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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8.25.15 periodic table_Small

I Hated Science in School. Now, Understanding It Is Part of My Job Featured Article

By Nick Weber
Monsanto Corporate Engagement

I hated science classes in grade school and high school. In grade school, I was more concerned about perfecting spitball techniques than learning the Periodic Table. When our science fair projects were discontinued, I might have been the happiest kid in the school. In high school, dissecting the fetal pig was gross. When it came time as a senior to choose between Anatomy and Physiology or Physics, I chose the former because it seemed easier (I still hated it; had to dissect another pig and the teacher threw in a cow’s eyeball for fun). … Full Article »

8.17.15 shutterstock_60364654_v1_PM_Facebook

Monocultures: The Myth…the Reality…the Future Featured Article

By Robert T. Fraley, Chief Technology Officer

Myth – By leading farmers to focus on a small number of highly lucrative seeds, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) foster the spread of monocultures. As a result, they erode biodiversity and actually put humanity at risk of famine through increased crop vulnerability to disease.


“Very simply,” in the words of Michael Pollan, “a field of identical plants will be exquisitely vulnerable to insects, weeds, and disease. Monoculture is at the root of virtually every problem that bedevils the modern farmer…”

Context – Monocultures – large areas planted with the same type of crop – predate the development of GMOs by decades if not centuries. That’s because the real driver Full Article »

Investment in STEM Education a Safe Bet Featured Article

By Daniel Kruithoff, Managing Director of Monsanto Australia

Business Council of Australia president, Catherine Livingston, recently lamented the lack of investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Australia. It was a timely reminder that Australia’s living standards could fall if we do not embrace the rapid advances in science and technology transforming many sectors of the economy, including agriculture.

The importance of improving STEM skills in the workforce cannot be overstated. And we need to look no further than Australia’s cotton industry to see the huge economic and environmental gains at stake if we don’t take this seriously.… Full Article »

UC Davis Event Addresses Global Food Challenges

The world’s population is expected to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion people by 2050. Figuring out how to feed 9 billion people—while also advancing rural development, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting valuable ecosystems—is one of the greatest challenges of our time. To contribute to the solutions for a sustainable future, Net Impact and CollaborateUp hosted two “Nourishing 9 Billion” SolutionLabs at UC Davis and Tufts University this spring. Both events were part of a new national series designed to allow students to work side-by-side with food system experts to engage with this critical issue and develop solutions … Full Article »

Nourishing 9 Billion: Addressing the Challenge of Producing More Nutritious Food with Less Waste While Conserving Land

by Toni Voelker, Senior Scientist

There was excitement in the room when the student organization Net Impact held a SolutionLab at the UC Davis campus, at the end of May. About 80 students were preparing to brainstorm on a big challenge: “What social innovations would produce more nutritious food with less waste while also conserving land?”

As a scientist working in Davis in the field of agriculture who over the recent years has investigated many aspects of food production and sustainability, I had been invited to serve as an expert to support the students and answer questions. I was looking … Full Article »

Not Just A Cog in A Machine

Justin G., Summer Intern and Student Ambassador

My second year interning in the seed production division has come to a close.  The experience has once again been exciting, fulfilling and as you might expect, challenging.  What fun would it be if it wasn’t challenging though, right?

One thing is for sure, Mother Nature has made each day here an adventure. With constant rain in the weeks prior to my arrival in Manito, Illinois, the crew had to plant almost half of the acreage in just two days! Once I arrived, I spent my time going to our contracted growers’ … Full Article »

A Summer Full of Responsibility

Xavier G., Summer Intern and Student Ambassador

One might think of an internship as a position to gain experience. This is true, but it is also much more than that. I have been given the opportunity to take on a great deal of responsibility and make key contributions; all the while, gaining tons of invaluable experience.  In fact, in my current role as a Seeds Process Engineering Intern, I feel much more like a full time engineer.

In Global Engineering it is our responsibility to integrate the latest and greatest technology into our seed production processes in order to … Full Article »

Industry Careers = Good and Impactful Science Featured Article

Since the advent of GMO crops, agriculture across the globe has undergone immense transformation, becoming the productive system in place today. The benefits of GMO crops are clear – corn farmers in developed countries have increased their productivity and yields. Take the U.S. for example, according to the USDA*, corn yields have grown by 35% since the first introduction of GM. The benefits for farmers in developing countries are equally remarkable. Consider India, where cotton yields have increased over 90% since Bt cotton made its mark.

From left to right: David Fischhoff, Sherri Brown and Fred Perlak

The discovery and … Full Article »

Experiencing the World Through My View of My Cube

By Sarah M., Summer Intern and Student Ambassador

Does your average work day consist of IM (instant messenger) chats with Argentina, emails from India, and phone calls from Brazil? It is a possibility if you are working for a global company, or in my case, interning with the Global Financial Planning and Analysis team (FP&A) at Monsanto.  This summer I am learning all about what it means to be part of a global organization and gaining knowledge and experience in unexpected ways.

About Me

I grew up in Carmel, Indiana, which is about 15 miles north of Indianapolis.  I … Full Article »

Growing the Seeds of Opportunity

By Colin C., Student Ambassador and Summer Intern

This summer has flown by at the Corn Production Plant in Waterman, Illinois, where I have had the opportunity to learn about the different activities inside the plant and outside in the seed production fields. This is my second internship with Monsanto.

The Plant

Throughout the month of June, the warehouses here become filled with the unsold corn seed that is returned from the dealers. When the corn is unloaded off of the truck, it is sorted according to each variety and batch. After sorting, it will be rebagged and tested to … Full Article »