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Norman Borlaug, Rob Horsch to keynote world hunger lecture

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Norman Borlaug and Rob Horsch of the Gates Foundation will discuss the challenges of developing agricultural technologies to feed the world to kick off the International Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in New Orleans. They will speak on Sunday, Nov. 4 from 7 to 8 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Riverside.

Horsch will present New Investments in Crops, Soils, and Small Holder Farmers Why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is Supporting Agricultural Development, followed by Borlaug on Challenges for the Crop Scientist in the 21st Century. Both leaders in agriculture, they have utilized technology to fight hunger issues around the world.

Known as the father of the Green Revolution, Borlaug has been commended for his contributions to science and his ability to influence political policy for the good of humanity. He is one of only five people in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1970), Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977), and Congressional Gold Medal (2007). He also received the National Medal of Science (2005) and countless awards throughout his career.

Borlaug worked for 16 years to solve a series of wheat production problems in Mexico and to help train Mexican scientists for the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program, a joint undertaking by the Mexican government and Rockefeller Foundation. His new wheat varieties and improved crop management practices transformed agricultural production in Mexico during the 1940s and 1950s and later in Asia and Latin America, sparking what today is known as the "Green Revolution." Because of his achievements to prevent hunger and famine around the world, it is said that Borlaug has saved more lives than anyone.

Previously employed by Monsanto Company, Horsch worked to develop technologies for low-income countries and farmers to improve crop yields and incomes. He launched programs to transfer and apply technology to developing countries, train and educate scientists around the world, and communicate the benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology.

Horsch joined the Bill & Melinda Foundation as a senior program officer in the agricultural development program in November 2006. He has served on the editorial boards of several leading plant science journals and as an advisor to the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy. In 1999, he was awarded the 1998 National Medal of Technology by President Bill Clinton for contributions to agricultural biotechnology.


Contact: Sara Uttech
American Society of Agronomy

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