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Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security: remembering Norman Borlaug

One of the most important aspects of planning the Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security is remembering Norman Borlaug. We’ve received photos and stories from individuals and institutions as they register for the event. Some people only met Dr. Borlaug once while others worked with him for years, but they all share memories of his kindness and impact. You can read and see all of the submissions here; a few of our favorites to date are found below (some submissions are edited for clarity):

“I will help you”

“Dr. Borlaug’s visit to China in 1974 with U.S. delegates started the collaboration between China and CIMMYT … I met him in November of 1990 when I started as a postdoctoral fellow in the CIMMYT Global Wheat Program. We lived in the same block of the visiting scientist building and met very often in the cafeteria in the evening. I traveled with Borlaug a few times and facilitated his visits to China many times.

Photo submitted by Zhonghu He
Photo submitted by Zhonghu He

What I learned from him is to respect people and work hard. Never, ever, hurt other people’s dignity or pride, and never be arrogant. Always say, ‘I will help you!’ … As said by , CIMMYT Director General Dr. Tom Lumpkin, the best way to commemorate Borlaug is to work hard and do your best job.”– Dr. Zhonghu He

Respected by everyone

“I met Norman Borlaug during a 2008 field day. I remember that he was happy to meet someone from Morocco and told me that he had visited Morocco many years ago and kept a good souvenir from his visit.

Photo submitted by Rhrib Keltoum
Photo submitted by Rhrib Keltoum

While attending the Borlaug workshops and listening to his success stories from the scientific and farmer communities, I understood that he was a great man loved and respected by everyone throughout the world and that he left a very good impression on all the people he met and countries he visited. He is the real father of the Green Revolution. I would have liked to have met him earlier. I would have, for sure, learned a lot from him.” – Dr. Rhrib Keltoum

Memories Unforgotten

Photo submitted by Ignacio Solis
Photo submitted by Ignacio Solis

“In 2003, one group of farmers from the Cooperatives of Andalusia (southern Spain), owners of the seed company Agrovegetal, visited El Batán and Ciudad Obregón to get to know CIMMYT. We met Dr. Borlaug in Texcoco, and he agreed to travel with us to Sonora to explain the wheat breeding program to us.

I will never forget those days, his personality and his enthusiastic way of teaching. We took a picture with durum wheat YAVAROS 79, the most widely grown variety in Spain, even 25 years after its release.” –Dr. Ignacio Solis, Director, Agrovegetal