Today is World Food Day, established in 1979 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). World Food Day celebrates the creation of the FAO. On October 16, 1945, FAO was created in Quebec, Canada, in order to end hunger and manage the global food system.
In 1959, Borlaug joined the FAO. Four years later, in 1963, with inspiration from Mexican President Lopez Mateos and funding from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, Borlaug was involved in the development of the Mexico-based International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) and served as the director of its wheat program.
During the 1960s, Borlaug began to look beyond Mexico to Southern Asia, where food shortages were reaching crisis proportions. He trained scientists in the production of high-yield dwarf wheat and warned them of the potential for disaster in wheat rust. For this work, in recognition of his contribution to saving the lives of millions, Borlaug was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.
Borlaug joined the FAO in 1959 and founded the World Food Prize in 1986. The 547 is a $250,000 international award given annually to recognize those that agricultural scientists who have worked to end hunger and improve the world’s food supply. This collection consists primarily of Borlaug’s correspondence files, which include paper records as well as some photographs. These papers include materials from six continents relating to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trago (CIMMYT), Instituto Nacional de Investagaciones Agricolas (INIA), Central Institute for Agrochemical Support of Agriculture (CINAO), several U. S. universities, the Crop Quality Council, DeKalb Agriculture Association, FAO, and the International Rice Research Institutes (IRRI). One highlight is a photocopy of Borlaug’s September 7, 1970 (six weeks before winning the Nobel Prize) letter to William Paddock where he reacts to the highly critical We Don’t Know How and defends the Green Revolution.