Who Was Norman Borlaug?
- He has pioneered and contributed to many innovations, the most famous being his work in agriculture. Norman was able to create a solution for wheat production problems, drastically improving the crop’s longevity. He also spurred the “dwarf-wheat” and “shuttle breeding” techniques, through which he was able to increase the yield of wheat.
- The increase in food supply was staggering. In 1950, the total grain output of the world was 690 tons, with the production of the grains taking place on 1.7 billion acres of cropland. In 1992, the total grain output was 1.9 billion tons on roughly the same amount of land. The maximum yield was up to 6,000 lb. per acre as well.
- Further into his career, Norman helped bring the practice of gene-splicing to agriculture. Gene-splicing has a bad reputation among related fields, but Norman was determined to apply the concept in innovative and beneficial ways. His work in this portion gave way to methods that undoubtedly have the potential to yield even more food.
- Perhaps most remarkable of all is one of his most awe-inspiring statistics of the lives he was able to save. Through his work, he has saved a billion lives. This is truly one of the most amazing accomplishments anyone can boast. Deservedly, Norman was a recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.
There is so much more this man was able to boast: compassion, intelligence, mirth, morality, wisdom, and determination. To take one stroll down his hall of fame is to see awards, honors, and prestige that few men can claim.
Norman’s Influence on Me As a Planner
As someone who believes planning and science are prime examples of forward-thinking fields, I aim to gain inspiration from notable figures in those fields. Norman is, in fact, my biggest inspiration coming from any field. What he’s done, and the meaning that I derive from his example, cannot be stressed enough. It’s absolutely remarkable that innovation, strength, intelligence, and the will to work is able to produce such an impact. His impact has shown me that I, while I may not be able to scale his heights, can make a difference through the same values. What can be done to improve food security, save lives, and improve agriculture, Norman has exemplified through the supreme value of positive sustainable impact. The Green Revolution has brought on new challenges (Norman’s methods themselves have caused new challenges in regards to their sustainability), and has provided the world with opportunities for new fronts of qualified life. Thanks to Norman, all of this is possible.