By Brendan Hinchey
Corn Transformation Team
As a follow-up to my last blog post, I wanted to share an experience.
I was recently asked the famous question “where do you work?” on two-hour train ride back from Boston to Mystic, CT. The initial response of “I am a scientist at Monsanto” was met with what could be defined as a very unenthusiastic response from my seatmate. But being there before, I asked if she had any concerns about Monsanto or any questions I could answer, as that was not the Monsanto I was familiar with and not why I worked there.
And she did have questions, lots of them, but I had the time. I listened and I listened intently for over an hour and half. We had a great discussion. As we talked, we touched on many subjects, from the US diet, processed food, and depleting aquifers in the corn belt to the role seed companies play in modern farming. I explained that biotechnology is driving solutions for current and looming issues and, boy, do we have examples. I talked about how stable agricultural systems are required for socioeconomic development and how our products can specifically play a part. As the director of an alternative school, my new friend was a bit more opinionated and well read than most but she was also genuinely curious. Many of the concerns were in the end not about Monsanto but had been packaged about Monsanto.
At the end of our discussion, she gave me the great line of “the more you learn, the more you learn you don’t know” along with a smile and some nods. Did I convert an opponent of the technology? I might have, but at least I moved the needle a bit. And more importantly, as I walked home from the train station that night, I felt proud not about what I did but about where I work. We all should.
Where do I work?
I work for Monsanto. Have you heard of us? We’re trying to improve crops. Where do you work?
Be an advocate!