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New agriculture award honors Borlaug legacy

The World Food Prize Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation are seeking nominations for the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application — a new $10,000 annual honor.

Nominations are being sought for the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. The new $10,000 annual award, administered by the World Food Prize Foundation, will be presented for the first time in October 2012.

The award will recognize a young extension worker, research scientist, development professional or other individual who best emulates the dedication, perseverance and innovation demonstrated by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug while working in the field with farmers in Mexico during the 1940s and ‘50s. Dr. Borlaug’s breakthroughs helped feed millions of hungry people and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

The new award will go to an individual under the age of 40 who is working closely and directly in the field or at the production or processing level with farmers, animal herders, fishers or others in rural communities, in any discipline or enterprise across the entire food production, processing and distribution chain.

“It is the spirit of innovation that defined Dr. Borlaug’s work and a commitment to leveraging those innovations that aided the poor and vulnerable on a global scale; that has also animated the work of the Rockefeller Foundation for nearly 100 years,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. “This new award will focus attention on those young scientists engaged in field research and application of the type Norm Borlaug and his Rockefeller colleagues pioneered when they were early in their careers working in Mexico, Columbia and India, and other countries in the developing world.”

As the Rockefeller Foundation looks ahead to celebrating its centennial in 2013, this new award highlight’s Dr. Borlaug’s association with that organization and his breakthrough achievement in breeding more than 40 high-yielding and disease-resistant wheat varieties while working in the Rockefeller Foundation-Mexican Ministry of Agriculture Cooperative Program.

“We are honored to administer this new award, which so perfectly reflects Dr. Borlaug’s belief in the critical importance of training the next generation innovators,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, which Dr. Borlaug founded.

Candidates for the award will be evaluated and selected by a jury of international experts based on the attributes and accomplishments that reflect the intellectual courage, innovation, and determination evinced by Dr. Borlaug during his field research in 1940s-50s Mexico that led to the world-changing 1960s Green Revolution in Latin America and Asia.

Nominations for the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, are invited now through June 30, 2012. Any individual or organization may submit a nomination (however, self-nominations will not be accepted). Nominations must be submitted in English online at  Additional award information and guidelines are available at this website address, or by contacting Judith Pim, the World Food Prize director of secretariat operations: 515-245-3796 (office phone); or

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