The passing of an American giant

At age 95, Norman E. Borlaug, passed into history, leaving a legacy unknown to most Americans. His great grandparents immigrated to Dane County, Wis., and his grandparents moved to Northern Iowa, where he was raised tending a 106-acre farm in Howard County, and attended grade school in a rural one-room school.

Borlaug, through hard work, attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota and dedicated his life to plant genetics. He developed acclimated strains of wheat that increased yields in countries from Mexico to Pakistan, preventing hunger and starvation for hundreds of millions.

His legacy can be seen in every wheat field in Washington.

I know of him because I heard him speak decades ago, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was employed in Northeast Iowa and visited his childhood school.

Borlaug is an American success storyshared worldwide. He was America at its best.

William Riley

Soap Lake, Wash.

91 degrees not too hot to work

How ridiculous can it get? Regarding the article in the Aug. 21 edition about watermelon harvesting in 91-degree temperature.

I have raised and harvested many tons of watermelons in Stanislaus County, Calif. I have had crews in the fields at times when the temperature was above 91 degrees.

The workers did not complain, and better yet, the state Department of Industrial Relations did not interfere with my farming operations.

I kept my pickers supplied with cold water and moist towels, if they wanted, and they were satisfied.

I am in my mid-90s and retired from farming. My sympathy goes out to those in agriculture who are forced to comply with some of the absurd rules and regulations with which they are now faced!

Charles M. Harris

Denair, Calif.

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