Monsanto technology officer Robert Fraley, team visit CASNR during tour
Several Monsanto representatives, including Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley, spent a portion of Wednesday (April 27) meeting with College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources faculty, staff and students to engage in discussions about the challenges facing agriculture and the importance of innovation in bringing sustainable solutions to farmers.
Joining Fraley was Amanda McClerren, global breeding product strategy lead; Danielle Fuchs, technology communication manager; Meray Gleit, bee health platform lead; Eric Best, Monsanto agronomist for West Texas and Rachel Hurley, director of state and local government affairs.
Monsanto, an international sustainable agricultural company, was welcomed by CASNR's Associate Dean for Research Michael Ballou and Eric Hequet, an internationally-recognized leader in cotton fiber research and the chairman of the Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science. Ballou also presented an overview of the college's extensive academic and research programs to those gathered in CASNR's new Bayer Plant Science Building Teaching Laboratory.
"We want to broaden the conversation about food and agriculture, bringing diverse viewpoints together for dialogue," Fraley said. "We're also looking to cultivate a spirit of collaboration across the public and private sectors and encourage students to foster their interest in all science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, including agriculture."
The visit began with a tour of the location for a future $140 million, 500,000-square-foot cotton seed production facility that Monsanto announced in January. The facility is expected to bring approximately 50 high-skilled jobs to the region and be completed in the summer of 2017, becoming the company's primary hub for all commercial cotton seed processing operations.
In addition, the Texas Tech tour included meetings with Texas Tech Interim President John Opperman and Guy Loneragan, Interim Senior Vice President for Research and Professor of Food Safety and Public Health in Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences. The Monsanto group also visited Tech's Whitacre College of Engineering, Rawls College of Business and the Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology departments. The visit concluded with a question-and-answer session at the College of Business Administration's McCoy Atrium.
CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0427NM16 / PHOTO: N Martin
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Editor: Norman Martin
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