Texas A&M University Memorial Tribute for Dr. Borlaug

Texas, United States

A quarter century has elapsed, Dr. Borlaug, since you became involved in Africa’s agricultural development. My father and I approached you when you were already seventy. We wanted to do something to help alleviate the hunger of starving Africans, and we sought your help. We knew it was a lot to ask, but you willingly agreed. Since then, no matter how busy you were, you made African farmers and their children your priority.

Jeanie, Bill and other members of the family – your father loved all of you dearly. And he cared deeply for African farmers. Even when he was on the brink of pneumonia in Malawi, even when he was stricken by cancer, he was always more concerned for the well-being of African farmers than he was for himself. Remarkably, he never complained, however tough the predicament.

He was the kind of person who was motivated by meeting difficult challenges head-on.

He spent as much time as possible in the field, kindly and painstakingly passing on his knowledge to African farmers. At the same time, he took a strict approach to training country directors. Something I shall never forget is the look of pure happiness on his face as he watched farmers dance for joy at an annual harvest festival.

Dr. Borlaug often said, “Africa’s children mustn’t go to sleep hungry.” He kept that thought in mind, and what he achieved went beyond satisfying their hunger.


you cultivated a dream that could empower the farmers;

you planted the seeds of hope;

you watered them with enthusiasm;

you gave them sunshine;

you inspired with your passion;

you harvested confidence in the hearts of African farmers;

you never gave up.

I am now seventy years old – about the age you were when you began working with Africa. I pledge to you this, to spend the rest of my days pursuing your dream of a Green Revolution for Africa. I will work together with the leaders, students, researchers, and farmers who embody the Borlaug spirit. I will never give up.

Dr. Borlaug – Norman – may you rest in eternal peace.