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The World Food Prize 1986 • Twentieth Anniversary • 2006

The World Food Prize Twentieth Anniversary

Š 2006 The World Food Prize Foundation 666 Grand Ave, Suite 1700 Des Moines, IA 50309 USA Photographs by the World Food Prize Foundation or have been provided courtesy of the World Food Prize Laureates, Council of Advisors members and/or participants in the World Food Prize Youth Institute, with the exception of the following: Photograph on page 17 by Justin Cremer for the World Food Prize Foundation Artwork on page 31 by Paul Lange Artwork on page 65 by Nadine Hawbaker Photograph on page 73 by Emily Westergaard for the World Food Prize Foundation Artwork on page 76 by Conrad Schmitt Studios All rights reserved.



he World Food Prize was created to recognize and inspire exceptional breakthrough achievements which increase the quality, quantity, and availability of food in the world.

Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.. In 1990, when it appeared the World Food Prize might go out of existence, it was rescued by John Ruan who in partnership with Dr. Borlaug, moved it to Des Moines.

Dr. Norman Borlaug envisioned an award that could have the impact and stature of a Nobel Prize, in order to provide the incentive for greater efforts to overcome the scourge of world hunger and malnutrition, which will continue to plague our planet well into the 21st Century.

Since then, “The World Food Prize” has evolved into a week-long series of events each October. In addition to the presentation of the $250,000 Prize, there is the World Food Prize International Symposium, Youth Institute and Borlaug-Ruan Internships.

The 27 men and women who have received the World Food Prize have been at the forefront of the single greatest period of food production in all human history. They are responsible for a diverse array of accomplishments, but all share one thing in common - a singular dedication to the struggle against hunger. “The Prize” has had a long journey from when Dr. Borlaug first conceived of it while traveling in Pakistan shortly after he received the Nobel Peace Prize. It was born in New York in 1986 with initial support of the General Foods Corporation, and the first laureate ceremony was held the following year at the

Throughout its existence, The Prize has been a truly international award as reflected by the fact that its laureates have come from: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, Denmark, India, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States. And each October, representatives of more than 60 countries come to Iowa for what we hope will become “The most significant observance of World Food Day anywhere.” This commemorative book tells the story of the World Food Prize through the achievements of these laureates, and highlights the milestones and evolution of The Prize over the last 20 years. We believe you will find this an interesting and inspiring story.

Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn President, The World Food Prize Foundation


The World Food Prize: From Idea to Creation


or centuries, hunger, malnutrition and misery have plagued our world. Even today, over 800 million people, nearly one of every eight on Earth, do not get the food they need. As global population grows at a staggering rate, the battle against hunger struggles to keep up. It was a singular dedication to feeding this everexpanding world that led to Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s vision of creating the World Food Prize. Born on a small Iowa farm in 1914, Dr. Borlaug’s pioneering work to produce higher yielding strains of wheat ushered in the Green Revolution, preventing large-scale famine and earning him the title of “the man who has saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived.” For his remarkable achievements, Dr. Borlaug was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. In presenting the award to Dr. Borlaug, Chairman of the Nobel Committee Mrs. Aase Lionaes said, “More than any other person of this age, he had helped to provide bread for a hungry world.” Shortly after receiving the award, Dr. Borlaug petitioned the Nobel Committee to add a category for food and agriculture. However, he was told that Alfred Nobel’s last will and testament did not allow for the addition of new prizes. Thus, Dr. Borlaug embarked on a mission to recognize and inspire those individuals who lead the fight against world hunger. Showing the same determination that led to his lifesaving breakthroughs, he set out to create a prize on his own.


Ending human suffering is the lifelong mission of World Food Prize Founder Dr. Norman E. Borlaug.

In late 1981, Dr. Borlaug met with Carleton Smith, who had helped establish the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the World Wildlife Prize. Smith had also been pursuing ways to create a major prize for agriculture and food, and over the course of the next three years, the two men searched for a sponsor. A meeting was scheduled with Mr. James Ferguson, Chairman of the General Foods Corporation, for Memorial Day Weekend, 1984. Unfortunately, Mr. Smith passed away the night before the scheduled meeting and Dr. Borlaug and Mr. Ferguson rescheduled their discussion of the prize. After a year of preliminary planning, Mr. Ferguson contacted Dr. Borlaug to tell him that General Foods Corporation was excited about Dr. Borlaug’s idea. In 1986, The World Food Prize was born. The Prize was given a monetary value to match that of the Nobel Prize, which at the time was $200,000. In the first few months of 1986, three organizational meetings were held under the leadership of Mr. A.S. Clausi, then Senior Vice President of General Foods, who served as the first World Food Prize Chairman. A Council of Advisors was created, made up of eight internationally recognized authorities, representing different fields within the food system. The Council of Advisors distinguished the guidelines and procedures for nominating candidates and selecting the winner of the Prize. A Selection Committee, designed to remain anonymous with the exception of Dr. Borlaug, was established to review and assess the nominations and select the most worthy candidate based on the guidelines set down by the Council of Advisors. In its inaugural year, the Selection Committee unanimously voted to award the first World Food

The first Council of Advisors laid the groundwork for the World Food Prize (l-r) Ted Williams, World Food Prize Secretariat; Dr. Norman Borlaug; Dr. Richard Hall, Vice President of McCormick and Co.; Dr. David Call, Provost, Cornell University Life Sciences School; Dr. Robert Havener, Director of Winrock International; Dr. Pekka Linko, Helsinki University of Science; Dr. Paul Hopper, General Foods Scientific Affairs Manager; Mr. Al Clausi, World Food Prize Chairman Prize to Dr. M.S. Swaminathan of India for expanding production and availability of food in the world. The Laureate Award Ceremony was held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and featured a performance by world-renowned entertainer John Denver. The ceremony brought international acclaim, leading President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines to say, “[Dr. Swaminathan] fully deserves to be the first

recipient of the World Food Prize, which is awarded to those who have made significant improvements to the world food situation.” Former United States President Ronald Reagan said of the Prize: “This award is a fitting tribute to accomplishments that will continue to inspire all who follow in the fight against world hunger.” Dr. Borlaug’s years of determination had paid off and his vision of The World Food Prize became a reality. 5


he World Food Prize sculpture was created by world-renowned designer Saul Bass. The handsome and artistic piece symbolizes the world, its food, and the nourishment of its people.


The World Food Prize Laureates 1987-2006



r. Swaminathan is widely recognized as the architect of the “Green Revolution� in India, which radically improved agricultural yields through the introduction of genetically superior grain varieties. This work helped to nearly double annual crop yields in four crop seasons.


Through education and advocacy, Dr. Swaminathan has spread his innovations among farmers of many social classes.



s founding director of the International Rice Research Institute, Dr. Chandler led in the development of rice varieties that increased Asian rice production by 66 percent, outpacing the country’s 47 percent population growth. Today, these rice varieties are grown on 50 million hectares across the continent.


Dr. Chandler (left) shows Brazilian Minister of Agriculture G.P. Viegas (center) and Dr. Henry Beachell an experimental rice ďŹ eld.



r. Kurien established a program known as “Operation Flood,� which promoted dairy cooperatives to produce, process and market milk for rural and urban areas in India. Reaching nearly 250 million people, Operation Flood was at that time the largest agricultural development program of its kind.


Due in large part to Dr. Kurien’s Operation Flood, India has emerged as the largest producer of milk in the world.



hrough the discovery of a durable resistance to the potato late blight disease, Dr. Niederhauser helped to boost the food supply for many nations. Using the resistance he found in Mexican wild potato species, he and his colleagues bred new varieties with durable resistance. Many of these varieties are used today.


Often referred to as “Mr. Potato,� Dr. Niederhauser eradicated a disease that had plagued potato crops for generations.


The World Food Prize Finds New Life in Iowa


ust three short years after its inception, the future of the World Food Prize was in jeopardy.

Corporate restructuring at General Foods ended financial support for the Prize and Dr. Borlaug once again had to find a sponsor. This time, his search led him home to Iowa and toward a partnership that would forever change the World Food Prize. When Dr. Borlaug and World Food Prize Chairman Al Clausi met with noted Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan, it was an instant partnership. Ruan, who like Dr. Borlaug was born in a small town in Iowa in 1914, had built a national trucking empire. A long-time Des Moines activist, Ruan had a long-standing vision that Iowa should be seen as the agricultural capital of the world. Clausi and Borlaug’s proposal struck a resonant cord with Ruan. The following spring, he announced his intent to bring the Prize to Iowa, thereby securing its future. “I pledge my own energies and resources to these real-life heroes of our day whose work not only touches the soil but also touches the hearts of all mankind,” Ruan said. “By assuming sponsorship of the World Food Prize, we can create a most appropriate nurturing environment for it right here in what is often called ‘the nation’s breadbasket.’” The World Food Prize Foundation was created in Des Moines and the Ruan Family Trust endowed the World Food Prize with $10 million. Much to the delight of Iowa native Norman Borlaug, the World Food Prize had found a new home.

Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan saved the Prize in 1990.


“Without John Ruan and the family that gave this wholehearted support from the beginning, there probably wouldn’t be a World Food Prize,” said Dr. Borlaug.

Des Moines, Iowa is home to the World Food Prize Foundation.



r. Scrimshaw has improved the diets of millions by developing low-cost nutritional supplements to combat the “hidden hunger” of malnutrition. One of his many innovations was INCAPARINA, which today is given to 80 percent of Guatemalan children to prevent protein deficiency.


In India, Scrimshaw focused his attention on eliminating endemic goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland due to iodine deďŹ ciency.



r. Knipling and Dr. Raymond Bushland, a team of American entomologists, developed the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to control screwworm ies, parasites that threatened food supplies throughout the Americas. Their work sustained vast sources of food and consequently ensured human health.


Dr. Knipling served as the top entomological researcher in the USDA Agricultural Research Service.



he Sterile Insect Technique developed by Dr. Bushland and Dr. Knipling has preserved a vast amount of food for humans around the world. The technique has also been lauded for its environmentally sound attributes: it uses no chemicals, leaves no residues, and has no eect on non-target species.


Dr. Bushland (left) provided leadership and technical advice on extending the success of his and Dr. Knipling’s original project.



inister He was a leader in mapping out the reforms that caused agricultural output in the early 1980s to grow in excess of 8 percent annually. At the same time, rural income more than doubled, poverty in rural areas decreased, and quality of life throughout China improved.


Minister He’s contributions have ensured that China’s remarkable agricultural achievements will continue long into the future.



r. Yunus initiated a program of innovative small loans for the poor through Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, which has provided almost $5 billion to destitute families and poor communities, supporting subsistence food production. The loans not only give access to more nutritional food, they are also used to secure shelter, clothing and education.


Dr. Yunus’ dedication to help the poor and hungry has won him global respect in developing and developed areas alike.



r. Herren led the biological control project that counteracted the cassava mealybug, which in the 1970s and 1980s was destroying as much as 80 percent of Africa’s cassava crops. By 1993, Dr. Herren’s work had stabilized mealybug populations in 30 countries, protecting the staple crop for 200 million people in Africa and providing crucial food reserves.


Dr. Herren almost single-handedly developed a control for the mealybug, averting famine and saving over 20 million lives.


Celebrating The First Ten Years


he World Food Prize celebrated its Tenth Anniversary with the help of an old and dear friend.

Legendary musician and humanitarian John Denver, who had participated in the very first World Food Prize ceremony, returned to perform at the 1996 Laureate Award Ceremony. “It’s an honor to be included among those who are working so very hard to end hunger on our planet and it’s a privilege for me to lend my voice to those whom we honor today,” Denver said. Denver had formed a friendship with World Food Prize Founder Dr. Norman Borlaug while serving together on President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on World and Domestic Hunger. He made reference to their special relationship when introducing his song, “I Want to Live.” “This is the first song that I wrote specifically about the issue of hunger, and I wrote it before I had the privilege of serving with Dr. Borlaug,” Denver said. “And yet, I believe from what I had heard of him and the good work he had done as the Father of the Green Revolution, that somehow I learned it from him.” Sadly, John Denver passed away the following year. His song “All this Joy” has become an anthem of sorts to honor the World Food Prize Laureates and has been performed at various Laureate Award Ceremonies throughout the years.


A special performance by John Denver highlighted the Tenth Anniversary.

The World Food Prize Tenth Anniversary mural was designed to incorporate an element of the achievements of all of the World Food Prize Laureates.



r. Beachell’s IR8 and other high-yielding rice varieties fed the burgeoning population of Asia in a time of malnourishment and starvation that forced Asian countries to purchase imported food. He more than doubled production rates, allowing Asia’s farmers to feed their families as well as their fellow citizens. Additionally, incomes in rural and poor areas increased and nutrition improved dramatically.


Dr. Beachell (far right) shows the IR8 rice strain to (l-r) Dr. Robert Chandler, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, a Filipino farmer and University of Philippines Vice President Fernando Lopez.



he genetic lines and varieties developed under Dr. Khush and Dr. Beachell’s direction are now planted on 70 percent of the world’s rice-growing land and have more than doubled worldwide rice production. This increase averted the imminent famine that would have resulted from the use of traditional varieties.


Dr. Khush developed IR36, a semi-dwarf rice variety that proved highly resistant to a number of the major insect pests.



long with Dr. Ray Smith, Dr. Adkisson was among the earliest scientists to note the harm of indiscriminate pesticide use and ďŹ nd practical alternative approaches to pest control. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs they developed and helped popularize have saved farmers millions of dollars by reducing reliance on chemicals to ďŹ ght pests.


Dr. Adkisson explored Integrated Pest Management programs for crops such as sorghum, peanuts, corn, wheat, rice, pecans, and citrus fruit.



he success of Dr. Smith’s supervised pest control approach and the enormous biological, ecological, and economic data he gathered would lead to the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, protecting crops in an ecologically sound manner. The programs have also saved farmers millions of dollars by reducing reliance on chemicals to ďŹ ght pests.


Dr. Smith (center) was involved in organizing collaborations with farmers, technicians, and researchers in the United States.


Reaching Out to Tomorrow’s Leaders


ohn Ruan created the World Food Prize Youth Institute to increase awareness of critical issues of food security among high school students and to foster their interest in science and agriculture. Under the direction of World Food Prize Executive Director Herman Kilpper, the Youth Institute began in 1994 as a way for Iowa high school students to interact with World Food Prize Laureates, research scientists and top policy makers. Beginning with only fifteen students in its first year, the program now hosts approximately 100 students and 100 teachers each year from Iowa, several other US states and countries as far away as Nigeria and Brazil. In 1998, the Youth Institute was expanded to include the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program, which provides selected students an all expenses paid, eight-week experience at an international research center in Africa, Asia or Latin America. There, Borlaug-Ruan Interns gain valuable experience working with World Food Prize Laureates and world-renowned researchers and scientists. Since its inception, nearly 100 students have been sent on these “lifechanging” internships. Numerous past participants in the World Food Prize Youth Institute and the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program have gone on to obtain advanced degrees and careers in food, agriculture, medicine and natural resource disciplines. Dr. Norman Borlaug often says that despite his remarkable accomplishments and numerous accolades, he is most proud of his role in inspiring youth. “These young people are leaders for tomorrow, not just at home but in the developing countries as well,” said Dr. Borlaug. 40

The first Youth Institute was held in 1994 (top) under the direction of past World Food Prize Executive Director Herman Kilpper (above).

Mandy Larson spent eight weeks at the WorldFish Center in Malaysia, just one of the nearly 100 students who have participated in the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program.



r. Barwale has led the way as a farmer and entrepreneur in privatizing the development and distribution of high-yielding varieties and hybrid seeds. He has encouraged the growth and stability of India’s agricultural sector and has greatly contributed to his country’s achievement of food security.


Dr. Barwale founded Mahyco, India’s ďŹ rst and largest private hybrid seed company.



r. Plowright was recognized for his development of tissue culture rinderpest vaccine (TCRV). This proved to be the key element in the quest to eliminate rinderpest, or cattle plague, from farms and herds around the world. Prior to eradication, the virus repeatedly caused tremendous cattle losses to farmers, often amounting to millions of animals annually.


Dr. Plowright’s research provided a practical means to remove a menace dating back sixteen centuries.



ith Dr. Surinder Vasal, Dr. Villegas helped develop Quality Protein Maize, or QPM, which has saved millions from of malnutrition and death. Dr. Villegas, a cereal chemist, led research on protein quality at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, or CIMMYT.


Dr. Villegas was honored as Mexico’s Woman of the Year in 2000. She is the first female World Food Prize Laureate.



r. Vasal was honored alongside Dr. Villegas for his remarkable achievements in developing maize containing twice as much dietary protein as normal maize. Dr. Vasal was also instrumental in spreading Quality Protein Maize around the globe. QPM varieties are grown on roughly 9 million acres worldwide.


Dr. Vasal has trained more than 400 researchers in India, China, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Nepal on hybrid maize and seed production.


New Millennium, New Direction For Prize


he turn of the century brought many changes for the World Food Prize.

Longtime Executive Director Herman Kilpper, who assumed control of the Prize upon its move to Des Moines, announced his retirement in 1999 and formally stepped down in 2000. In his place, John Ruan selected Iowa native and former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Kenneth M. Quinn to run the Prize and to increase its visibility. Ambassador Quinn, who spent 32 years working for the U.S. State Department, had a clear charge when taking over leadership of the Prize. “I saw my mission as fulfilling two visions,” Ambassador Quinn said. “Norman Borlaug had a vision that the World Food Prize be seen as the ‘Nobel Prize for food and agriculture,’ while John Ruan had the vision that Iowa be seen as the agricultural capitol of the world.” Ambassador Quinn embarked on a mission to make the annual gathering in Des Moines “the most significant observance of World Food Day anywhere around the globe.” One of his first steps as President was to move the annual Laureate Award Ceremony to the Iowa State Capitol. The move was made with the support and cooperation of the Governor and the State Legislature of Iowa. “By holding the Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol, one of the grandest buildings in North America, we hope to associate Des Moines with the World Food Prize in the way that Stockholm and Oslo are associated with the prestigious Nobel Prizes” Quinn said. Quinn also introduced the World Food Prize Harvest Festival, a monthlong series of events throughout Iowa that focus on the agricultural and humanitarian legacy of the State, that culminate with the awarding of the World Food Prize.


Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn took leadership of the Prize in 2000.

The Annual Laureate Award Ceremony was moved to the Iowa State Capitol in 2000.



r. Pinstrup-Andersen established the 2020 Vision Initiative, a global eort that has alerted world leaders to potential crises in food security. He also helped reverse the trend of decreasing global development assistance, and contributed to a reduction in world hunger and poverty levels through innovative programs.


Dr. Pinstrup-Andersen’s 2020 Vision Initiative alerted the world to potential food security crises in the 21st century.



r. Sanchez is an international authority and leader in the ďŹ ght against global hunger. He has made a major contribution to preserving the earth’s most delicate ecosystems while bringing higher production and great hope to those struggling to survive on marginal lands around the world.


Dr. Sanchez led an eort to develop low-cost and comprehensive soil rejuvenation programs for east and southern Africa.



s. Bertini emphasized the importance of women in food distribution while transforming the World Food Programme (WFP) into the largest and most responsive humanitarian relief organization in the world. Under her leadership, the WFP delivered life-sustaining food aid to over 700 million people in more than 100 countries.


Catherine Bertini worked to ensure that food of good quality would be available in suďŹƒcient quantities to the world’s neediest people.



rofessor Yuan made breakthrough discoveries in plant genetics and developed the world’s ďŹ rst and most successful hybrid rice varieties, which have revolutionized rice cultivation in China and tripled production over a generation. He has also played a key role in spreading hybrid rice throughout Asia and to Africa and the Americas.


Prof. Yuan’s (left) accomplishments helped create a more abundant food supply.



r. Jones led in the development of “New Rice for Africa” (NERICA) that dramatically increased yields and offered great hope to millions of poor farmers as a catalyst for agricultural transformation in West Africa. The partnerships he built helped disseminate rice to countless farmers in Africa’s villages.


Dr. Jones developed NERICA, which is capable of increasing rice yields by 25 to 250 percent.



y expanding aquaculture throughout Asia and Africa, Dr. Gupta has enhanced nutrition for over one million needy families. Dr. Gupta has further ensured the long-term economic and social stability of rural communities based in ďŹ sh farming by involving women in his techniques.


Dr. Gupta enhanced nutrition and fed millions of the world’s poorest people.


Twentieth Anniversary: Looking to the Future


t the 2001 World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony in Bonn, Germany, then German President Johannes Rau declared, “The World Food Prize is the ‘Nobel Prize for food and agriculture.’” Dr. Norman Borlaug’s vision had been fulfilled. But as the World Food Prize celebrates twenty years as the world’s foremost award recognizing individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world, it continues to expand. In 2004, the United States State Department hosted the World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony. At the ceremony, then Secretary of State Colin Powell stressed that despite the remarkable achievements of the World Food Prize Laureates, our world is still beset with hunger, poverty and misery and that there is more work to be done. “We have a challenge yet to meet and that is why the World Food Prize and all other efforts to focus international attention on the interrelated issues of hunger and poverty are so very, very important,” Powell said. The 2004 ceremony would be the first of three consecutive years the Laureate Announcement was made at the State Department. Yet another change occurred in 2006, when it was announced that the annual World Food Prize International Symposium would be renamed the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium. The 2006 symposium was dedicated to looking back on the successes and challenges of the initial Green Revolution while also looking to solutions for the future. “The past 50 years represent the single greatest period of food production in all human history,” Ambassador Quinn said. “The challenges come in laying the framework for the coming 50 years and beyond.”


Secretary of State Colin Powell, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Jacques Diouf and Dr. Borlaug at the 2004 Laureate Announcement Ceremony.

Special artwork commemorates the Twentieth Anniversary World Food Prize Laureates.



r. Lobato was a leader in evaluating and carrying out studies of soil fertility and agricultural production in Brazil’s Cerrado region. During the course of his career, he led Cerrado soil fertility and agronomy research that led to an expansion of agricultural development on the Cerrado.


Mr. Lobato helped expand Cerrado soil fertility research to include soil microbiology and soil and crop management.



he pioneering soil fertility research conducted by Dr. McClung in the 1950s showed that transformation of the Cerrado region was possible. By uncovering an innovative soil improvement process, Dr. McClung concluded that the Cerrado could be made suitable for production of a diverse array of crops.


Dr. McClung’s work helped correct the drastic nutrient depletion of soil in the Cerrado.



s Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Paolinelli created a new model for rural credit and development programs. He envisioned and oversaw the creation of the infrastructure that enabled crop and livestock production to ourish in the Cerrado. He was also instrumental in establishing the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA).


By helping to establish EMBRAPA, Minister Paolinelli set the stage for the Cerrado’s development into an agricultural powerhouse.


The Next Twenty Years and Beyond


orld Food Prize Chairman John Ruan III announced a $5 million pledge to restore the 100-year-old Des Moines Public Library and create the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates. The Hall is intended to be the foundation for all World Food Prize events in the years to come. With a matching contribution from Polk County, private and corporate contributions and federal funds, the Hall of Laureates will be a centerpiece of the new Principal Riverwalk in downtown Des Moines. The Hall of Laureates will serve to honor the achievements of the World Food Prize Laureates and educate the public on their work. The renovation will also include a museum that will recognize Iowa’s historic legacy in feeding the world. It will pay tribute to the state’s humanitarian heroes such as Dr. Borlaug, President Herbert Hoover, Vice President Henry Wallace, renowned scientist George Washington Carver and 4-H Founder Jessie Field Shambaugh. The Hall of Laureates will be an educational facility, featuring interactive displays on issues related to global hunger and food production and videos and displays on the lives of World Food Prize Laureates and Iowa’s heroes in feeding the world. The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates is aimed at bringing issues of food security to the forefront of the international consciousness and will include a convocation center to serve as the future site of the annual symposium. “Norman Borlaug’s vision was that the World Food Prize could become recognized globally as the ‘Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture;’ and John Ruan hoped that Iowa could be seen as the food and agriculture capital of the world,” said Ambassador Quinn. “We are working hard to fulfill these two dreams.”


World Food Prize Chairman John Ruan III has established a fund to create the future home of the World Food Prize Foundation.

The former Des Moines Library will be renovated to become the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates.


The World Food Prize Council of Advisors


he World Food Prize Council of Advisors is a distinguished panel of international experts from government, academia and the private sector. By setting the guidelines and procedures for nominating candidates and selecting each year’s Laureate, the World Food Prize Council of Advisors plays a vital role in the operations of the Prize. The Council convenes annually in Des Moines to discuss plans and issues pertaining to the selection of the coming year’s Laureate and other issues concerning the operation and governing of the Prize. The current Council includes former heads of state, university presidents and corporate executives among its members.

Dr. Borlaug, Council member Jimmy Carter, John Ruan and Dr, Muhammad Yunus at the 1994 Laureate Award Ceremony.

The makeup of the Council of Advisors has changed throughout the years, with only Dr. Borlaug and Mr. Al Clausi remaining from the original Council created in 1986. Sadly, Dr. Robert Havener, another charter Council member passed away in 2005. The Council has included individuals from Finland, Guatemala, Kenya, Nigeria, Philippines, United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela over the course of the past twenty years. The most recent additions to the Council of Advisors include Dr. Gordon Conway, President Emeritus of the Rockefeller Foundation; Dr. Gregory Geoffroy, President of Iowa State University; Hon. M. Peter McPherson, Founding Co-Chair of the Partner-ship to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa; and Ms. Cynthia Milligan, Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Al Clausi, Dean Kleckner, Dr. Borlaug, John Ruan and Ken Quinn (front row) with Robert Havener, Jonathan Taylor and Pekka Linko in 2000.

Council of Advisors Members 1986 - 2006

Hon. Robert McNamara Former President, The World Bank Washington, D.C.

Hon. M. Peter McPherson H.E. Corazon C. Aquino

Hon. Elizabeth Dole

Manila, Philippines

Raleigh, North Carolina

Co-Chair, Partnership to Cut Hunger &Poverty Lansing, Michigan

Dr. Norman E. Borlaug

Dr. Gordon P. Eaton

Cynthia H. Milligan

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate College Station, Texas

Former President, Iowa State University Coupeville, Washington

Dean, College of Business Administration University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lin coln, Nebraska

Dr. Ricardo Bressani

Michael Gartner

Research Coordinator Instituto de Nutrition de Centro America y Panama Guatemala City, Guatemala

Pulitzer Prize Winner Des Moines, Iowa

Dr. Gregory Georoy Hon. George Bush

Mr. John Ruan World Food Prize Chairman Emeritus Des Moines, Iowa

Mr. John Ruan III

Houston, Texas

President, Iowa State University Ames, Iowa

Dr. David Call

Dr. Richard Hall

Dean, Agriculture and Life Sciences Cornell University Ithaca, New York

Vice President (ret), Science and Technology McCormick and Company, Inc. Hunt Valley, Maryland

H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo

Hon. Jimmy Carter

Dr. Robert D. Havener

Dr. Thomas Odhiambo

Atlanta, Georgia

1930 - 2005

1931 - 2003

A.S. Clausi

Dean Kleckner

Dr. Lucia Pearson de Vaccaro

Past President, Institute of Food Technologists Cos Cob, Connecticut

Past President, Farm Bureau Urbandale, Iowa

Professor, Universidad Central de Venezuela Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela

Dr. Gordon Conway

Pekka Linko

Jonathan F. Taylor

President Emeritus, Rockefeller Foundation London, England

Professor, Helsinki University Espoo, Finland

Chairman, The Booker Prize London, England

World Food Prize Chairman Des Moines, Iowa

Emeritus Abuja, Nigeria


Borlaug Medallion As a special commemoration of the World Food Prize Twentieth Anniversary, the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Medallion was established in 2006. The medallion is intended to recognize individuals who have beneďŹ ted mankind but are ineligible to receive the World Food Prize. The ďŹ rst recipient will be His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej of Thailand.

The World Food Prize 20th Anniversary  

Tracing the origins of the World Food Prize and highlighting its first twenty years, 1986-2006

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