The Late Norman Borlaug To Be Commemorated in U.S. Capitol

Legendary agricultural scientist will receive memorial statue in the U.S. Capitol on March 25

Published on: Feb 26, 2014

A group of Congress members have announced that a statue of the late Dr. Norman E. Borlaug will be unveiled on Ag Day, Tuesday, March 25, at a ceremony in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made the announcement Wednesday.

Regarded as one of America's greatest agricultural scientists, Dr. Borlaug's work in wheat improvement saved starving populations internationally.

Borlaug, a native of Cresco, Iowa, is one of only three Americans ever to receive the trifecta of humanitarian awards – the Nobel Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also received a National Medal of Science.

Legendary agricultural scientist will receive memorial statute in the U.S. Capitol (photo courtesy World Food Prize)
Legendary agricultural scientist will receive memorial statute in the U.S. Capitol (photo courtesy World Food Prize)

The statue will represent his work during the 100-year anniversary of his birth.

"The unveiling with be a historic event and celebration of Dr. Borlaug’s legacy," commented Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. "His agricultural innovations saved an estimated billion people around the world from hunger and starvation. It is a fitting tribute that our state and nation will honor Dr. Borlaug on the 100th anniversary of his birth and on National Agriculture Day."

The 7 ft. statue was commissioned by the State of Iowa and will be crafted in bronze. Benjamin Victor of South Dakota is the artist.

Borlaug statue in production. (Photo courtesy Benjamin Victor)
Borlaug statue in production. (Photo courtesy Benjamin Victor)

Each state is represented by two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol Building. The statue of Borlaug will replace the statue of U.S. Senator James Harlan, installed in 1910, which will be relocated to Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The second statue representing Iowa is of Governor Samuel Kirkwood, installed in 1913.

Additional details regarding the dedication of the statue will be announced closer to the date of the ceremony, a statement from Speaker Boehner's office indicated.