Jack and Fran Thomson of Cresco have established the Borlaug-Thomson Internship Fund at Iowa State University to support the work of an intern for the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation and the historic Borlaug farm.
John H. "Jack" Thomson, a third-generation banker, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Cresco Union Savings Bank, in Borlaug's hometown. He also serves as the foundation treasurer on The Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation Board of Directors. "Fran and I are very proud of our relationship with Dr. Borlaug, whom we knew as family friend, and feel supporting this program is one way to honor his work." says Jack Thomson.
"The Borlaug-Thomson Internship is one of the most prestigious awards offered to undergraduate students in the college," says Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "We are thankful to Jack and Fran Thomson for their generous gift. The internship directly supports an undergraduate student while giving them the opportunity to learn and live Borlaug's ideals."
A tribute to Borlaug's legacy, to support a student working here
The internship provides a junior or senior an eight-week paid position in education and curriculum development, communications and landscape design in support of the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation and the historic Borlaug farm. The intern is also expected to be highly engaged with the community of Cresco including schools, civic groups and in the preparation for the annual Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest.
"It is a tribute to Borlaug's legacy to support a student working in his home community," says David Acker, associate dean for academic and global programs. "This is the third year the college has had students working for the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation gaining experience in public education and learning about the life of a truly extraordinary Iowan."
Mary Foell, a senior in public service and administration in agriculture with a minor in political science, was the 2010 intern. A native of Schaller, Foell was the forth Iowa State student to work for the Foundation. She created an extensive curriculum about Borlaug's work for students to complete prior to visiting his boyhood farm.