White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday
White Dog and The White Dog Army frequently hear discussions around our table and at gatherings about how incredibly fortunate we are to live in a place and time of bounty. Compared to most of the world we have a wealth of living space, amenities, and a seemingly unlimited supply of water and food. They know that simply having clean water and a steady diet would eliminate starvation, diseases, death, and even armed conflicts for millions. The White Dog Army sees photos of street dogs that are starving and it breaks their hearts; pictures of malnourished children send us in tears to beg the Universe for a relief to such horrific suffering.
The WDA finds hope in those volunteers who work tirelessly to teach more effective well digging and farming techniques. We salute researches working to improve crop yields on native plants that will provide more food. We support worldwide organizations that seek to educate and provide assistance. We know human ingenuity CAN find ways to care for our brothers and sisters.
Last Sunday was the 98th birthday of an unsung hero in the battle to feed the world. Norman E. Borlaug, was a farm boy from Iowa who received the Nobel Peace Prize for starting the Green Revolution and known as “the man who saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived.”
Borlaug received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. His research led to the development of a high-yield, disease-resistant wheat variety.
During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the charge to introduce the high-yield grain along with modern agricultural techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963 and wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, providing those nations with unprecedented food security.
These collective increases in yield have been labeled the Green Revolution, and Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation.
Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production to Asia and Africa.
Borlaug will receive a perfect “gift” to honor his memory — the creation of a program to reach into every high school to inspire students to study science and alleviate hunger in the world. The World Food Prize is creating the Iowa Youth Institute.
The concept is simple. Students research a country and a pressing food-related issue there, and then develop proposed solutions. Each high school selects one student to be recognized as its Borlaug scholar. With a teacher, the student attends a daylong program at Iowa State University on April 30 to interact with leading educators, business executives, government officials and research scientists. Then, 80 students are chosen to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October.
Each student who participates on April 30 receives a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, an opportunity to become a Borlaug-Ruan International Intern, and further opportunity to become a paid USDA Wallace-Carver Intern. Participating teachers can earn a full continuing education credit.
The ultimate goal is to have every high school in Iowa participating in the Youth Institute by the centennial of Borlaug’s birth in 2014. One of his greatest dreams was a nationwide program that encouraged students to focus on science, especially as it relates to agriculture, food production and preserving our environment.
The White Dog Army hopes wonderful ideas come from these fresh open minds and that through their efforts we will one day live in a world where every person and pup goes to bed safe and well nourished. Happy Birthday, Norman…and, thank you.