His much touted talent for agricultural development coupled with his keen awareness of societal ailments in Third World countries have brought many honors. The most recent is the National Medal of Science, the highest given to scientists in the United States, which was announced Tuesday by President Bush.
From his office at Texas A&M University, where he is distinguished professor of international agriculture, Borlaug said the honor may help point to the importance of agriculture.
"We all eat food at least three times a day in the privileged nations, and yet we take it for granted," said Borlaug, a Nobel Laureate and the only agriculturist named for the honor this year.
Borlaug's ability to link food with education to solve issues around the world is the prime example of what agriculture is about, according to Dr. Elsa Murano, vice chancellor and dean of agriculture at Texas A&M.
"Dr. Borlaug has long been the model for what agricultural researchers strive for," Murano said. "His persistence in using science to develop answers for hungry people is at the heart of improvements that have been recognized around the world."
For Borlaug, situations around the world have defined his career.
"There were 1.6 billion people in the world the year I was born. There are 6.4 billion now," notes Borlaug, who won the Noble Peace Prize in 1970 for his development of high-yielding wheat varieties that helped feed the world. "Hunger is commonplace and famine appears all too often. I've seen big change, but still there are a lot of poor, hungry miserable people in the world."
Borlaug maintains encyclopedic knowledge of hunger from the beginning of
Contact: Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications