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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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What Kind of Work Do You Do?

By Carly Scaduto
Monsanto Company

“What kind of work do you do?” is a pretty standard question when I meet new people. When I meet people from around St. Louis, Missouri, and tell them what I do at Monsanto, the response is typically “I’ve heard Monsanto is a great company to work for!” However, the response tends to be different when I meet people from outside of St. Louis.

During my short time working in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I’ve met people from all over – many fellow ex-pats from the United States as well as others from around the world. Some of those people had never heard of Monsanto, but many I’ve met have had their not-always-positive opinions about the company that I’m proud to be a part of it. Often I get worn out trying to explain to those people all the reasons why Monsanto is a great company and a great place to work.

Over the weekend, my husband and I were having dinner out in the city of Mendoza, Argentina, and the two men at the table next to us started up a conversation with us. We found out that they were from South Africa, were on vacation and eventually the conversation turned toward what we all do for a living. When it was my turn to share, I braced myself for defending Monsanto. But the response I received from the two South Africans pleasantly surprised me.

“I work for a company called Monsanto,” I said.

“Monsanto, like Roundup Ready crops? That stuff is amazing,” one of the men replied.

“How do you know about Monsanto and Roundup Ready crops?” I inquired.

“We are both farmers’ sons and Monsanto’s technology has really improved farming where we are from,” he excitedly replied.

He went on to explain how much easier farming has become for his father because of Roundup Ready technology. And as he was talking, I couldn’t help but feel this great sense of pride to work for the company that has had such a positive impact on this man and his family.

4 Responses to "What Kind of Work Do You Do?"

  1. What a nice story:-) I am also from South-Africa and a student in plant biotechnology and am in the very fortunate position of having received a Monsanto study bursary. For this reason I was required to do 2 week’s vacation work 6 months shortly after. I was obviously very exited and very eager to represent the awesome company I’ve just been granted a bursary from and I wore my Monsanto T-shirts and cap with pride. I was however advised by one of the employees to rather not do that in public as he once had the unfortunate experience of being physically attacked by a random passer-by for wearing such a DEKALB shirt. Only 2 days after that we had what I thought was a fire drill. Alarms went off and people started grabbing their laptops and running for the nearest exit. Amidst all the chaos I couldn’t get an answer from anybody as to what was going on, but after having to jump on a trailer towed by a tractor people started explaining that it was a drill for should the site be attacked by anti-GM activists!

    For obvious reasons I was for a while very weary of using my Monsanto laptop bag, umbrella etc… And when I did, people used to asked me why I was so jumpy haha!

    But that was in my first year and now I am doing my Masters degree and have since come to realize that Monsanto is by far better received for the incredible company it is than anything else. Especially in the scientific community Monsanto is seen as a gold standard for biotechnology and the odd objection or insult is rather the exception than the rule.

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  2. amazing!
    I like many Monsanto people, always prepare to defend Monsanto not knowing the percieved “enermy” is full of praise for the good work we do in improving peoples’ lives. I have now trained myself to expect good news as many more people have come to appreciate our good work!

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  3. I have never received a positive, congratulatory like response when I have told people where I work. Having said that, it is not true that I always get a negative response either. Many times people have not heard of Monsanto. When they have heard of it, the name Monsanto is usually associated with an less than positive feeling. Though I have never once felt like I was in danger to express where I work, and nobody has ever shown anything like a violent attitude when they find out where I work.

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