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A Well-Deserved Honor

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

President Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal on Tuesday to agriculture scientist Norman Borlaug, whose work on high-yield, disease-resistant varieties of wheat is credited with starting the "Green revolution" and alleviating starvation in India and Pakistan in the 1960s.

"The most fitting tribute we can offer this good man is to renew ourselves to his life's work, and lead a second Green Revolution that feeds the world, and today we'll make a pledge to do so," Bush said at a Capitol Rotunda ceremony.

The tribute to the 93-year-old Iowa native is well deserved. Not only did Borlaug's research create breakthroughs in agriculture, he has acted to continue the legacy of research by founding the World Food Prize in 1986, an annual $250,000 award to people whose work increases the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor that Congress awards. George Washington was the first to receive the medal in 1776. Other past winners include Thomas A. Edison, Bob Hope, Pope John Paul II and the Rev. Martin Luther King.

Norman Borlaug is in good company and deserves to be.