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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From Starvation to Scientist

By Kwan Thai
Commercial Events Characterization Lead

Do you know what it is like to be hungry? Not the “I’m hungry, I need a snack” kind of hungry. Real hunger, as in starvation. According to the World Food Programme, one in eight people in the world suffer from hunger or starvation, so maybe you do know. If it’s something you’ve only seen on TV though, let me tell you what it’s like.

At the beginning of starvation, you feel extremely hungry. Then, the hunger pangs go away, and you get weaker and weaker – to the point that you’re barely … Full Article »

My Monsanto Experience

By Audrey Ball

Nine months ago, I was serving as president of Net Impact at Washington University in St. Louis, a student organization dedicated to empowering leaders in business and sustainability, and had the opportunity to visit Monsanto. Fourteen of my Net Impact colleagues and I toured the Monsanto technology headquarters at Chesterfield and attended a presentation given by Gabriela Burian, the sustainable ag ecosystems lead, explaining Monsanto’s involvement in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) initiative. It was November, an important month for the sustainability world, as stakeholders prepared to come together … Full Article »

India Takes Center Stage in Climate Smart Agriculture and Sustainable Development

By Audrey Ball

When Monsanto signed on to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) initiative, it committed to collaboratively finding solutions to cross-continental challenges that take on different forms in every geography.

Building resilience and mitigating climate change in different regions requires global partners and tactics tailored to local landscapes. Monsanto India strives to understand and serve the unique needs of its farmer customers and has become a global leader for Monsanto’s climate-smart agriculture efforts.

Agriculture uses 85-90 percent of freshwater in India, a fact that Rakesh Dubey, policy and stakeholder engagement lead for … Full Article »

Through Partnerships and Collaboration: Addressing the Food Waste and Insecurity Paradox

By Audrey Ball

Monsanto shares the goal of advancing sustainability in business and has joined with other corporations, academics, and policymakers in the commitment to build on progress made at the 21st annual United Nations Climate Conference in Paris this past December. Two Monsanto leaders – Gabriela Burian, sustainable agriculture global lead, and Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, global lead for food, nutrition, and health partnerships – attended the Pathways to Impact Conference at Yale to join in cross-sectoral collaboration to scale up sustainability solutions.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in partnership with the Yale Center for Business … Full Article »

What is a Plant?

By Qi Wang
Monsanto R&D IT Strategy Lead
Senior Science Fellow

Imagine a manufacturing plant entirely self-managed by software – billions of lines of code – and the plant is completely sustainable.

Self-managing because the plant could develop its own architectural blueprint, set its own foundation in the ground, raise its own buildings with hundreds of units.  Sustaining because it could switch tens of thousands of manufacturing processes on and off based on supplies and environmental conditions, and when the products are finally made, it would shut itself off.  Oh, by the way, every part of the facility is bio-degradable … Full Article »

Which is More Genetically Modified: Sugarcane or Sugar Beets?

By Santiago Navarro
Monsanto Molecular Weed Control Lead

Sugar, whether naturally in food or added to it, can be found in many food products. In 2015, the global sugar and sweetener market totaled roughly $106 billion, despite the political controversy over sugar that’s lasted more than 200 years.

Sugar first sparked discourse with the British blockades on sugarcane that prompted the search for alternatives, leading Napoleon to promote the study and cultivation of sugar beets during the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800s. Currently, about 20 percent of the world’s sugar production comes from sugar beets. But now a new … Full Article »

Innovation and Collaboration Drive Climate-Smart Agriculture in the U.S.

By Audrey Ball

In 2015, Monsanto became the founding co-chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) initiative. Through partnerships with key stakeholders and internal initiatives, Monsanto is defining a concrete path to make CSA a reality for large-scale commodity agriculture.

As a key participant in agriculture, Monsanto is a change agent in conversations for increased sustainability in food production, and also contributes the science to make this sustainability reality. Before announcing its carbon neutrality commitment last December and publicly pledging to share research findings, Monsanto commissioned a report from ICF International to measure … Full Article »

Communication Continues Around Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Featured Article

By Miriam Paris
U.S. Soybean Marketing Manager

Recent media reports have focused on grower and grain handler conversations about Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, particularly the pending European Union (EU) import approval. As the 2016 season progresses, these topics remain top of mind for our farmer customers and partners. We take stewardship of our products seriously, and it’s one of the driving forces behind our ongoing communication with members of industry associations, growers and others.

Prior to and at the time of commercialization we communicated the status of foreign regulatory import approvals for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend with the … Full Article »

10 Things Monsanto Learned While Implementing our Human Rights Policy

By Martha Burmaster
Monsanto’s Director of Human Rights

In 2006, the Monsanto Board of Directors adopted a Human Rights Policy, which works to respect and advance the rights of our more than 20,000 employees and those of our business partners around the world. The policy focuses on nine elements: child labor, forced labor, compensation, working hours, harassment and violence, discrimination, safety, freedom of association, and legal compliance.

We’ve learned a lot in the decade since this policy was adopted, and here are 10 highlights:

Focus on the individuals that may be impacted.
Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity … Full Article »

Testimony in Opposition to Senate Joint Resolution No. 39

On April 12, 2016 this is testimony was delivered by Duane Simpson, Monsanto’s U.S. State and Government Affairs Lead, to a Missouri House committee in response to Senate Joint Resolution 39.

Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Duane Simpson and I lead State and Local Government Affairs for Monsanto and I am here today to oppose SJR 39 on behalf of the company and our employees.

We at Monsanto are a company that recognizes diversity and inclusiveness not as a program, but a way that we do business. In order to remain competitive in the … Full Article »