowa born, University of Minnesota educated, Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. I present to...


By Ed Runge posted on 03/04/2019 at 8:00 AM
Dr. Borlaug was a very effective communicator not only with other scientists but also with the world’s major decision makers. He particularly enjoyed using certain expressions when communicating with young, upcoming scientists, and I would like to visit with you about only one: “serendipity.” Dictionaries define serendipity as “the faculty...

Honor the Man, Strengthen His Legacy

By Tom Spindler posted on 02/25/2019 at 8:00 AM
“Who’s that statue in the park in downtown Cresco?” I asked a native of Cresco, Iowa. “That’s Norman Borlaug. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, and he’s from here,” was the reply. Really, I thought. I’d never heard of him. I was just beginning my teaching career in...

If You Can't Get It One Way, Try It At A Different Angle

By Gretchen Mohr posted on 02/18/2019 at 8:00 AM
I was thirteen when I met the late Charlotte Borlaug, Dr. Norman Borlaug’s youngest sister. As she chronicled her account of growing up in Cresco, Iowa, with her headstrong brother, she shared the family mantra: “If you can’t get it one way, try it at a different angle.” Dr. Borlaug’s...

History Lives on

By Carmen Angel posted on 02/11/2019 at 8:00 AM
When I was nine years old, my family and I went on a mission trip to Mexico and visited a landfill where hundreds of people lived. I saw firsthand how much suffering occurs when individuals do not have enough, or sufficient, food. This experience opened my eyes to food insecurity...

Why Does the World Food Prize Do What They Do?

By Alana Platte posted on 02/04/2019 at 9:07 AM
My experiences with the World Food Prize have been nothing short of exhilarating. Five years ago, my high school agricultural education instructor, Ellen Doese, approached me with the idea of attending the Iowa Youth Institute as a “guinea pig” for my school. No other student had participated before, and she...

Ambassador Quinn and His Spinning Plates

By Justin Cremer posted on 01/28/2019 at 8:00 AM
There aren’t too many people who can say they’ve met one of the most important people of the past century. Getting to spend time with Dr. Norman Borlaug, who is said to have saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived, was an absolute highlight of the...

The Groundwork of Change

By My Nhan posted on 01/21/2019 at 8:00 AM
There is a saying in Vietnamese that goes, “Có công mài sắt có ngày nên kim,” meaning, “The labor of finely sharpening a piece of metal will one day produce a needle.” My journey with sharpening my block of metal dates back to 4th grade. Coming from a refugee background,...

International in Iowa

By Elena Hildebrandt posted on 01/14/2019 at 8:00 AM
I have spent my entire life in Iowa, a state largely known for its agriculture. However, I knew very little about food policy or agriculture for much of my life. I attended an urban high school that didn’t have FFA or 4-H. I had always assumed agriculture was a distinctly...
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