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World Food Prize, Borlaug project receives more funding

Agriculture.com Staff 02/15/2008 @ 2:09pm

The World Food Prize Foundation on Friday accepted a $5 million contribution from Monsanto Company to ensure the continuation of the annual World Food Prize International Symposium now known as the "Borlaug Dialogue."

The funds support a renewed fundraising campaign to transform the historic Des Moines Public Library building into a public museum to honor Dr. Norman Borlaug and the work of the World Food Prize Laureates.

"I am extremely grateful to Monsanto and [Monsanto CEO] Hugh Grant for their commitment and am pleased that this magnificent building will serve as a permanent home to carry on the mission and events of the World Food Prize,” according to a statement from Borlaug read by his daughter Julie Friday during a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

Monsanto's contribution is meant to ensure that the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates will become the permanent home of "The Borlaug Dialogue," the World Food Prize's annual symposium on cutting-edge topics of global food security.

Both the building and the symposium are named in honor of the Iowa-born Borlaug, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his role in saving the lives of upwards of one billion people as the "Father of the Green Revolution." Borlaug founded the World Food Prize in 1986. It has since become informally known as the "Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture" and the annual Borlaug Dialogue has come to be seen as one of America's foremost international conferences.

In addition to being the home of the Borlaug Dialogue, the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates will emphasize the importance of global food security in today's world and will honor Dr. Borlaug, along with the World Food Prize Laureates and Iowa's agricultural and humanitarian pioneers, for their significant contributions to the global fight against hunger and helping feed the world.

Open to the public, the Hall of Laureates will serve as a museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture and as an educational facility featuring interactive displays on hunger and food security. It will also house the organization's new national Youth Institute program, and conference and community events for other local groups and organizations.

With the $5 million commitment from Monsanto, the World Food Prize has now secured $19.3 million of the total $29.8 million needed to complete the project. The Norman Borlaug Hall of Laureates is scheduled to be completed in 2010.

The World Food Prize Foundation on Friday accepted a $5 million contribution from Monsanto Company to ensure the continuation of the annual World Food Prize International Symposium now known as the "Borlaug Dialogue."

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