March 25, 2014 | By Roger Thurow

Standing Tall in History

Norman Borlaug now stands in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol, a man still at work. He stands in a stylized field of wheat, hat on his head, sleeves rolled up, notebook in his hand, a researcher for the ages.

“The Father of the Green Revolution,” says the engraving on the pedestal of the great crop breeder and humanitarian, etched by sculptor Benjamin Victor.

Norman Borlaug now stands beside Rosa Parks—two great emancipators side by side. Rosa Parks helped to free millions from racial discrimination. Norman Borlaug freed a billion from hunger.

He took his place among the nation’s icons on March 25, the 100th anniversary of his birth. It was also National Agriculture Day in America.

It is all so fitting. And especially this: his statue will reanimate his work. How many millions of people in coming years will look at his statue and learn of his accomplishments in eliminating famine from wide swaths of the earth and hear about his vision to eliminate hunger everywhere? How many children will see the statue and wonder “Who’s Norman Borlaug?” and then turn to their parents or their teachers or Google for answers.

Perhaps they will learn that nearly one billion people still remain chronically hungry, that two billion more suffer from a “hidden hunger” of micro-nutrient deficiency, that another billion are overweight or obese, that more than half the people on the planet are malnourished in some sense.

Most important, how many people will look at his statue and take up his challenge to nourish the world? In Statuary Hall, Norman Borlaug is still at work because his work isn’t yet finished.

Watch a video tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug. 


| By Roger Thurow

A Wondrous Journey

Cruising down I-80 in the summer is one of the most wondrous, and paradoxical, drives in the country.

| By Roger Thurow

1,000 Days and Migrant Stress

The first 1,000 days of a child's life is a critical time for development, where nutrition--and stability--lay the foundation for a lifetime. 

| By Roger Thurow

Outrage and Inspire with Roger Thurow - Am I About to Lose My Second Child, Too?

The latest podcast in our ongoing series with Roger Thurow. Hear how even the best nutrition projects can be undermined by bad water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lousy infrastructure.  From northern Uganda, we hear a mother’s agony when her healthy, robust child suddenly falls ill after a few sips of water…unclean water, it turned out.

Roger Thurow on SDG 2.2

Roger Thurow sat down with Farming First to talk about the individual and societal consequences of malnutrition. 




Digital Preview of The First 1,000 Days

In his new book, The First 1,000 Days, Council senior fellow Roger Thurow illuminates the 1,000 Days initiative to end early childhood malnutrition through the compelling stories of new mothers in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and Chicago. Get a first-look at photos and stories from the book in this new web interactive.

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» Order your copy of the book.


The First 1,000 Days

Roger Thurow’s book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.

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The Last Hunger Season

In The Last Hunger Season, the intimate dramas of the farmers' lives unfold amidst growing awareness that to feed the world's growing population, food production must double by 2050. How will the farmers, Africa, and a hungrier world deal with issues of water usage, land ownership, foreign investment, corruption, GMO's, the changing role of women, and the politics of foreign aid?

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Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, award-winning writers on Africa, development, and agriculture, see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this compelling investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how our sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world’s poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.

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