Nobel and Beyond: Building on the Legacy of a Hunger Fighter

December 10, 2020 | The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences’ (CFANS) Department of Plant Pathology and Alumni Relations hosted "Nobel and Beyond: Building on the Legacy of a Hunger Fighter" on the 50-year anniversary of Norman E. Borlaug's Nobel Peace Prize. The event featured distinguished speakers highlighting the continuing work inspired by Borlaug's legacy and the need for research in the area of food security. The virtual event featured a lineup of distinguished speakers: Joan T.A. Gabel, President, University of Minnesota, gave introductory remarks on Borlaug's life and legacy, and the important work taking place at the University of Minnesota to fight hunger across the globe.

Ronnie Coffman, professor of plant breeding at Cornell University, shared memories of his experience as Norman Borlaug’s only PhD student, including witnessing the day Borlaug received the news of his Nobel Peace Prize. Jeanie Borlaug Laube, daughter of Norman Borlaug and Chair of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, reflected on life with her father and mother and showed the audience a rare viewing of not only her father’s Nobel Peace Prize medal but also his Congressional Medal of Honor and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Arif Husain ’92 Applied Economics, MS ’96 and PhD ’97, Ag & Applied Economics, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Assessment and Monitoring at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) spoke on his experience in CFANS, his perspective on WFP’s 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, and messages of advice to current CFANS students.

Hale Ann Tufan, Assoc. Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab and Adjunct Faculty, Plant Breeding and Genetics section, Cornell University, presented "Take it to all the farmers: Women and girls at the center of food security" Shenggen Fan PhD ’82, Applied Economics, Chair Professor and Dean of the Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy at China Agricultural University, discussed "Global Food System Transformation: Roles of Policy, Technologies and Institutions" Barbara Stinson, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, shared the mission of the Foundation to elevate innovations and inspire action to sustainably increase the quality, quantity and availability of food for all.

Alumni of the Minnesota Youth Institute Adynn Stedillie, Priscilla Trinh, and Glen Morris ’17 Health Science, ESPM Minor, shared their experiences as Borlaug Scholars and their hopes for the future of food security work. Brian Buhr, CFANS Dean, shared updates on College research efforts not only fighting hunger but also protecting our natural resources.