The World Food Prize Foundation

Bill Gates, global ag leaders, UN agency heads gather to honor legacy of Borlaug


September 23, 2009 - Borlaug Dialogue will feature over 45 speakers from more than 15 countries addressing food’s link to global security


September 23, 2009 - - One of America’s foremost conferences on international agriculture and food policy, the World Food Prize’s Borlaug Dialogue, will be held in Des Moines on October 14-16, and will focus on “Food, Agriculture, and National Security in a Globalized World.” The conference, coming just a month after the passing of the symposium’s namesake and inspiration, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, is expected to draw several hundred policymakers, industry and NGO officials, and agriculture and science experts from around the world.

“We have seen renewed interest among world leaders in agriculture, food, and rural development as critical factors in maintaining a safe and stable global society,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation. “With the diverse array of high-level speakers at the conference, the 2009 Borlaug Dialogue will offer one of the first and most comprehensive looks at how agriculture and food are connected to challenges facing world security.”

Speakers at the 2009 Borlaug Dialogue include:

  • Bill Gates, co-chair of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique
  • Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture
  • Amin Abaza, Egyptian minister of agriculture
  • Gerry Ritz, Canadian minister of agriculture
  • Gerda Verburg, Dutch minister of agriculture
  • Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont
  • Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
  • Patricia Woertz, chairman, president & CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Co.
  • Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the Intl. Center for Research on Women
  • Kanayo Nwanze, president of the Intl. Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
  • Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program

The program will include a minister’s roundtable chaired by Secretary Vilsack, a discussion among agricultural leaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan, presentations from top NGO officials, and sessions featuring experts from the Department of State, USAID, and international security organizations.

The national security theme of the symposium is a tribute to World Food Prize Founder and “Father of the Green Revolution” Norman Borlaug, whose achievements are captured by his often quoted words, “You cannot build peace on empty stomachs.” Dr. Borlaug died September 12 at age 95.

The conference will address topics including: threats to agricultural yields as global population rushes to 9 billion; climate change and ecological challenges; gender’s role in food security; and agricultural development in conflict and crisis areas.

The Borlaug Dialogue is held as part of the awarding of the $250,000 World Food Prize to Dr. Gebisa Ejeta of Ethiopia for developing sorghum hybrids able to withstand drought and the scourge of weeds, thus dramatically enhancing the food supply throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Several heads of state have called the annual $250,000 World Food Prize “the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” Participants from over 65 countries are expected to take part in the events.


2009 Borlaug Dialogue: About | Agenda | Speakers

© 2022 The World Food Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.