EL BATN, Mexico, EMBARGOED TO 17 JULY 10:00AM EASTERN DAYLIGHT -- The man history will honor as the father of a green revolution that transformed agriculture in many developing countries in the 1960s has been awarded the highest civilian honor the United States of America can give. The Congressional Gold Medal is reserved for the very few who have made outstanding contributions to either the United States or the world. In presenting the award to Dr Norman Borlaug, the Congress commended his bringing radical change to world agriculture and uplifting humanity." Calling him a true American hero, the congress said Dr. Borlaugs scientific and humanitarian efforts have saved countless people from starvation and hunger while raising standards of living throughout the world.
The Congressional Gold Medal was presented by President George Bush and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi at a ceremony in Washington DC today.
Dr Borlaug began his extraordinary work in Mexico in the 1940s, where with a dedicated team of plant specialists he developed wheats that were more productive and disease resistant than the wheat Mexican farmers grew. As a result, Mexico became self-sufficient in wheat production for the first time. Word of what had been done in Mexico spread to Pakistan and India n the 1960s where grain shortages threatened mass starvation. The wheats from Mexico found a home on the Indian sub-continent and together with the right growing practices resulted in massive gains in the regions wheat production. Many believe this green revolution saved the lives of up to a billion people. In 1970 Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize for the workthe first time the award had been made for developments in Agriculture.
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT, was created to continue that work and Dr Borlaug was the first Director of the Centers wheat program. CIMMYT works around
Contact: David Mowbray
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)