Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
TobusRex

The College Wrestler that saved a BILLION Lives

Recommended Posts

Norman Borlaugh, a Minnesota Gopher wrestler who made the Big 10 semifinals while in college, is a world hero.

 

In 1970 Norman E. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world. Although a scientist with outstanding contributions, perhaps Dr. Borlaug's greatest achievement has been his unending struggle to integrate the various streams of agricultural research into viable technologies and to convince political leaders to bring these advances to fruition.

Born of Norwegian descent, Dr. Borlaug was raised in Cresco, a small farming community in northeast Iowa. He learned his work ethic on a small mixed crop and livestock family farm and obtained initial education in a one-room rural school house.

Dr. Borlaug's skills as an athlete (mainly in wrestling) opened the door for him to attend the University of Minnesota, where he studied to be a forester, wrestled, and worked various odd jobs. After graduating in 1937 with a BS in Forestry, he went to work for the United States Forest Service, initially in Idaho and later in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He returned to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, and took up the study of plant pathology, receiving his Ph.D. in 1942. Years later, the University of Minnesota would house its plant pathology and agronomy programs in Borlaug Hall.

After graduation, Dr. Borlaug worked as a Microbiologist for E.I. Dupont de Nemours, until being released from his wartime service.

In 1944, Dr. Borlaug participated in the Rockefeller Foundation's pioneering technical assistance program in Mexico, where he was a research scientist in charge of wheat improvement. For the next sixteen years, he worked to solve a series of wheat production problems that were limiting wheat cultivation in Mexico and to help train a whole generation of young Mexican scientists.

The work in Mexico not only had a profound impact on Dr. Borlaug's life and philosophy of agriculture research and development, but also on agricultural production, first in Mexico and later in many parts of the world.

It was on the research stations and farmers' fields of Mexico that Dr. Borlaug developed successive generations of wheat varieties with broad and stable disease resistance, broad adaptation to growing conditions across many degrees of latitude, and with exceedingly high yield potential.

These new wheat varieties and improved crop management practices transformed agricultural production in Mexico during the 1940's and 1950's and later in Asia and Latin America, sparking what today is known as the "Green Revolution." Because of his achievements to prevent hunger, famine and misery around the world, it is said that Dr. Borlaug has "saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived."

 

 

https://www.worldfoodprize.org/en/dr_norman_e_borlaug/about_norman_borlaug/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The so-called Green Revolution is a highly contentious issue, and there are numerous studies that argue that it was not as successful as previously claimed and likely caused or led to great amounts of harm.  Borlaug's work in particular is very controversial.  

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2011/08/green-revolution-cullather/

https://www.routledge.com/The-Green-Revolution-Revisited-Critique-and-Alternatives-1st-Edition/Glaeser/p/book/9780415853736

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/apr/01/norman-borlaug-humanitarian-hero-menace-society

Edited by dmm53

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, dmm53 said:

The so-called Green Revolution is a highly contentious issue, and there are numerous studies that argue that it was not as successful as previously claimed and likely caused or led to great amounts of harm.  Borlaug's work in particular is very controversial.  

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2011/08/green-revolution-cullather/

https://www.routledge.com/The-Green-Revolution-Revisited-Critique-and-Alternatives-1st-Edition/Glaeser/p/book/9780415853736

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/apr/01/norman-borlaug-humanitarian-hero-menace-society

 

Of environmental lobbyists he (Borlaug) stated, "some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 1032004 said:

I do

One is related to social/identity politics, the other is antiscience. The former is ussually associated with the far left. When you start looking at anti vaccine, creationism... Well let's just say both sides are guilty of antiscience to fit their stance.

Edited by russelscout

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

USA benefits greatly from research as he did. North Dakota is the #1 wheat producing State in the country. #1 in many farm crops and products. Open land, few people and Agriculture is the main industry. Scientists who help improve crops, machinery that is more and more efficient and family farms that produce the food to feed a World all bottleneck as distribution across the globe. We see grain on the ground because there is not elevator space to hold it all. We see it now in "cocoons" overwintering in the fields until elevator space opens up and prices increase so it can be sold at a profit.

Round-up ready seed that allows farmers to keep weeds at bay while raising ever increasing yields with high protein and nutrient content are used by many. Neighbors with PhD's in plant science and similar are farming rather than teaching so they can use their knowledge in real world conditions. Bigger and more efficient is the watchword here, from cultivating to harvest to getting crops to market - the food is produced and there is plenty to go around.

Controversial or not - those actually producing the crops have reaped benefits from research from Scientists like Norman Borlaugh. we need more like him. Too bad he didn't wrestle at NDSU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yields have doubled in the last 10 years or so. And the same before that. It’s like the infrastructure can’t keep pace with field production (as suggested by no elevator space tor store until prices improve). Honestly, yield science is moving faster than profit structure can keep up with. This will continue to kill off the smaller corporation farmers (forget about the family farm). Not complaining. It’s just the realities of today’s market. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, russelscout said:

One is related to social/identity politics, the other is antiscience. The former is ussually associated with the far left. When you start looking at anti vaccine, creationism... Well let's just say both sides are guilty of antiscience to fit their stance.

 

Fair enough I guess.  Not all that are anti-GMO are SJW’s, but I bet a large percentage of SJW’s are anti-GMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The spooky thing is that Borlaug claimed that his efforts did nothing but "buy time". He expressed hope that the human race would overcome the spectre of overpopulation before they got so numerous that even the new methods couldn't feed them all.  Well, the human race has certainly failed in that regard, eh? China finally got their population under control with the 1 child policy, but now China is experiencing labor shortages as it's industrial capacity continues to boom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TobusRex said:

 

Of environmental lobbyists he (Borlaug) stated, "some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things".

 

This remark proves nothing (as most quotes do).  It is essentially an ad hominem assertion.   It's easy to counter it with remarks that claim the opposite.  For example:  "Aside from "Kissinger, probably the biggest killer of all to have got the peace prize was Norman Borlaug, whose 'green revolution' wheat strains led to the death of peasants by the million." (Alexander Cockburn)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

 

Fair enough I guess.  Not all that are anti-GMO are SJW’s, but I bet a large percentage of SJW’s are anti-GMO.

The right wing and especially the current administration is throughly and completely anti-science, especially with respect to climate change, evolution,  and many, many other issues.  It's all that religious nonsense, corporate welfare, aggressive anti-regulation (for big business), corruption, and fear-mongering. 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/apr/28/can-the-republican-party-solve-its-science-denial-problem

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/us/politics/republican-leaders-climate-change.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, russelscout said:

Based off nothing. Did fox news tell you that?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2017/11/20/the-anti-gmo-movement-has-a-social-justice-problem/#646e2ffe3a54

Not denying that Republicans aren’t anti-science too, but Democrats seem to be more vocal about it, including those I know as well as people such as “the Food Babe.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2017/11/20/the-anti-gmo-movement-has-a-social-justice-problem/#646e2ffe3a54

Not denying that Republicans aren’t anti-science too, but Democrats seem to be more vocal about it, including those I know as well as people such as “the Food Babe.”

More vocal that calling global warming a conspiracy? More vocal than trying to push creationism in science class?  I seem to remember a good amount of discussion in republican debates about the spreading out of vaccine shots which was based on pure fantasy. Then there is this on GMOs from 2 years ago.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/07/14/486060866/congress-just-passed-a-gmo-labeling-bill-nobodys-super-happy-about-it

"It's not an insignificant achievement that a Republican Congress has decided to mandate a national GMO disclosure on every food package that contains genetically engineered ingredients," 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, scribe said:

Yields have doubled in the last 10 years or so. And the same before that. It’s like the infrastructure can’t keep pace with field production (as suggested by no elevator space tor store until prices improve). Honestly, yield science is moving faster than profit structure can keep up with. This will continue to kill off the smaller corporation farmers (forget about the family farm). Not complaining. It’s just the realities of today’s market. 

The Family Farm is alive and well in North Dakota. Reason for this is State Law that forbids Corporate ownership. A family Corporation is OK - the bit outfits are banned. You won't see Monsanto, Simplot and the big AG corporations owning and managing farms here. Many lease the land to neighbors who farm. The days of 160 acres and a mule are long gone. Average size is around 1,000 acres. The landscape helps. No big mountains. Flat and gently rolling hills make for bigger machinery that improves efficiency. One neighbor who is really on top of things has records of every cow, field and piece of machinery from when he came home from Vietnam in 1970. Newer equipment is more efficient. Newer planting varieties mature quicker - in an area where the growing season is short this opens up things a lot. Add in Climate Change - we average 5 more growing days per season now than forty years ago - and Corn is grown here. Decades ago it was unheard of this far North. (30 miles to Canada)

A top of the line combine is right at $500,000. Different headers (the paddle wheel on the front) can cost upwards of $125,000. One newer combine now can harvest what three used to so years back, saving fuel and getting more of the grain into the hopper. We see Kenworth and Peterbilt big rigs with long grain hauling trailers being filled and driven to town to Grain elevators or - more and more - stored on the farm in newer metal grain elevators coupled with complete grain drying facilities. One neighbor recently put in two new 62,000 bushel bins and a dryer. Bins cost about $2.25 per bushel to build and the drying unit was over $450,000. It will pay for itself with his grain as well as custom drying for others. Right now if you want a bin you have a major waiting list. So many need them, not enough crews to build and install.

Really helps that no CDL is needed to drive the big trucks within 150 miles of the farm. Keeps costs down. Family Farm is where you see them still stopping at noon for dinner, full meal before going back into the fields. You see them racing to get crops in the ground or harvested to beat the coming rain. Big equipment sheds with apartments inside for seasonal help, fully heated floors to work in comfortable conditions in the off season to keep equipment in good condition. It is a never ending battle and we see the crop rotations and watch neighbors as they go into the fields, feed and care for livestock - even feeding cattle with horse drawn wagons at times .  Interesting to see even as so many of the newer machines are using GPS systems accurate to +- one inch and give readings for soil conditions, harvest yield and such as they drive the field. Even self driving combines and tractors - make for more efficient use and no missed or double planted areas.

Just as every other industry moves forward, so does farming and ranching. Still, weather is the killer. Hail - the "white combine" hits and can totally wipe out hundreds of acres in minutes. Straight line windstorms over 100mph does it as well. Heavy rains and flooding - then drought and no water. It is a gamble that makes Vegas look small.

Nice schools, good kids, good parents, clean air and no crowding. Winter here is the great leveler. As the song up here says: 40 below keeps the riff raff out.

NDSU and Minot State and other Colleges have wrestling programs. It is good for the State and good for the kids. Education is emphasized as the kids need it whether they are going into agriculture or business. From out closest town with its graduating class last year of Three, its Olympic style Air Rifle Shooting team or the bigger school 20 miles away with their Trap shooting team, 11 man football team and all - it is a nice place to live. But, if you don't do winter - you don't stay.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, russelscout said:

More vocal that calling global warming a conspiracy? More vocal than trying to push creationism in science class?  I seem to remember a good amount of discussion in republican debates about the spreading out of vaccine shots which was based on pure fantasy. Then there is this on GMOs from 2 years ago.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/07/14/486060866/congress-just-passed-a-gmo-labeling-bill-nobodys-super-happy-about-it

"It's not an insignificant achievement that a Republican Congress has decided to mandate a national GMO disclosure on every food package that contains genetically engineered ingredients," 

Sorry I shouldn't have said anti-science, I was mostly just talking about GMO's.

Vermont (an overwhelmingly blue state) really started the labeling issue by passing their own law.   That essentially forced the federal government to pass their own law that would supercede that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...