York Lecturer Series
York Lecturer Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Norman E. Borlaug stands with a select few at the pinnacle of a research and teaching profession dedicated to the alleviation of world hunger and suffering. His visit and lecture are an appropriate way to inaugurate the York Distinguished Lecturer Series, particularly with the world focus on famine in Ethiopia and the population explosion in Africa.
Norman E. Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa in 1914. He received a B.S. in forestry from the University of Minnesota in 1937. After three years with the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho and Massachusetts, he returned to the University of Minnesota where he received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology in 1940 and 1941.
Borlaug served as an instructor while he was a graduate student at Minnesota. From 1942 and 1944, he worked as a microbiologist for E.I. Dupont and Company, Wilmington, Delaware, where he conducted research on agricultural chemicals.
In 1944 he was appointed geneticist and plant pathologist assigned to organize and direct the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program in Mexico as a joint undertaking between the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation. The position involved research in genetics, plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, soil science, and cereal technology. This outstanding program made Mexico self-sufficient in wheat production by 1956 and laid the basic foundation for further improvement of wheat production there and in other areas of the world.
In 1963, Dr. Borlaug became director of the Wheat Research and Production Program, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). In that position, he devoted most of his efforts to wheat research and production problems and to the training of young wheat scientists on a global basis.
Fruits of his efforts and those of his colleagues are the high-yielding fertilizer-responsive, widely adapted dwarf wheat varieties which have sparked dramatic changes in wheat production, first in Mexico and then in other areas of the world. For his research on dwarf varieties of wheat, now commonly called the "Green Revolution," Dr. Borlaug was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Borlaug has been involved in programs of research and production in ten American, eight African, and ten Asian countries. At CIMMYT, he has trained more than 150 young scientists from 23 countries. It is widely recognized that wheat programs worldwide have benefited from CIMMYT wheat research.
Dr. Borlaug currently divides his time as a Senior Scientist at the Rockefeller Foundation and as a Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, at Texas A&M University. He also serves as ex-officio consultant on wheat research and production problems to many governments in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
During his illustrious career, Dr. Borlaug was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and has received 22 honorary degrees from foreign and US universities, including the University of Florida. He has been a member of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) since 1973, receiving that organization's Distinguished Achievement award in Food and Agricultural Sciences in 1982. He also is a member of Alpha Zeta, Xi Sigma Pi, and Sigma XI, honorary agricultural and research fraternities.
In 1984, Dr. Borlaug's name was placed in the Agricultural Hall of Fame at the national center in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
Dr. Borlaug has received dozens of government and civic awards. In 1977, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 1983 he was selected for the A.D. White Professor-at-Large Distinguished Professorship at Cornell University. In 1984, he was recognized for sustained service to humanity through outstanding contributions in plant breeding from the Governors Conference on Agriculture Innovations in Little Rock, Arkansas. Also in 1984, he received the Henry G. Bennet Distinguished Service Award at commencement ceremonies at Oklahoma State University. In 1985, a new agricultural science building on the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus, was named in his honor.
Dr. Borlaug is married to Margaret Gibson Borlaug. Their children are Norma Jean Borlaug and William G. Borlaug.
-Biography Originally Compiled September 11, 1985
For UF/IFAS-related questions or information, please
contact IFAS Assistant Vice
President's Office at info@.ifas.ufl.edu
Copyright © 1994-2003| University of Florida | Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences | Gainesville, FL 32611
For Web site problems or suggestions, contact the site Web Master at email@example.com.
This page was last updated on: 4/23/03.
Return to Top