Statue Unveiled for IA Native, Dr. Norman Borlaug on 100th Birthday

He's a native Iowan who's called "the man who saved a million lives" and the "Father of the Green Revolution."

Tuesday, a statue honoring the late Cresco native Dr. Norman Borlaug was unveiled on Capitol Hill.

Siouxland News Reporter Beairshelle Edmé has more on this latest recognition for the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Ag hero Dr. Borlaug may not have been able to celebrate his 100th birthday, but Washington lawmakers made it a celebration.

"It's a great day for Iowa, but it's a great day for America. Norman Borlaug has brought together the leaders of this country, Democrat and Republican, working together to recognize and honor a great man who made a real difference," said Governor Terry Branstad, who attended the unveiling.

The microbiologist was best known for his agricultural revolution; Borlaug created a disease-resistant wheat variety that prevented billions from starving.

In Iowa, he's the reason behind the state-based ceremony for the World Food Prize, an international award given to leaders of human development that change the food world.

Senator Grassley (R- IA) told Siouxland News Borlaug's also contributed to every day Iowa farmers.

"Iowa is the biggest or at the least he second biggest agriculture state in the nation. All of the research that he's accomplished he's made Iowa agriculture more productive," remarked the senator. "Uh and so he's a global figure with a global impact but a person who never forgot his roots," he added.

And his legacy lives on in kitchens worldwide.

Places like Mexico, Pakistan and India have gained food security from Dr. Borlaug's invention.

And now, leaders say there's no better time to recognize a fellow Iowan.

"For Dr. Norman Borlaug, a great American and a true son of Iowa, this honor of a statue in Statuary Hall could not be more fitting and deserved. We thank him for his great service to humanity and the world indeed also thanks him," Senator Tom Harkin (D- IA) said to the crowd applauding his speech.

Each state is allowed two statues in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

Borlaug's statue replaces that of Iowan James Harlan.

Harlan was Iowa's first Superintendent of Public Instruction and organized the first school districts across the new state.

He also served as a congressman during the civil war and was the first Iowan to serve in a cabinet post as Secretary of the Interior during President Lincoln's second administration.

Harlan's statue had been in the Capitol for more than 100 years; Bourlaug, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, now joins Samuel Kirkwood, the War Governor of Iowa.

If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about it. OR