Texas A&M's new Borlaug Scholars Program will develop the next generation of agricultural research trailblazers. The program is named for Dr. Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution.
As father of the Green Revolution and the 1970 Nobel Laureate, Dr. Norman Borlaug was at the forefront of the agricultural paradigm shift to address world hunger. Now, through the creation of the Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program (NBERS), Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is focusing on developing the next generation of agricultural research trailblazers.
A top priority of Dean Patrick Stover, NBERS was established in 2019 through a $1 million matching fund from Cactus Feeders, a beef and pork producer located in the South and Midwest. The gift was one of the largest contributions to the college during the
. “In the 50th anniversary year of Dr. Borlaug’s Nobel Prize, Cactus Feeders was pleased to make the lead gift to establish the Borlaug Scholars Program,” said Dr. Michael Engler, Cactus Feeders’ chairman of the board. “We’d like to thank Dr. Stover for recognizing Dr. Borlaug’s deep connection to Texas A&M and its mission of educating future generations of agriculturalists to nourish the world.” Lead by Example campaign
Food for All
Borlaug’s groundbreaking work began in 1944, when he was profoundly shaken after witnessing depleted soils, diseased crops and low yields in Mexico. The situation was so dire that farmers were unable to grow food to feed themselves. In a letter to his wife, Borlaug wrote, “These places I’ve seen have clubbed my mind, they are so poor and depressing. I don’t know what we can do to help these people, but we’ve got to do something.”
The solution came in the form of a grain of wheat. As a geneticist and plant pathologist with Mexico’s Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program, Borlaug identified a tropical grain variety that was high-yielding, short-strawed and disease-resistant. He put the new strains into extensive production to help ease hunger in Mexico, Pakistan and India. Eventually, his efforts extended into Central and South America, the Near and Middle East, and Africa.
The pragmatic researcher joined Texas A&M’s faculty in 1984 as Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture. In 2006, the university honored his achievements by naming the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, which today remains focused on continuing and expanding his legacy by playing a key role in fighting world hunger.