As a child, I remember feeling hungry most of the time. Growing up in rural Tanzania, I walked to school barefoot and most of the time had one meal a day. After school, I helped my mother with various farming chores, including feeding the animals, weeding, harvesting and planting. I often heard my mother express concerns about the lack of ways to protect our crops from drought, pests and diseases. I wanted to help my mother but was too young to understand what the solution might be.
Norman Borlaug was an Iowan who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for improving crop productivity and saving more than one billion people from starvation. Reading Borlaug's biography started Catherine Leafstedt, senior in agronomy down a path to fight world hunger.
“It was such a cool experience to learn about someone who applied science and was able to have such an incredible impact,” Leafstedt said. “His biography got me interested in the World Food Prize programs and the use of science to grow food and help others.”