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Statue Unveiling Highlights Events Honoring Iowan Who Saved More than 1 Billion People from Starvation

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Washington, DC, Mar 21 | comments

Washington, DC – The unveiling of a new statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection of one of the greatest humanitarians and scientists will highlight two days of events to honor Iowan Norman Borlaug, the Iowa congressional delegation said today.  The statue unveiling is on Tuesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. (ET).

Borlaug is one of only five people to have been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Honor.  A renowned agricultural scientist, born and raised in Cresco, Iowa, Borlaug is often recognized for eradicating famine in Mexico, India and Pakistan during the mid-20th century with his development of a disease-resistant, high-yielding wheat.  He is known as the Father of the Green Revolution and credited with saving more than 1 billion people from starvation in developing countries.
            
“Dr. Borlaug’s efforts to advance biotechnology and agronomy vastly improved the levels of food security in nations around the world.  He was an extraordinary man, with a brilliant vision, and the common sense and commitment to turn his dreams into reality.  He inspired future generations of scientists and farmers to innovate and lift those mired in poverty, all while never forgetting his Iowa roots that started the journey,” Senator Chuck Grassley said.

“Dr. Borlaug surveyed a world where starvation and malnourishment were rampant. And he had a vision–a vision for a Green Revolution,” said Senator Tom Harkin.  “Dr. Borlaug’s mission to alleviate hunger and human suffering, improve quality of life around the globe, and foster peace will benefit people for generations to come.  The statue to be unveiled and dedicated this week will preserve that mission in the halls of the U.S. Capitol and serve as a reminder to all who pass by that one person really can make a difference.”

“To see the effort I started in 2009 to honor Dr. Borlaug come full circle is heartening. His lifetime of selfless contributions to mankind have earned him this honor in the nation’s Capitol Building. Dr. Borlaug's work has saved billions of lives across the globe from starvation, and I can think of no better example of a great Iowan to the millions of people who visit the Capitol each year," Congressman Tom Latham said.

“It was a privilege to get to know Dr. Borlaug personally. He was humble, engaged, and inspiring all at the same time. It is a memorable honor to help bring his statue to our Nation’s Capitol. Now millions of Americans can be part of celebrating a life so well lived. I look forward to the unveiling in the US Capitol and the continuing story of the greatness of Dr. Borlaug. He was an inspiration to me when I met him, and his story will soon serve as an inspiration to all who visit the Capitol,” Congressman Steve King said.

“Norman Borlaug had a combination of ingenuity, intelligence, and compassion that represents the very best of Iowa,” said Congressman Bruce Braley.  “He improved the lives of billions of people around the world and I’m proud his statue will be representing Iowa in the United States Capitol.”

“The world is a better place because of Norman Borlaug’s efforts to feed the hungry and promote peace. From growing up in a small agricultural town in Iowa boasting a one room schoolhouse to saving one billion lives by fathering the ‘Green Revolution,’ Norman Borlaug is a true American pioneer. I look forward to joining my fellow Iowans in honoring all of the work he has accomplished,” Congressman Dave Loebsack said.

The statue unveiling will be held in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol on March 25, which is also National Ag Day and the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth.  Events on Monday, March 24, include a media availability with the sculptor and Iowa political leaders, a reception for any interested parties, and a dinner banquet.  Following the statue unveiling, which can be seen live on www.speaker.gov/live, a reception will be held in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.  More information about the events is at www.iowaborlaugstatue.org

The statue of Borlaug will join others in the collection that honors men and women who are, according to the 1864 law creating the collection, “illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services such as each state may deem to be worthy.”  Each state was invited to contribute two statues to be housed in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.  The collection, now totaling 100 statues, is currently located throughout the U.S. Capitol and the Capitol Visitor Center

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