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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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 »

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 »

CTO Robb Fraley at K-State Featured Article

In January, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley was the inaugural speaker in the new Henry C. Gardiner Global Food Systems Lecture Series at Kansas State University. Here, he talks with K-State Radio Network’s Eric Atkinson on meeting world food demand in the coming decades, the role of biotechnology, and the importance of company / university partnerships.

Full Article »

Agriculture in 2020 – Part 1 Featured Article

By Jesus Madrazo
Vice President, Corporate Engagement

(This article is based on a speech given at the Agribusiness Council of Indiana on Jan. 28.)

I am here today to talk about topics we all care deeply about: agriculture, innovation and the future. When you think about 2020, it sounds far off in the distant future, but it’s just six short years away.

What I think is exciting is that the future for agriculture is incredibly bright and increasingly interconnected.

Our planet is becoming more populous – by 2050, we’ll have more than 9 billion people. We face challenges of climate … 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 »

Seeds for Survival Featured Article

By Mark Edge
Partnerships Team

In Africa, food is scarce and smallholder farmers, most of them women with very limited resources, struggle each year to harvest crops to feed their families. Africa is prone to drought, so year after year these farmers don’t know if their crops will survive or if their families will have enough to eat.

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), a nonprofit that partners with public and private organizations to put advanced resources and tools into the hands of farmers in Africa, reached out to us six years ago on a new initiative. Called Water Efficient Full Article »

New Report Urges US Global Food Security Focus on Science, Trade, and Business Featured Article

Today,  the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is hosting the Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C., “to urge US leadership in mobilizing science, increasing trade, and capitalizing on the power of business to meet future food demand.”

At the meeting, the Council has released a report, Advancing Global Food Security: The Power of Science, Trade, and Business (PDF). The report includes four broad policy recommendations and some 21 specific action steps, including:

  • Appoint the Vice President to lead the whole-of-government approach for food security, and, in this role, to chair a National Science Commission on Global Food Security.
Full Article »

The Chicago Council Symposium on Global Food Security Featured Article

This week, I have the opportunity to be a fly on the wall in a place where some incredible minds are going to discuss global challenges regarding food production.  The Global Food Security Symposium 2013, hosted by The Chicago Council, will “urge U.S. leadership in mobilizing science, increasing trade and capitalizing on the power of business to meet future food demand.” A topic this big requires a broad range of people to be engaged, and that’s exactly who will be in the room — leaders from science, government, business and civil society.

When I discovered that I … Full Article »

Monsanto Fund in India Featured Article

Four projects in India are highlighted in the newly published Monsanto Fund report for 2010-2011.

Dateline India: Enhance Agricultural Productivity 

With the help of the Monsanto Fund, a five-year project is underway to improve the incomes of 3,000 poor families in Kalahandi district, through integrated natural resource development (INRD), improved farming systems and better market linkages. 

The program, which began in October 2011, identified women from target families and organized them into self help groups. These women learn sustainable agriculture practices — maximizing return without depleting resources — through integrated land and water resource development education. This teaches the … Full Article »

World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “New Vision for Agriculture” Featured Article

Monsanto’s executive leadership played an active role in the inception and development of the World Economic Forum (WEF) “New Vision for Agriculture.” Today, 26 leading partner companies, representing the full food value chain, are working to build a framework for advancing global agriculture over the course of the next several decades. 

The Vision they share focuses on three critical goals: 

1.      To meet nutritional demands while providing affordable choices across the food value chain.

2.      To conserve or enhance the quality and quantity of natural resources and meet the challenges of changing climate.

3.      To drive … Full Article »