The Sixty Second Patriot #8

Norman Borlaug was a scientist from Iowa, who has probably saved more lives than anyone else in history.

Norman came from a farm family in Iowa, and went to college on an athletic scholarship during the Great Depression. He studied forestry and the kinds of diseases that attack crops, while he saw a lot of hard working people starving for lack of food.  So after he finished his education, he devoted his life to doing something about it.

He got both the government and private companies to support his experiments with different kinds of crops, especially wheat. Eventually he researched a kind of wheat that would grow in cold temperatures, and found a way to make it grow very fast so farmers could grow two crops a year.  Then, he found a way to make his wheat resistant to diseases and insects, so more wheat could be harvested every crop with fewer pesticides.  American farms, and after them farms all over the world, were able to triple their output within a year of starting to use Norman’s wheat — and today nearly all of the bread we eat is made from seeds that he developed

More than a billion people who otherwise would have starved to death lived instead, because of a farm boy from Iowa who combined education, hard work, and compassion to work and made the whole world a better place for it.

The Sixty-Second Patriot series of posts is intended to provide teachers who are required to engage in patriotic exercises with truthful, age-appropriate, meaningful, educationally-rich, non-controversial, secular alternatives to rote recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as brief meditations on American history, civics, and values accessible to all people. Suggestions and contributions to this series from Readers are welcome.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

One Comment

  1. He used the term semi-dwarf wheat so he can't be taught in the public schools

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