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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What Monsanto’s Attic Says About Our People Featured Article

One of the more unusual parts of my job at Monsanto is managing the corporate archives. I have some help here – the archives are catalogued, sorted and stored at a local university in St. Louis. But most of what lands in the archives passes through my office, and my office often resembles an estate sale before the sales agent has everything organized.

At times I feel like I’m working in Monsanto’s attic.

Family members of deceased retirees often bring envelopes and boxes of materials for the archives, and sorting through them and determining what gets stored is often an … Full Article »

MoBotGar Commerce Bank Building

Tagging Along with Jerry Hayes and the Bees

By Glynn Young
Online Communications Team

Jerry Hayes leads Monsanto’s Beeologics business. He’s known across the beekeeping industry, and there are very few beekeepers he doesn’t know. He arrived at Monsanto from the Florida Department of Agriculture to lead the newly acquired Beeologics business in 2012. And he’s helped to bring into Monsanto a needed perspective on honey bees, pollinators in general, colony collapse disorder, and what needs to be done to address bee health for sustainable agriculture and the environment.

Recently I had the opportunity to tag along and hear him talk with an outside group. Jerry spends a … Full Article »

honey bee on flower

Helping to Feed Honey Bees and Other Pollinators Featured Article

By Glynn Young
Online Communications Team

Almost two years ago, I happened to mention to Jerry Hayes, business director for Beeologics, that I was doing some home garden renovation.

“Monarda,” he replied.

“What?” I asked.

Monarda didyma

“Monarda, he repeated. “Plant some. It’s flourishes in Missouri and it’s great for honey bees, not to mention other pollinators.”

Jerry knows what he’s talking about, so I went to the local nursery a few blocks form my house and asked for Monarda. They had it. I bought two plants in six-inch pots.

Today I have a five-foot section of Monarda that bursts … Full Article »


New Vision for Agriculture – Three Years Later Featured Article

In January 2011, I was in New Orleans for a funeral. It was 5 a.m., and I was sitting in my mother’s kitchen, and using her telephone as a dial-up modem to access the internet (she did not have internet service). I was watching the Twitter feed from the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, specifically to see what would be said for the launch of a new WEF initiative called “The New Vision for Agriculture.”

This was a big deal. The World Economic Forum had recognized the critical importance of global agriculture, and a … Full Article »

A Lifelong Passion to Ban Chemical Weapons Featured Article

Almost 30 years, I was asked to help on a project that mystified me. A Monsanto executive, Will Carpenter, who was leading what was then the company’s agricultural division, was speaking in Washington on chemical disarmament, and needed help organizing the material.

Will Carpenter

I knew next to nothing about chemical weapons or chemical disarmament. Will was way down in the weeds of the subject – I didn’t know anyone could know so much about it. He had been wrestling with the question of how nations could verify that weapons were not being produced, and he was considering an idea … Full Article »


Golden Rice, Children and Ideology Featured Article

Image courtesy of the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines

The photograph is simple enough: Pope Francis blessing a sample of golden rice. Standing with the pope is Ingo Potrykus, the co-creator of golden rice.

Behind the photograph, and golden rice itself, lies a controversy. Golden rice offers the promise of providing the Vitamin A that could help prevent blindness in hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries.

But it’s also genetically modified.

So Greenpeace hates it. Vandana Shiva hates it (she calls it a hoax). Michael Pollan initially called it “The Great Yellow Hype” in 2001 but recently … Full Article »


Farmers and Independence Featured Article

By Glynn Young
Monsanto Company

American farmers are no strangers to what it takes to help make a country free – and what it takes to keep a country free.

In 1776, the American colonies were largely populated by farm families. The vast majority of people did their work on a farm. When the call came to fight for independence, it was largely farmers who set aside their plows, picked up their muskets, and headed to Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, and ultimately to Yorktown.

Two hundred and twenty seven years later, that tradition continues. Farmers comprise less than two … Full Article »

Attending the Honey Bee Health Summit Featured Article

I’ve been attending the Honey Bee Health Summit, co-hosted by the Honey Bee Advisory Council and Project Apis m. It started Tuesday afternoon here in St. Louis, and continues through lunchtime Thursday.

Until last year, my experience with honey bees was limited to various experiences as a kid (not all positive) and the consumption of honey. I knew that honey bees were pollinators, but I didn’t know much beyond that.

I started learning a lot more after Monsanto acquired Beeologics, and then getting to meet and know Jerry Hayes, who’s our business lead for the bee business.

Coincidentally, … Full Article »


Remembering a Colleague: Robert Berra Featured Article

The news comes like this kind of news usually does today – someone sends an email, or forwards a message, or perhaps even makes a phone call. In this case, I received an email last Friday saying that Robert Berra had died in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Not many people working at Monsanto today will remember Bob Berra – many of them were children in grade school when he retired from the company then called Monsanto. But what he accomplished while he was here is still very much with us today, long after spin-offs, acquisitions, being acquired, and being spun-off. The … Full Article »

Online news

The Curious Case of the Paper That Isn’t Featured Article

On Jan. 15, the physics journal Entropy received a paper for possible publication. The paper was entitled “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases,” and claimed that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and many other herbicides, was responsible for a host of diseases, including autism, Alzheimer’s, obesity, anorexia nervosa, liver disease, reproductive and developmental disorders, and cancer.

The paper was authored by Anthony Samsel, an independent researcher in New Hampshire, and Stephanie Seneff, who works in at MIT in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. … Full Article »