Initially, Borlaug failed the entrance exam, but was accepted to the school's newly created two-year General College. After two quarters, he transferred to the College of Agriculture's forestry
program. While at the University of Minnesota, he was a member of the varsity wrestling team, reaching the Big Ten
semifinals, and helped introduce the sport to Minnesota high schools by putting on exhibition matches
around the state. "Wrestling taught me some valuable lessons ... I always figured I could hold my own against the best in the world. It made me tough. Many times, I drew on that strength. It's an inappropriate crutch perhaps, but that's the way I'm made".
Borlaug was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
, in 1992.