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Cactus Feeders provides major opportunity to Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program

published: March 11th 2020
by: Katherine Hancock
source: Texas AgriLife Today

Cactus Feeders has made a matching fund gift of $1 million to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, one of the largest gifts made to date to the college. The gift is to establish the Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program. The Borlaug Scholars Program continues the legacy of Norman Borlaug—known as the father of the Green Revolution—and provides opportunities for Texas A&M to recruit and retain agriculture and life sciences students interested in research. 

The Legacy of Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug, Ph.D., made it his life’s work to find ways to improve agriculture, specifically developing improved grain varieties in an effort to feed the world. Through his dedication, Borlaug developed a dwarf wheat variety that produces large amounts of grain, resist disease, and resist lodging – the bending or breaking of a stalk with high yielding grains. 

Borlaug is often credited for saving more lives than anyone in history, due to his development of dwarf wheat varieties. In 1970, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for this work. Remembered for being a deeply humbled and practical man, Borlaug continued his research to help communities overcome hunger at Texas A&M from 1984 until his passing in 2009.

A young Norman Borlaug with wheat

“We want to build on Norman Borlaug’s legacy, using food to nourish people for life-long health; Food is medicine,” said Patrick Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “Thanks to this generous gift from Cactus Feeders, we’re paving the way to train future generations of scientists who see agriculture as the solution to human and environmental health.” 

Similar visions and goals: Education for the future

A young Norman Borlaug in the field

With similar visions and goals, Cactus Feeders made the gift to help propel students in this program forward by providing scholarship opportunity. The program areas of impact are animal sciences, plant sciences, nutrition sciences, food sciences, environmental sciences, agricultural engineering, education and leadership, and economics and policy. 

“In this the 50th anniversary year of Dr. Borlaug’s Nobel Prize, Cactus Feeders is pleased to make the lead gift to establish the Borlaug Scholars Program.  We’d like to thank Dr. Stover for his leadership in recognition of Dr. Borlaug’s deep connection to Texas A&M and its mission of educating future generations of agriculturalists and nourishing the world.” said Dr. Michael Engler, Cactus Feeders Chairman of the Board.

Norman Borlaug

This Cactus Feeders gift will be used as matching funds for up to ten $100,000 undergraduate research scholarships to full-time students in good standing pursuing an undergraduate degree in agriculture and life sciences, with the donor matching gifts of at least $50,000 to make a one-to-one endowment of at least $100,000.

The gift also includes up to four $250,000 graduate research fellowships to full-time students in good standing pursuing a graduate degree in agriculture and life sciences with the donor matching gifts of at least $125,000 one-to-one to create endowments of at least $250,000. 

Students interested in the Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program must:

  • Be enrolled and pursuing an undergraduate or doctoral degree in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University;
  • Be pursuing a career in the Agriculture Industry; and
  • Maintain good progress to degree completion throughout the duration of the program. 

If you would like more information on the Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program, or would like to give a gift, please contact Collin Arledge at 979-458-2204.

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