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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The NPR/IQ2US Debate on GMOs Featured Article

On Dec. 3, Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) livestreamed a debate on GMOs. Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Robb Fraley and Alison Van Eenennaam, a genomics and biotechnology scientist at the University of California-Davis, argued the positive case for GMOs against Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Margaret Mellon, a science policy consultant and former senior scientist for Union of Concerned Scientists.

IQ2US is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. IQ2US reaches millions through radio, television, live streaming, … Full Article »

Civilized Debate in an Uncivilized Medium Featured Article

By Amalia
Vegetables Division

Debate is a critical part of our cultural heritage in the United States.  The right, even the responsibility, to debate ideas is something that is engraved onto our spirits so deeply that it often defines us.  Our right to not only debate, but to protest peacefully is, after all, guaranteed by the Constitution.  It is a pillar on which our country was founded.

Vigorous but polite disagreement is critical to the formation of new ideas.  When our views are challenged, we have to either support our ideas with evidence or find new ways of thinking.  In … Full Article »

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The Story That Was and Wasn’t

It’s Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. You’re doing a Google search on genetically modified crops in Europe. One of your search results is from the U.K.’s Daily Mail web site – an announcement that Monsanto is closing wheat breeding stations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Czech Republic. You look at the article’s date: Jan. 31, 2012.

If you oppose GM crops, you’re thrilled, and immediately use the Daily Mail’s “tweet this” feature to alert all of your Twitter followers, many of whom retweet the news to their followers. Soon, Greenpeace Europe picks it up and tweets it. Numerous … Full Article »

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Why would a farmer or rancher create a blog?

The title of this post is a question I’ve been asked several times. It seems people don’t understand what would lead a farmer to set up and maintain a blog. That sort of writing and content creation used to be the sort of thing communications professionals laid claim to. The process seemed intimidating to others. But social media changed all of that and has given rise to a new type of content – blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages that represent people’s individual passions.

But why farmers would want to blog is a question I’ve heard many times, even here … Full Article »

Photo by Becky McCray via Flicker

What Can Farmers & Small Towns Gain Through Social Media?

More than 100 million people are said to be using Twitter. With all the buzz around the service – challenges about how many followers people have, tweeted photos appearing on the big screen in major stadiums, and every business having a twitter icon on their homepage – one would have to wonder what would small town people to use the service. That was exactly what I was able to learn at the recent 140 Characters Small Town Conference in Hutchinson, KS.

If you haven’t heard of the 140 Conferences, you may be interested to hear founder Jeff Pulver’s thoughts on … Full Article »

Michael Marlow Monsanto Agonomist

Monsanto Agronomist Helps Farmers 140 Characters at a Time

As an agronomist, Monsanto’s Michael Marlow has to be on top of the field conditions in his territory, which includes most of Oklahoma and northern and eastern Texas. It’s in his best interest—and his customers’ best interests—to know when plant diseases are popping up, when bugs are starting to move into fields and when weather is impacting crops.

But he can’t deliver those tidbits of information to everyone on a personal basis every day. That’s why he uses Twitter—a social media outlet that allows people to share thoughts in 140 characters—as one of his communication tools to update farmers … Full Article »

Optimism in an Out of Office Message

Planting takes specialized equipment on a small scale for research and development efforts

Friday afternoon I was trying to reach a coworker. I looked on the office instant messaging system and a rush came over me – there was an out of office message saying he was planting just outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. Immediate reaction? Pick up the phone and call to see how it’s going!

It’s a high tech version of what has happened for generations. It used to be conversations at the general store or maybe the church social. It passed from neighbor to neighbor and town … Full Article »

The Perfect Week to Thank a Farmer, National Agriculture Week

As someone that didn’t grow up in agriculture (the closest I got was the 5 cow dairy farm up the street from my subdivision) I seldom thought about the importance of farming in my everyday life before I graduated college. Now that I work for Monsanto, I have had the opportunity to meet with farmers and I understand more about the challenging yet rewarding occupation these men and women have chosen.

National Agriculture Week (March 14-20) is an opportunity to connect to the people that are supplying the world with their food, fuel and fiber. Anyone who has ever met … Full Article »

Social Media Coverage of Commodity Classic 2010

California Dreamin’ with Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Sorghum Growers

The 2010 Commodity Classic Show kicks off today in Anaheim, California. Classic (as its known to hip ag-sters) is the annual meeting of the nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers, hosted by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Sorghum Producers.

We have a team of Monsanto employees at the show providing live coverage to growers back home to growers who don’t want to miss out on the action.

Be sure to check out the Commodity Classic hubFull Article »

Video: Social Media & Taking the Bull by the Horns

Very few of my friends or family are on Twitter. And of the few who are Twitter users, I hate to admit they’ve let their accounts go unused. I think my family and friends get a bit of a laugh out of the very concept of 140 character tweets.

When most Americans think of Twitter, they probably think of following a big name celebrity or maybe a local news source. The value of creating community and providing your own perspective is why farmers like Mike Haley are on the social media site. It’s also how I came to know … Full Article »