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Bourlag: The Man Who Fed the World

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture presented its second annual Book of the Year award to Leon Hesser for The Man Who Fed the World, his biography of Dr. Norman Borlaug.

Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and foundation board member, presented the award to Hesser. “In The Man Who Fed the World, Leon Hesser tells the story of Dr. Norman Borlaug and the green revolution sparked by his research,” Gilbert said. “This book takes us back to the days after World War II when one-third of the world’s 1.6 billion people were on the verge of starvation. Sadly, we as a nation of plenty, have forgotten this fact,” she said.

The Man Who Fed the World is one of 200 Accurate Ag Books ( recommended for children, teenagers and adults by the foundation.

“This engaging story about the life and work of Norman Borlaug makes a strong case for modern agriculture and the remarkable changes that the green revolution brought to the world,” Gilbert said.

Borlaug introduced simple technologies such as corn hybrids and short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat to farmers in developing countries. Substantial yield increases helped avert a brewing global food crisis.

In 1970, Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to preventing hunger and famine in developing countries.

The Book of the Year award was presented to Hesser at the National Farm-City Week Luncheon in Birmingham, Ala., hosted by the National Farm-City Council.

The luncheon also featured a discussion on “Combating Hunger in America” with a panel of leaders from industry, academia and non-profit organizations.

Alpharma Inc., Animal Health is the sponsor of this year’s Book of the Year Program.

The foundation is developing a curriculum and essay contest on the book for high school students, to be piloted in several states in 2009.

National Farm-City Week is the week leading up to and including Thanksgiving. It is a nationally designated observance of the interdependence among agriculture, the people who grow the food and the people who eat it.

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