The visit will include meetings with faculty, staff and students who will have a chance to engage in discussions about sustainable agriculture.
Several Monsanto representatives, including Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley, will spend Wednesday (April 27) touring Texas Tech University and meeting with faculty, staff and students from several departments and colleges to engage in discussions about the challenges facing agriculture and the importance of innovation in bringing sustainable solutions to farmers.
Joining Fraley will be 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, will be hosted by Robert V. Duncan, Texas Tech vice president for strategic research initiatives.
“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 will begin with a tour of the location of 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.
“We are all very fortunate Monsanto has decided to build the cottonseed production facility here in Lubbock. The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance and our civic leadership deserve great praise for achieving this important outcome,” Duncan said. “Our region is now recognized as a national center for research in this area, since Monsanto and other major corporations have placed a substantial part of their research and development activities here.”
The visit will also include meetings with Texas Tech Interim President John Opperman, Interim Senior Vice President for Research Guy Loneragan, and faculty and students from the Whitacre College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, the Rawls College of Business and the Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology departments.
The visit will conclude with a question-and-answer session with faculty and students at the College of Business Administration's McCoy Atrium, followed by a tour of the business college.
“These kinds of collaborations provide great opportunities to expand plant and soil research opportunities at Texas Tech and to advance experiential learning opportunities for our students,” Duncan said. “If you are interested in being at the forefront of agricultural technology innovation, then you want to join us here in Lubbock.”
About Robert T. Fraley
Robert Fraley is the executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto. He has been with the company for more than 30 years and oversees the company's global technology division, which includes plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture and crop protection.
Fraley is recognized as the father of agricultural biotechnology and has been involved in ag research since the early 1980s. He has authored more than 100 publications and patent applications. His discoveries and applications of science are routinely recognized for their impact in supporting farmers and the agriculture demands of the planet.
Fraley's honors include a 2013 World Food Prize Laureate, the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1998 and the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science for his work on crop improvement in 2008.
For more information about Monsanto, visit their website.