First Borlaug Scholar Award and Internship Presented to Iowa State Junior

Nathan Upah
Editor's note: Photos of Nathan Upah are available by contacting Laura Rosenbohm. AMES, Iowa — Planning tourism projects and restoring antiques are daily tasks for Nathan Upah, Borlaug Scholar Award and Internship recipient. Upah of Clutier, a junior in animal science and agronomy at Iowa State University, is the first recipient of the Borlaug scholarship award. "Because of Borlaug's huge impact in Iowa and the amount of money awarded, this is the most prestigious scholarship package in the college," said David Acker, associate dean for academic and global programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Putting himself in Borlaug's shoes, the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is Upah's focus. "The Agricultural Endowment wants the Borlaug recipient to understand where Borlaug came from, and understand he was just like you and me," said Acker. The Borlaug scholarship is sponsored by the ISU Agricultural Endowment, which was founded in 1937, and plays an important role ensuring the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences supports Iowa agriculture. The Borlaug Scholar Award and Internship takes place over one month and involves restoring the Borlaug farm site as well as preserving Borlaug's legacy through developing educational displays. In addition to working on the boyhood farm near Cresco, Upah also works two days each week at the ISU Northeast Research Farm in Nashua. "I like the flexibility between the Borlaug farm and the research farm. At the Borlaug farm I have more independence and do more planning. On the other hand, I am getting more agronomy experience working at the research farm," said Upah. "I've been cleaning out the Borlaug barn and have found a horse-drawn plow, threshing tractor and quite a few old implements which I want to put out for display," said Upah. Part of the Borlaug internship is planning projects that will be continued year after year with each intern. "I am the only person living at the farm and I don't have a lot of tools to work with, so I do project planning for future tourism projects and brainstorm ideas which the next interns can continue working on," said Upah. "It's a very self-motivating position. You can't be afraid to make mistakes and use your own judgement," said Upah. Borlaug scholarship applicants need to be able to take the internship during the summer of their sophomore or junior years to receive the award. "We look for students who are mature and have proven to be self-starters. We also want the student to come back to campus and share the experience with other students," said Acker, who was very pleased with the quality and number of applicants. By offering the Borlaug scholarship, the Agriculture Endowment is hoping to catch the attention of young Borlaugs and help cultivate future leaders.