Honoring the father of the “Green Revolution”

Ninety-five-year-old Norman Borlaug is still at work, in the research lab and in foreign countries, trying to boost agricultural production and feed the world. Borlaug, an Iowa native, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work. Now, there's a move afoot to make Borlaug's northern Iowa birthplace a National Historic Site

Read the joint news release from Iowa's two U.S. senators below.

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin have introduced legislation to designate the birthplace and childhood home of Dr. Norman Borlaug as a National Historic Site.  The home is located near Cresco.

The legislation says that “upon donation of the Norman Borlaug birthplace and the Norman Borlaug childhood home to the National Park Service, it will become a unit of the National Park System and be designated the ‘Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Birthplace and Home National Historic Site.’”


“Dr. Borlaug and his work to save the lives of hundreds of millions people are historically significant for Iowa,” Grassley said.  “By designating his birthplace and boyhood home a National Historic Site, we’ll be preserving his legacy for years to come and continuing to inspire future generations of scientists and farmers to innovate and lift those mired in poverty.”

“Dr. Borlaug epitomizes values Iowans hold dear – ingenuity, determination, and a commitment to helping others. His life is a perfect illustration of the fact that one person really can make a difference. All Iowans can take pride in and draw inspiration from the extraordinary life of Dr. Norman Borlaug,” said Harkin. “The Norman Borlaug Birthplace and Home National Historic Site bill is a fitting tribute to a man who has done so much to improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world.”

Borlaug grew up in rural Cresco and attended the University of Minnesota where he received his bachelor's, masters and Ph.D. He worked in Forestry and Microbiology before he started his work developing crops that increased yields and resisted disease.
Advancements he developed in crop production helped Borlaug become known as the "Father of the Green Revolution." The Green Revolution was a time when drastically increased crop yields over a short period of years helped alleviate world hunger.  It is said that Borlaug saved more lives than any other person in history.   
Borlaug is one of five people to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. The other four recipients are Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.