Friday, May 30, 2014

Monsanto's Chesterfield Village Research Facility, Chesterfield, MO - Friday, May 30, 2014

Well this was our last official stop!

We visited Monsanto’s Chesterfield Village Research Facility. This place is amazing. We were able to tour the biotechnology research facilities with and to talk two of the research scientists working on a new sustainability initiative. In one building alone they have 134 growth chambers and they are expanding the facility! The campus currently employees over 2,000 people and they hope to add over 600 more jobs by 2017. That is a lot of ag-research in one place!

Our tour guide Jim explaining the process of producing a transgenic plant

Most people know Monsanto from their Round-up weed killer and Round-up ready seeds, but they are involved in many other projects. The company spends an enormous amount of money on research and development each year (more than the USDA’s annual budget). Within that budget, they spend more on traditional plant breeding than transgenic breeding. Monsanto also has invested heavily in sustainable farming. Currently they are putting programs in place to promote new management practices to increase the health of the land and water resources that are vital for farming. They are also involved with collecting data from on-farm technology. These data sets can be enormous and can be combined to give more accurate information about how to improve practices in the field.

Today was quite the adventure. We have learned a lot of interesting things over the past three weeks and have certainly recalibrated our thinking.

- Julie
Group photo outside of the main building

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