The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Norman Borlaug: A high-yield life

A word of advice for youth: "Don't think too much about money"

A word of advice for youth from Norman Borlaug: Don’t think too much about money.

Borlaug, 93, received the Congressional Gold Medal in July. Also a Nobel Laureate, he has earned the privilege to offer a word to young Lutherans: “Don’t be married too much to economic values, to monetary values. They disappear. Those who focus on monetary gain become involved in war and destroy serenity.

“In the many, many countries I’ve visited are all different ideologies, religions and so much contrast. Work to help them all. Read broadly and get a good education.”

A geneticist and plant pathologist, Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his contribution to world peace through food production. He developed varieties of high-yield wheat that resisted disease, saving millions of lives and reversing the food shortages that plagued India and Pakistan in the 1960s.

Borlaug has lived in the developing world for much of his life, teaching high-yield agricultural techniques, with a focus on training younger scientists. “My whole philosophy goes to training young people who are willing to take risks, because you have to risk,” he said.

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