By Dr. Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer
One of my most vivid memories from growing up on a farm is sitting at the dinner table with my father on a hot July night. A storm was brewing and my father kept watching it out the window, hoping for the rain to break right on our farm, to end the drought we’d had that summer.
Unfortunately, the clouds rolled by and broke in the next county over. Our harvest was tough that summer and I’ve never forgotten the strain it caused.
Farmers have always had to deal with weather variability, and … Full Article »
The answer is simple: the vast majority of the vegetable seeds that we develop and sell to farmers are not biotech/GMO.
Some might think that the $181 Million we spend annually in research and development for our vegetable seeds would no doubt go to developing GMO seeds, but actually well over 98% of that investment is focused on breeding for seeds that improve the quality and productivity of vegetables. That means great seeds for the farmers who grow great tasting, nutritious and affordable produce for you and me.
What do we do with that 2% or less that … Full Article »
By Nancy Vosnidou
“M-o-o-o-o-m! LOOK!” My 9-year-old was horrified, gasping as she pointed a shaky finger at the ear of corn in my hands. We were harvesting sweet corn (if picking ears off of 24 plants can be called harvesting), the result of our garden experiment this year.
I had spaced the plants too far apart for a good canopy to be effective, and had been a little too generous with the fertilizer, so weeds had taken over despite my efforts to pull them weekly (usually right after morning swim lessons and just before the 4-year-old’s nap. Typical … Full Article »
By Jonathan Mein
We all know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables, but not many people get to advance that cause as a career. As a Nutrition Scientist in our global vegetable division, I’m one of the lucky few.
The reality is that most of us don’t eat as much fruit and vegetables as we should. That is where the cool part of my job begins. I get to think about and address the challenges we face in providing consumers with safe, nutritious and, most importantly, delicious vegetables.
Most people don’t even realize that Monsanto has … Full Article »
By Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer
Technology has played a key role in helping society progress over the years. Technology, through human innovation, tackles society’s toughest challenges, whether it’s disease, poverty, energy or hunger. It provides both short- and long-term solutions in improving our global community.
For decades, Monsanto has been innovating to help farmers grow more food more efficiently, effectively, and safely. We’ve spent a lot of time talking with farmers, but we haven’t done as much as we should to clearly share the stories around our innovations with the general public.
For example, take the corn rootworm. … Full Article »
As farmers, scientists, students and educators have been meeting in Des Moines for the annual Borlaug Dialogue and celebration of the 2013 World Food Prize, we asked 2013 World Food Prize laureate and Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley for his thoughts on the event and the role of innovation in helping to feed a growing population.
Q: How do you feel about this year’s World Food Prize recognition of biotechnology?
A: I think it’s an important recognition of the value and importance of biotechnology, which is a safe and a very important tool as we collectively seek to address … Full Article »
Would critics of biotechnology really want to bar life-changing and lifesaving agricultural innovations from those who need them the most? Julie Borlaug doesn’t think so.
The associate director of external relations at the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University – and granddaughter of Dr. Norman Borlaug – made a compelling and personal case for biotechnology and its role in fighting world hunger in this Des Moines (Iowa) Register opinion article.
Borlaug maintains that biotechnology advocates, including her grandfather, “were unfortunately a lot better at doing science than communicating about it.” She advocates streamlining of the discussion … Full Article »
Ahead of the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue, Dr. Marc Van Montagu, Dr. Mary-Dell Chilton, and Dr. Robert Fraley, the 2013 World Food Prize laureates, were guests on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River show Monday to discuss the past, present and future of the agricultural biotechnology capabilities they pioneered.
During the hour-long show, Dr. Fraley talked about how he and his fellow 2013 World Food Prize laureates were both competing and cooperating in the 1980s in their efforts to define and develop the emerging field of biotechnology.
“All science builds on the science that comes before it. There were so … Full Article »
The advent of biotechnology was equal parts friendly competition and direct collaboration, as three distinguished scientists led teams focused on transforming plants and providing farmers with powerful new tools to feed a growing global population.
Those three scientists will be honored as the 2013 World Food Prize Laureates next week. They are each receiving the prize in recognition of their individual breakthrough achievements in founding, developing, and applying modern agricultural biotechnology.
Collectively, their research has made it possible for farmers to grow crops with improved yields; resistance to insects and disease; and the ability to tolerate extreme variations in climate. … Full Article »
The Farmer Assurance Provision (FAP) was enacted last spring as part of a six-month spending authorization bill by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Its purpose was to reinforce the integrity of the regulatory system and protect farmers from the disruption of frivolous lawsuits.
The expiration of FAP is no surprise. The spending authorization program was set to expire at the end of September.
The FAP was needed to offset the impact of a small, well-funded group of special interest activist groups using the legal system to try and block growers from having access to … Full Article »