Iowa’s governor added his stamp of approval to a new plan to honor the only Iowan to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Earlier this week the Iowa House and Senate approved the move to place a statue of Norman Borlaug in the U.S. Capitol.

Congressmen Tom Latham, Steve King and Bruce Braley were in Governor Branstad’s office Wednesday afternoon for a ceremony to sign the necessary documents. 

“He was a great guy. I had an opportunity to be with him on a number of occasions and was so impressed,” Branstad said. “He made such a difference.” Borlaug was a plant scientist who developed new strains of wheat and who is credited with saving a billion people from starvation. Kenneth Quinn is the head of the World Food Prize, an annual award that was Borlaug’s brainchild.

“Now, to have his statue to be going into the capitol, his legacy is going to endure,” Quinn said, “and he’s going to be a great hero for our state.” Borlaug’s likeness will replace the statue of a Civil War hero from Iowa that was placed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall in 1903.

That statue of James Harlan, the one-time president of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, will be displayed in the Iowa capitol in Des Moines. Borlaug died in the fall of 2009 at the age of 95