Our newest laureate, as Ambassador Quinn just revealed, is a master of applying new thinking to old problems. In that sense, he truly is following in the footsteps of the founder of the World Food Prize, Dr. Norman Borlaug. And I love Jonathan’s “I love Norman” button. You are here because you already know that Dr. Borlaug launched the Green Revolution by examining the chain of events that starts with a farmer planting a seed and ends with a family sitting down to dinner. He looked for ways to improve each step, starting with the seed itself. And Dr. Daniel Hillel turned his attention to another essential link in the agricultural chain: water.
And water has been a very big topic of concern here in the State Department. Our Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones is a leader in the area of science and technology and water in particular. And we have tried to focus our government’s attention and the world’s attention on the importance of getting ahead of what will be a devastating water crisis if we are not smarter and more purposeful in addressing the problems now.
So it’s especially fitting, Ambassador Quinn, that we honor today someone who has made such contributions because he understood the critical role that water plays in agriculture and the importance of getting every last drop used efficiently.