2023 Norman Borlaug Lecture features humanitarian leader who replaces landmines with farmland

AMES, Iowa – The 2023 World Food Prize Laureate, Heidi Kühn, will discuss her humanitarian efforts to turn land haunted by the specter of war and violence into productive agricultural land during a lecture at Iowa State University.

Kühn is the founder and CEO of Roots of Peace, a humanitarian nonprofit organization that replaces landmines with sustainable agricultural farmland. The organization also trains farmers in modern agricultural practices, from planting and harvesting to marketing through international exports. Countries where she is now focusing her efforts include Afghanistan, Vietnam and Ukraine.

Her lecture, titled “Removing Landmines, Supporting Farmers: Cultivating Peace Through Agriculture,” will take place at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. This event is free and open to the public. The event will be recorded, and the recording link will be added to the ISU Lectures Program website within 48 hours of the lecture’s conclusion.

Kühn will be joined in conversation by Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen for the Borlaug Lecture. Prior to the event, 18 undergraduate and graduate students will have posters on display related to their work and research in the area of world issues. Individuals are invited to view the students’ posters during a reception from 7-8 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Winners of the poster competition will be announced immediately following the conclusion of the Borlaug Lecture.

The World Food Prize is referred to as the “Nobel Prize for food and agriculture.” It is the most prominent global award recognizing an individual who has enhanced human development and confronted hunger by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

The annual Norman Borlaug lecture at Iowa State is named for the Cresco native and agronomist whose discoveries sparked the Green Revolution. Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his international work in wheat research and production, which has saved millions of lives. He is the founder of the World Food Prize, which annually recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

This event is sponsored by the office of the president, the Nutritional Sciences Council, the College or Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Human Sciences, the Seed Science Center, the global resource systems major and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.