2012 World Food Prize Laureate

Cindy Zimmerman

The 2012 World Food Prize Laureate is credited with revolutionizing food production through micro-irrigation to allow farmers to produce “more crop per drop.”

Dr. Daniel Hillel is pictured here during the World Food Prize ceremony last week flanked by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Food Prize Chairman John Ruan III. An Israeli-American, Dr. Hillel began his pioneering scientific work in Israel and laid the foundation for maximizing efficient water usage in agriculture, increasing crop yields, and minimizing environmental degradation.

I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Hillel for a few minutes to talk about what led him to his work in the field of micro irrigation and could have easily spent an hour or more listening to the 82-year-old weave his tale of moving from Los Angeles to the Holy Land when he was just a baby and living in a kibbutz as a boy.

“At age 8, I was given a spade and asked to go to the field and help to irrigate young saplings,” he told me. “As I stood there barefoot, feeling how the trickling waters running down the furrow softened the harsh clods and watching the frothing water irrigate the tender saplings, in the midst of this vast expanse of desolation, it just captivated me and that determined my professional life.”

As you listen to this story, you can really picture Dr. Hillel’s early life and feel it. It’s worth 15 minutes just to hear it. Read more about him from the World Food Prize.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Hillel: Dr. Daniel Hillel interview

View the World Food Prize Photo Album here.

AgWired coverage of the World Food Prize is sponsored by Elanco
Audio, Elanco, Farming, Food, Irrigation, World Food Prize