Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hat's Off to a Real Hero

Norman Borlaug recently died at age 95. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1970's for his work developing wheat, barley and rice that was disease resistant. He was educated at the University of Minnesota and the U's president described him as the most distinguished alum from Minnesota. When I talked to my son Dan, the horticulturist, this morning he expressed regret that this man who helped so many had such a brief obituary.

Norman Borlaug chose to spend his career helping third world countries increase grain production to feed its people. He developed seeds that were disease resistant and produced bigger crops. His gift to India and the far east was an enriched rice. Before his work the rice they grew was deficient in certain nutrients results in a malnourished population whose main diet was rice. It is said he saved millions from deficiency diseases and starvation. He did not get rich himself and was surprised when he won the Nobel Prize. We could use more Norman Borlaugs in this world.

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