World Food Prize Receives $5 Million Pledge from Monsanto to Honor Norman Borlaug
Commitment to Restore Hall of Laureates – New Home of Annual Borlaug Dialogue
FEBRUARY 15, 2008 - - The World Food Prize Foundation on Friday accepted a $5 million contribution from Monsanto Company to ensure the continuation of the annual World Food Prize International Symposium – now known as the “Borlaug Dialogue.” The funds support a renewed fundraising campaign to transform the historic Des Moines Public Library building into a public museum to honor Dr. Norman Borlaug and the work of the World Food Prize Laureates.
The symbolic donation was made Friday at a ceremony in the rotunda of the former library. Monsanto President, Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant made the announcement with various state and local officials present. Also present was Jeanie Laube, daughter to Norman Borlaug, and Julie Borlaug, granddaughter to Dr. Norman Borlaug, who read a statement from her grandfather.
“I am extremely grateful to Monsanto and Hugh Grant for their commitment and am pleased that this magnificent building will serve as a permanent home to carry on the mission and events of the World Food Prize,” Dr. Borlaug’s statement said.
Monsanto’s contribution is meant to ensure that the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates will become the permanent home of “The Borlaug Dialogue,” the World Food Prize’s annual symposium on cutting-edge topics of global food security.
Both the building and the symposium are named in honor of the Iowa-born Borlaug, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his role in saving the lives of upwards of one billion people as the “Father of the Green Revolution.” Borlaug founded the World Food Prize in 1986. It has since become informally known as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture” and the annual Borlaug Dialogue has come to be seen as one of America’s foremost international conferences.
“Agriculture is at the intersection of many of the conversations thought-leaders around the globe are having today,” said Grant. “Our contribution will help carry forward Dr. Borlaug’s vision of bringing together the global ag community to connect and share information that can make an impact against global hunger, food security and other related issues.”
Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, expressed the deepest gratitude of the foundation, Borlaug, and the family of Chairman John Ruan. “With this extraordinarily generous contribution, Monsanto will be officially recognized as a Borlaug Legacy Donor,” said Quinn. “This designation is reserved for those organizations or individuals who have committed $5 million dollars or more to ensure that Norman Borlaug will receive the recognition he so richly deserves. Monsanto joins Polk County and the Ruan family in this very special category.”
In addition to being the home of the Borlaug Dialogue, the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates will emphasize the importance of global food security in today’s world and will honor Dr. Borlaug, along with the World Food Prize Laureates and Iowa’s agricultural and humanitarian pioneers, for their significant contributions to the global fight against hunger and helping feed the world. Open to the public, the Hall of Laureates will serve as a museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture and as an educational facility featuring interactive displays on hunger and food security. It will also house the organization’s new national Youth Institute program, and conference and community events for other local groups and organizations.
With the $5 million commitment from Monsanto, the World Food Prize has now secured $19.3 million of the total $29.8 million needed to complete the project. The Norman Borlaug Hall of Laureates is scheduled to be completed in 2010.