By Raegan Johnson
On Aug. 21, Monsanto Company announced the 2012 winners of Monsanto’s prestigious Edgar M. Queeny Award for Science and Technology, the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield Soybean Team— Cindy Arnevik, Nancy Biest, David Butruille, Mike Hawbaker, Jerry Hjelle, and Jennifer Rinehart.
The Queeny Award is Monsanto’s highest honor for science and technology. It is given in recognition of the development of significant proprietary technology that has resulted in a clear and quantifiable commercial success and/or an achievement that represents a contribution to a basic or an applied field of science that enhances Monsanto’s technological leadership and reputation within the scientific community.
The recognition is named after former Monsanto President and Chairman Edgar M. Queeny. It is not awarded annually, but only when a project is of merit and meets the criteria for the award.
In 2009, Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans— the first biotechnology-based yield product to reach the market— was launched in North America on 1.5 million acres, and is projected to have grown to approximately 30 million acres in 2012.
“This project stimulated innovation across teams through the acceleration of the initial launch timeline while still maintaining the 1.5-million acres launch target,” Mike Hawbaker, global multi-season program lead, says. “Being witness to the breeding methodologies that took advantage of the newly innovated DNA seed sampling and marker based selection was exhilarating in that it illustrated combining the best of biotechnology and breeding to generate a superior product.”
Roundup Ready 2 Yield has enabled Monsanto to maintain global trait leadership in soybeans and continue to drive the value of our soybean germplasm via a patented trait. It has also been instrumental in driving yield increase in Monsanto’s Intacta RR2 PRO platform for Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
“The sales and marketing teams’ belief in the product was largely responsible for the tremendous growth of this trait in the market place,” Cindy Arnevik, North America commodity team lead, says. “They took a great scientific discovery and made it a great commercial trait that will benefit Monsanto customers as well as Monsanto.”
Many people have contributed to the success of Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, and numerous scientific innovations enabled both the development and acceleration of the commercialization of the product. Members of the winning team were selected based on their critical innovations and contributions to the product’s technical and commercial success.
“While I realize that I had a major role in the event selection, it was only one critical piece in the path to commercialization which could not have happened without a lot of teamwork and hard work on everyone’s part,” Jennifer Reinhart, research associate, says. “I am thankful to have worked with such an amazing, cross-functional team.”