World Food Prize Foundation Honors Iowa State University with the Borlaug Medallion


Iowa State has been awarded the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion, making the university the ninth recipient of the award. 

In his last act as President of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn presented Iowa State University with the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion.

Iowa State University joined the past honorees as only the ninth recipient of the Borlaug Medallion. Presented in the spirit of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, this award recognizes world leaders and exceptional institutions for their impact on issues of global food security that benefit humankind.

Norman Borlaug created The World Food Prize and carefully structured it as an award to recognize individual achievements in increasing the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world. It is now commonly referred to as the "Nobel Prize for food and agriculture.”

The Borlaug Medallion honors those organizations and senior-most leaders and  heads of state who would not ordinarily be eligible for The World Food Prize, but who have made an especially noteworthy contribution to improving the world’s food supply and ensuring adequate nutrition. Iowa State University, particularly under the leadership of President Wendy Wintersteen, is clearly one of those extraordinary institutions. 

“The decision to award the Borlaug Medallion to Iowa State University was based on the very special relationship that Dr. Borlaug had to the University during his life, and the critical role that the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) has played and continues to play in the development and implementation of World Food Prize programs over the past two decades,” said Ambassador Quinn. 

Ambassador Quinn cited the following reasons for awarding the Medallion: 

  • The leadership of Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen in building the World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute while she served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and her continued significant involvement as president, including her participation in the Borlaug Dialogue Symposium and on the Council of Advisors; 
  • The continuation of leadership and involvement with the World Food Prize Foundation with Daniel J. Robison, the holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
  • The two-decade-long involvement by David Acker, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in the Global Youth Institute and, for a period, the World Food Prize Secretariat; and 
  • The research and leadership of the Seed Science Center, under the direction of Manjit Misra, where Borlaug served on the advisory board.

The award was granted to Iowa State because of Borlaug’s connection to the university and the impact that many of the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s leaders and researchers have had on the development of the World Food Prize.

More information about the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion as well as images of the award are available at For more information about the award go to World Food Prize Foundation.

Latest News

Map of Iowa shows estimated crop residue cover from 2011-2021 from remote sensing data.

Research helps develop remote sensing as tool to assess conservation implementation

headshot of man in suitcoat and red tie

Major USDA grant supports pioneering agricultural genome to phenome collaboration led by Iowa State University

Borlaug-Ruan Interns: Internship fosters student’s desire to create awareness of global food insecurity

Borlaug-Ruan Interns: Potato research redefines student’s career goals