Sweet corn season is a little bit later this year than usual but it’s probably beginning to peak in the St. Louis area. And Monsanto employees are really devoted to their sweet corn like most Midwesterners.
This week we’ve been celebrating sweet corn in a variety of ways. I’ll have to write about it a few times, but last week, we did something a little different on our headquarters campus — of course we picked the hottest day of the summer to do an outside event! We had a local farmer set up a farmer’s market for a few hours at lunch. We told employees he’d have some of the sweet corn grown from our seed available for sale.
We had no idea what to expect, nor did the farmer. However, I’m safe saying none of us expected employees to be lined up for hours! The turnout was huge and steady. It was crazy hot and yet people waited and waited. We had toxicologists, agronomists, sales people, communications folks, researchers, lawyers, and more. As this photo shows, a few of us got a chance to volunteer since the farmer had underestimated staffing needs!
Several employees bought corn in big bags of five dozen ears of sweet corn! Many wanted a couple of dozen. They were buying fresh peaches, tomatoes, etc. The sweet corn was so popular we realized we couldn’t meet demand and had to limit sales to a dozen ears each. People were bummed but they also understood.
Then we sold out.
Having been lucky enough to have fresh GMO sweet corn on several occasions, I thought I should let my corn go. Others were so pumped to get some! And the line kept growing! The reaction reminded me of the movie of “It’s a Wonderful Life” as George Bailey pulls out the money meant to pay for his honeymoon for his community. One lady asked if it was okay to get four ears…. that was really all she needed.
Then we sold out again!
Next thing I knew, some corn was being repossessed so more employees could have the chance of proudly taking this home knowing customers had grown it from our seed. I hope a few more local farmers take note — it looks like a great fit for the area. There’s certainly a lot of pent up demand for the product!
Now and then, I’d stop selling sweet corn and grab my iPhone for a little video of co-workers. It’s a little shaky, but you can see the crowd was enthusiastic!