Books Awarded

2018 was the 14th year of the Norman Borlaug Science Achievement Award program. Each year we select a new book to award to the junior recipient in honor of their scientific achievement. The following is a list of past books that have been presented since 2005.

2017 & 2018


Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota
by Dr. Mary Hockenberry Meyer

This book shares unique information about ten plants that played an instrumental role in the advancement of the social, economic and environmental efforts in Minnesota. Written by University of Minnesota Professor Dr. Mary Hockenberry Meyer, this book does an excellent job portraying how science and agriculture work together to contribute to a sustainable food system.

2014, 2015 & 2016

Our Daily Bread book cover

Our Daily Bread: The Essential Norman Borlaug
by Noel Vietmeyer

This book tells the story of Norman Borlaug, a CFANS graduate and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. Borlaug's vision and scientific rigor rescued several nations from famine and provided a blueprint for countering today's resurgence in global hunger. The book was selected in honor of the 100th anniversary of Dr. Borlaug's birth, celebrated in March, 2014.


Finding the Forest book cover

Finding the Forest
by Peter P. Bundy

Finding the Forest is a series of vignettes that offer a different vision of the forest that challenges many of today's assumptions about trees, preservation and forestry practices. The book received the National Arbor Day Foundation's Media Award in 2002 for bringing the importance of trees and conservation into public focus. Bundy is a writer and forestry consultant who earned his Master's degree in Forestry from CFANS in 1991.


The Beekeepers Lament book cover

The Beekeeper's Lament
by Hannah Nordhaus

The honey bee is a willing conscript, a working wonder, an unseen and crucial link in America's agricultural industry. But never before has its survival been so unclear—and the future of our food supply so acutely challenged. Enter beekeeper John Miller, who trucks his hives around the country, bringing millions of bees to farmers otherwise bereft of natural pollinators. Even as the mysterious and deadly epidemic known as Colony Collapse Disorder devastates bee populations across the globe, Miller forges ahead with the determination and wry humor of a true homespun hero. The Beekeeper's Lament tells his story and that of his bees, making for a complex, moving, and unforgettable portrait of man in the new natural world.


Borlaug book cover

Borlaug: The Mild-Mannered Maverick Who Fed a Billion People
by Noel Vietmeyer

Discover the story of Norman Borlaug, a CFANS graduate and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who is credited with saving a billion people from starvation. Without one little-known scientist's charmed career and myriad hairbreadth rescues from professional ruination, China, India and scores of other nations would still be synonymous with famine. And today's world would be much worse off. Great lessons can be learned from this heretofore hidden history. Indeed, this humble man's endeavors provide a blueprint for countering today's resurgence in global hunger. At heart, however, his story highlights the immense power of the human spirit. To that end, it can entertain and inspire everyone, whatever their mission or motivation in life.


Viking in the Wheat Field book cover

The Viking in the Wheat Field
by Susan Dworkin

Meet University of Minnesota alum Dr. Bent Skovmand, plant pathologist, plant breeder, genetic preservationist and expert on seed banks through the eyes of the acclaimed author and playwright, Susan Dworkin. Dworkin's The Viking in the Wheat Field tells the story of Bent Skovmand and guides us through the world of international agriculture and the scientists and farmers who keep bread on our tables. The Viking in the Wheat Field has been called " A must read for anyone concerned about the future of the world's food supply".


Wolves of Minnesota book cover

The Wolves of Minnesota
by L. David Mech

The wolves of Minnesota are one of conservation's greatest success stories. Of the 48 contiguous United States, only Minnesota--with a wolf population at an estimated 2,600--has managed to protect and sustain a viable wolf population over the past two decades.But while some applaud the wolf's return, others worry about the human cultural costs of maintaining such a large population, and others wonder if that population is too high for the wolf's own good. Edited by renowned expert Dr. L. David ("Wolfman") Mech and comprising the work of several researchers who have studied Minnesota wolves, "The Wolves of Minnesota" is an authoritative account of the background of the wolf in Minnesota. It features the fascinating story of the comeback of the wolf in Minnesota and examines the cultural costs, to the point where the question is not "Will we ever hear the howl of the wolf again?" but "How many howls are enough?" This book examines the animal and its packs and populations, the past and present ranges of the species in Minnesota, the rich history of the scientific research about it, the wolfs biology and prey, wolf-human interactions, and the future of the wolf in Minnesota.


One Good Story book cover

One Good Story: a Mississippi Kayak Story
by Ron Severs

Severs is a UMD graduate and Director and Senior Scientist of the Cloquet Forestry Center. His novel published in 2001 tells about his 2,552 mile journey from the Mississippi headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.


Man Who Fed the World book cover

The Man Who Fed the World: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger
by Leon Hesser

Dr. Norman Borlaug is regarded to be one of the University of Minnesota's College of Agriculture's most famous graduates and one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. Dr. Borlaug is the 1970 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for developing a disease-resistant wheat strain and training local scientists in other countries. He is considered responsible for assisting Pakistan and India in avoiding famine and feeding their populations. Published in 2006, this biography celebrates Dr. Borlaug and his achievements.


Minnesota Weather Almanac book cover

Minnesota Weather Almanac
by Mark Seeley

Mark Seeley is a climatologist and meteorologist at the University of Minnesota and also is featured each week on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). His 2006 book, Minnesota Weather Almanac is considered to be one of the most complete reference books of Minnesota 's weather.


Ending Hunger in our Lifetime: Food Security and Globalization
by C. Ford Runge, Benjamin Senauer, Philip G. Pardey, and Mark W. Rosegrant

This book explores a variety of ideas, arguments and facts about the movement towards being able to end world hunger. This novel bridges agricultural economics, international development, and policy issues in exploration of ending world hunger issues to achieve the 2025 goal of a hunger free world.

Norman Borlaug Science Achievement Award