About “Beyond the Rows”

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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Helping Planet Money Make a T-Shirt

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It is perhaps one of the the most common articles of clothing in the world – the plain and simple t-shirt. Recently, NPR’s Planet Money aired a program on how to make a t-shirt, and two Monsanto employees helped provide background and information on the fiber that most t-shirts are made of – cotton. You can watch the Planet Money program here.

We asked both employees some questions about cotton and working at Monsanto. And here’s what Cindy Green had to say. Tomorrow we’ll feature Brian Martinell.

By Cindy Green
Cotton Breeder

What would you like the people who buy this t-shirt to know about you?

I’d like people to know I believe cotton is the ideal fiber for fabric, and I’ve dedicated 25+ years to improving cotton through breeding. I’ve spent a career helping to improve the fiber for spinning along with improving the yield for the producer.

When did you first realize that the work you were doing was making people’s lives better?

My first job working with cotton was in 1979 when I worked as a cotton scout in southern Georgia. At that time insecticides were often used on a 7-10 day schedule. This was a costly control practice on many levels for the producer and created a high level of exposure to workers such as myself that had to walk cotton fields twice per week to determine insect damage levels. Years later, when I was working as a cotton breeder for then Delta and Pine Land Company, I  conducted some of the early trials for the release of the first  commercial cotton variety with the Bt trait. I still have a photo in my office of that trial showing the huge difference in open cotton bolls between the new Bt variety and conventional non-Bt variety when no insecticides were applied during the season. I knew this was going to make a positive difference in the way that cotton was produced.

What is it like to work at Monsanto? What’s a typical day for you?

I’m not sure what a typical day would be as it can vary greatly from long days in meetings to long days in a cotton field. During the winter months many days are spent in meetings –  reviewing data, advancing top performing lines for potential commercial release, and strategizing for the coming growing season. As a breeding lead, I have the opportunity during the growing season to visit breeding programs and trials across the US cotton belt. I have the great pleasure of working with the best team of cotton breeders, and we spend a lot of time every year debating how best to conduct our breeding program. Although every breeder may have a different perspective on how to be successful they all have one thing in common – a great passion for cotton breeding and developing varieties. My best days at work are spent one on one with another cotton breeder talking about breeding.

If you would have people know one thing about Monsanto, what would it be?

It’s very clear to me that  Monsanto is committed to delivering the very best possible cotton varieties based on the resources dedicated to all levels of our cotton breeding programs.

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