An endowment contribution from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to honor Dr. Norman Borlaug, “the father of the Green Revolution,” will help the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences train future international agricultural leaders.
The foundation’s $1 million endowment contribution to the memorial Borlaug International Scholars fund will be used to build productive partnerships between students, scientists and farmers in developing countries and U.S. land-grant universities. This gift was the first major donation to the memorial fund, which was established through the nonprofit Texas A&M Foundation.
"The grant to the Borlaug International Scholars Fund will allow students with demonstrated commitment to fighting global hunger further their educations,” said Dr. Don Doering, a program officer in the Agricultural Development initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Training future generations of scientists is crucial to helping millions of small farmers and their families lift themselves out of hunger and poverty with new knowledge and tools.”
Borlaug, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who launched the Green Revolution in the 1960s, was a distinguished professor at Texas A&M from 1984 until his death Sept. 12 at age 95. He also was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work, and has been credited with saving more lives than anyone in history.
“Developing nations need the help of agricultural scientists, researchers, administrators and others in finding ways to feed ever-growing populations," Borlaug stated earlier this year when calling for a second Green Revolution. "... Land-grant universities help achieve a more lasting worldwide food security by providing technical assistance, educational outreach, improved technology and agricultural practices, scientific training and research, and hands-on instruction.”
Prior to his death, Borlaug and his family worked with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Texas A&M Foundation to create the fund as a means to help fulfill his vision of ending world hunger.
“This generous gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will honor Dr. Borlaug’s memory by training the next generation of agricultural leaders who will work to fight hunger worldwide,” said Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M.
Distributions from the fund’s endowment will be used to provide awards to international students, giving them opportunities to study agriculture, rural development and related fields at Texas A&M and other U.S. land-grant universities.
“This gift demonstrates a commitment to fighting hunger and bringing greater food security to the world,” said Dr. Ed Davis, president of the Texas A&M Foundation. “It will give promising students the tools and motivation to be leaders in worldwide agricultural development. It honors a great visionary and ensures his critical work will continue. We’re honored to manage this endowment on behalf of Dr. Borlaug and his family.”
“My grandfather would be honored by this gift, which will help ensure there is a next generation of ‘hunger fighters’ who will be trained through the land-grant system,” said Julie Borlaug Larson, Borlaug’s granddaughter. “He was a product of the land-grant system and was a life-long supporter of that system and its ability to help feed the world.”
To donate to the Borlaug International Scholars Fund, contact the Texas A&M Foundation at 800-392-3310 or visit http://giving.tamu.edu. Click the “Give Now” button and then select “College of Agriculture & Life Sciences” and “Borlaug International Scholars” from the drop-down menus.
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in Texas A&M academics and student leadership programs.