Farmscapes 2024
Harnessing Change

A message from Ambassador Terry Branstad, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.

min read
Ambassador Terry Branstad
by Ambassador Terry Branstad

My family and I have been involved in agriculture for 140 years. Since my ancestors began tilling the soil in Winnebago county, we have seen incredible advancements and constant challenges to meeting the needs of a growing domestic and global population.

During my first term as Governor of Iowa, we successfully managed the farm crisis of the 1980s. We worked tirelessly to diversify, invest in new technologies, and bring additional value to our crops. We understood the implications of our work: we were not just fighting for the future of the family farm but for the ability to feed the world.

Our work was not unique. Our successes were not novel. In fact, a guiding light had been established for us decades earlier by another Iowan, Dr. Norman Borlaug. He shared humble beginnings, growing up on an Iowa farm and learning the value of hard work and innovation. While unassuming, he accomplished a great deal through his development of higher yielding cereal grains. In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Borlaug gained the admiration of world leaders, people around the world, and especially farmers. He deserves the accolade of being the man who helped to save more lives than anyone who has ever lived. Dr. Borlaug achieved these great things by pursuing an education and a career in agricultural science. He changed the world by putting science into the hands of those who needed it the most. He changed the world through hard work, a dedication to innovation, and a relentless pursuit of a more just world. His legacy lived in each of us during those trying times in the 1980s, and lives on as we follow his example to address the urgent challenge of feeding the world’s expanding population.

The Borlaug Dialogue is an opportunity to bring experts from around the world to discuss critically important issues – reducing poverty and increasing the availability of nutritious food to people across the globe. This global conversation happens annually in Iowa and inspires scientists, innovators, and leaders in the global agricultural industry.

We honor, celebrate, and aim to inspire those who harness change and ultimately shape the future of food and agriculture. Building on Dr. Borlaug’s legacy of tackling immense global challenges, the Borlaug Dialogue will both acknowledge how far we have come, and the innovations necessary to achieve a food-secure future.

As Dr. Borlaug often said, pessimism has no place in action. The World Food Prize Foundation is proud to be associated with Views on Agriculture, which was launched at the Borlaug Dialogue. Its pages showcase the positive steps agriscience is making towards our goal of sustainably increasing the quality, quantity, and availability of food for all.