Borlaug: Iowa Wrestler Who Saved A Billion Lives

Iowa Farm Scene

NCAA Wrestling Championships were held in Des Moines last week; World Food Prize hero Norman Borlaug was part of the conversation.

Published on: March 29, 2013

A farmer I know from northeast Iowa, Jack Hartman, and I were walking along a street in downtown Des Moines last Saturday, headed toward Wells Fargo Arena, where the NCAA 2013 national collegiate wrestling championships were taking place. I hadn't seen Jack in a while. We talked about our kids and families and what they were doing these days and a little about farming. We also talked about how the International Olympic Committee recently announced plans to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport.

It's hard to imagine the Olympics without wrestling -- the sport the Olympic Games were founded upon. Many Iowans are getting involved in an effort to convince the Olympic Committee to preserve wrestling as an Olympic sport. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gable are spearheading an Iowa-based campaign to save Olympic wrestling and to try to get the Olympic Committee to change its mind.

FARM BOY FROM IOWA: The NCAA national college wrestling championships were held at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines March 21-23, 2013. Many fans who attended walked a few short blocks away and toured the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, where they learned about Norman Borlaug, who was born in 1914, grew up on a farm in Iowa and was a high school and college wrestler. Borlaug went on to become an agricultural scientist and Father of the Green Revolution. He died in 2009.
FARM BOY FROM IOWA: The NCAA national college wrestling championships were held at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines March 21-23, 2013. Many fans who attended walked a few short blocks away and toured the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, where they learned about Norman Borlaug, who was born in 1914, grew up on a farm in Iowa and was a high school and college wrestler. Borlaug went on to become an agricultural scientist and Father of the Green Revolution. He died in 2009.

Jack mentioned a newspaper article he'd read earlier that day about a famous person, also from northeast Iowa, the late Dr. Norman Borlaug and how Borlaug was a wrestler in high school and college.

Norman Borlaug is in the NCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame, as well as the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

Borlaug is the renowned crop scientist and father of the Green Revolution. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his development of "miracle wheat" that improved yields in impoverished areas of the globe. Borlaug, credited with saving a billion lives, was born in 1914 and raised on a farm at Cresco, Iowa. In 1987 he founded the World Food Prize Foundation, now headquartered in Des Moines. Borlaug, by the way, is also enshrined in the NCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.