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Minnesota Opinion: On Norman Borlaug

An excerpt from recent editorials in Minnesota newspapers:

By The Associated Press

On Norman Borlaug:

It is perhaps a sad thing that so many people know who Alex Rodriguez is, or Mel Gibson, or Paris Hilton, or even Brett Favre, and so few know the name of Norman Borlaug.

Yet, when the list of greatest heroes of the 20th century is written, the Norman Borlaug would certainly be at the top of the list.

Borlaug was an Iowa farm boy who earned a degree in forestry and a doctorate in plant pa-thology at the University of Minnesota. Toward the end of World War II he began working for the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico, and dedicated himself to increasing that country's wheat production. He used innovative breeding techniques to develop a short-stemmed variety that was more resistant to disease, and which produced far more yield than traditional varie-ties. His work led to the development of better strains of wheat, rice and corn that spread throughout Mexico and Asia.

Thanks to his work, dubbed the "Green Revolution," world food production doubled between 1960 and 1990. Countries that had been facing famine became food exporters. It is estimated that one billion people who would have died of starvation are alive today, thanks to Norman Borlaug.

Borlaug died at his home in Dallas, Texas. He was 95.

Borlaug was honored in his lifetime with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and the Congres-sional Gold Medal in 2007.

A grateful world should come up with some new kind of award to recognize the life and achievements of this great man.

-- The Journal of New Ulm