Monday, December 04, 2006

Honoring Norman Borlaug

Norman BorlaugThis network has already lauded Norman Borlaug, the recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. C.S. Prakash, professor of plant molecular genetics at Tuskegee University, is urging passage of H. R. 4924, the Congressional Tribute to Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Act of 2006. Public support is essential if H.R. 4924 is to be adopted before Congress recesses.

The Jurisdynamics Network wholeheartedly supports H.R. 4924. This bill, if passed, would confer the Congressional Gold Medal, our nation's highest civilian honor, on one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century. Section 2 of H.R. 4924 tells the story:
  1. Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, was born in Iowa where he grew up on a family farm, and received his primary and secondary education.

  2. Dr. Borlaug attended the University of Minnesota where he received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees and was also a star NCAA wrestler.

  3. For the past 20 years, Dr. Borlaug has lived in Texas where he is a member of the faculty of Texas A&M University.

  4. Dr. Borlaug also serves as President of the Sasakawa Africa Association.

  5. Dr. Borlaug's accomplishments in terms of bringing radical change to world agriculture and uplifting humanity are without parallel.

  6. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Dr. Borlaug spent 20 years working in the poorest areas of rural Mexico. It was there that Dr. Borlaug made his breakthrough achievement in developing a strain of wheat that could exponentially increase yields while actively resisting disease.

  7. With the active support of the governments involved, Dr. Borlaug's `green revolution' uplifted hundreds of thousands of the rural poor in Mexico and saved hundreds of millions from famine and outright starvation in India and Pakistan.

  8. Dr. Borlaug's approach to wheat production next spread throughout the Middle East. Soon thereafter his approach was adapted to rice growing, increasing the number of lives Dr. Borlaug has saved to more than a billion people.

  9. In 1970, Dr. Borlaug received the Nobel Prize, the only person working in agriculture to ever be so honored. Since then he has received numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Public Service Medal, the National Academy of Sciences' highest honor, and the Rotary International Award for World Understanding and Peace.

  10. At age 91, Dr. Borlaug continues to work to alleviate poverty and malnutrition. He currently serves as president of Sasakawa Global 2000 Africa Project, which seeks to extend the benefits of agricultural development to the 800,000,000 people still mired in poverty and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.

  11. Dr. Borlaug continues to serve as Chairman of the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize, an organization he created in 1986 to be the `Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture' and which presents a $250,000 prize each October at a Ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, to the Laureate who has made an exceptional achievement similar to Dr. Borlaug's breakthrough 40 years ago. In the almost 20 years of its existence, the World Food Prize has honored Laureates from Bangladesh, India, China, Mexico, Denmark, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  12. Dr. Borlaug has saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived, and likely has saved more lives in the Islamic world than any other human being in history.

  13. Due to a lifetime of work that has led to the saving and preservation of an untold amount of lives, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug is deserving of America's highest civilian award: the congressional gold medal.
CornReread paragraph 12. Norman Borlaug "has saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived." This is a profound distinction. Like the society that sustains it, American academia takes achievements like this for granted. One must wonder how many professors, outside schools such as Tuskegee and departments dedicated to agriculture, have any idea that an American university professor holds the all-time record for lives saved. A Congressional Gold Medal is the very least that America can do to honor Norman Borlaug, a hero to all and a friend of humanity.

This item is being posted simultaneously on Jurisdynamics and Agricultural Law.


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