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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2012 WFP Iowa State Mem Union cropped

The World Food Prize – One Year Later Featured Article

By Dr. Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer

Somehow, some way, a year has passed since I was awarded the World Food Prize with Mary-Dell Chilton and Marc Van Montagu.  For me, the experience in Des Moines will always stand out as a career pinnacle.  But more important, it helped reset the discussion about the use of new tools and technologies in feeding a growing planet.

That reset started with the simple, fundamental fact that the three of us were chosen for the award.  In selecting the scientists who helped pioneer biotechnology, the World Food Prize made a bold and unambiguous … Full Article »

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Launching the Fraley-Borlaug Scholars in Plant Science Scholarship Featured Article

By Dr. Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer

Winning the World Food Prize last year was gratifying in many ways, but none more so than in the contribution it enabled my wife Laura and me to make to the future of women in agriculture.

With a match from Monsanto, we were able to use the financial award that goes with the World Food Prize to establish the Fraley-Borlaug Scholars in Plant Science Scholarship at my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The scholarship is for women studying plant breeding and biotechnology. The university announced the first winner, Laura … Full Article »

Dr. Robb Fraley Calls for Continued Agriculture Innovation at Borlaug Centennial Celebration Featured Article

World Food Prize laureate Robb Fraley outlines population growth and climate change challenges, highlights potential of emerging technologies to safely boost food production.

Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, is widely credited with advancing agriculture to save 1 billion lives. While celebrating Borlaug’s legacy this week, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer and 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Robb Fraley outlined the need for continued innovation to feed a population that is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050.

Fraley addressed members of the global agriculture community today at the Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Full Article »

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Casual Dialogues at the World Food Prize

Last week, I had the privilege to attend the Borlaug Dialogues, hosted by the World Food Prize. There were incredible conversations that I got to participate in for work, but the casual conversation at lunch on Thursday was one that struck me personally.

I had been delayed getting to the lunch and was thrilled to see an empty seat not too far from the door I came in. The program was under way so I quietly walked up & asked if the seat was taken. It wasn’t so I quickly sat down.

A photo montage from some of the first

Full Article »
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Q&A with Monsanto Chief Technology Officer and World Food Prize Laureate Robert Fraley Featured 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 »

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2013 GAP Report: The Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Featured Article

By Dr. Margaret Zeigler
Global Harvest Initiative 

Today, October 16, the Global Harvest Initiative released our 2013 GAP Report® at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. The African presence at the World Food Prize is always significant. Dignitaries, farmers, agricultural experts, and international development professionals, among many others, travel to Des Moines from far and wide to learn and to meet new people that share their vision to improve global food and nutrition security.

It is always great to be a part of the World Food Prize and to experience first-hand the collective power of people … Full Article »

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World Food Prize laureates discuss biotechnology discoveries and challenges on Iowa Public Radio Featured 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 »

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We’re in Good Hands with the Next Generation of Agriculture Researchers Featured Article

By Robert Fraley
Chief Technology Officer 

I was invigorated after speaking with more than 500 students and educators at Iowa State University last evening at the annual Norman Borlaug Lecture.  It was an opportunity for my fellow World Food Prize laureates and me to share some thoughts on the future of innovation in agriculture, but just as much a chance to see and hear what these students see as future needs and research opportunities.

Today’s students are, after all, the people who will be living with 2.4 billion more people than we share the planet with today.  They’ll … Full Article »

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The 2013 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium & World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony Featured Article

This year and next year mark two significant anniversaries – the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA Double Helix and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, respectively. These two important dates set the stage for the 2013 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium & World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony taking place Oct. 16 – 18 in Des Moines, Iowa.

At this year’s Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, also known as the Borlaug Dialogue, the global agriculture community will come together to honor the achievements of Dr. Borlaug and recognize the many … Full Article »

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Pioneers of Biotechnology: Celebrating the 2013 World Food Prize Laureates Featured 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 »