Norman Borlaug would have been 100 Tuesday. He also would have been proud and a bit embarrassed by the fuss made over him at National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, where Borlaug's statue was dedicated as one of the two stony likenesses allotted to the state of Iowa.
My hunch is that he might have also noted that while he was born in Cresco, Iowa, he was educated and launched on his career in agricultural research at the University of Minnesota. I knew Borlaug well enough to know that he considered Minnesota his second home.
The bronze sculpture of Borlaug depicts him as he looked while working at his third home, in Mexico. That's where he conducted his work to increase wheat yields -- and yielded strains and methods that ended starvation in much of the developing world. He won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Borlaug was described as "a great gift of Iowa" at Tuesday's ceremony in Washington. His Minnesota connection is bound to be recognized Thursday beginning at 1:30 p.m. at his alma mater, where a celebration and conference about food security in his honor is set for McNamara Alumni Center.
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