Posted at: 10/17/2012 5:21 PM
Updated at: 10/17/2012 5:25 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Statue To Honor Norman Borlaug
(ABC 6 News) -- He’s been called the Father of the Green Revolution. And three years after his death, he’s about to be immortalized again.
"I think he would say I want to be remembered as an individual that helped people," said Iowa state senator Merlin Bartz.
And by the time the 100th anniversary of Norman Borlaug's birth is observed a year and a half from now, his likeness will be standing in Washington.
"The legacy of Norman Borlaug is how many people did he touch," Bartz said.
In 1970, Iowa native Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize for research that developed a high yield, disease resistant wheat.
"It's said that he's probably through the green revolution and his help to science and the USDA that he saved over a billion people's live that would have starved to death," said Bartz.
This week, South Dakota artist Benjamin Victor was chosen to create the statue that will honor Borlaug.
"Just putting forward the absolute best work that I can do, one hundred percent of my work, my energy, my heart and everything I can put into this sculpture I'm going to do because he deserves that," Victor said during a ceremony at the Iowa state capitol.
The research pioneered by Norman Borlaug on wheat has been adapted to other crops, significantly increasing yields of corn and soybeans. But even with the increased production, despite that: "There's a recent study that says one in nine children in the US are going to bed hungry," said Bartz.
"There's not enough food to sustain them or there is a shortage in funds to purchase food to get the three meals a day," said Chris Grev at the Mower County United Way, which has adopted “hunger” as one of its causes. “When kids are hungry, they're not focused on learning."
But by March of 2014, an addition to the hall of statues at the US Capitol will remind us that great things are possible.
"This really is an embodiment of not only Doctor Borlaug, it is an embodiment of an Iowa farmer," Bartz told us.
Each state is allowed two statues in the Hall Of Statues at the US Capitol.