ST. LOUIS (June 14, 2010) – Nearly a quarter century after it was built, Chesterfield Village Research Center, will once again be home to the biggest research and development team in the field of agriculture. In a ceremony marking this momentous event, Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive and Robb Fraley, chief technology officer for Monsanto Company, dedicated the site to the company’s employees.
In the coming weeks and months, key groups of Monsanto scientists and researchers will be preparing to move back into newly renovated labs, greenhouses and growth chambers. The number of Monsanto employees at Chesterfield Village is expected to grow from approximately 400 to more than 1,200, making the site a hub of Monsanto’s R&D work. The move will bring together various technology teams including biotechnology, breeding technology and chemistry, thus encouraging even greater collaboration to bring the best products to farmers.
“We have always been very proud to be a part of the Chesterfield Village site and the reacquisition once again affirms our strong ties to the St. Louis region,” Fraley said. “Chesterfield Village has always been key to our global R&D effort. With a majority of the company’s technology workforce located here I expect it to play an even greater role in the immense amount of new technologies still to come in agriculture and in helping us achieve our stated goal of helping farmers double yields by 2030.”
Much of the work in the early years of agricultural biotechnology, including the development of the first Roundup Ready® crops and the first insect-protected corn and cotton products, was done at the 1.5 million-square-foot research center. The site houses 250 laboratories, 108 growth chambers and 26 greenhouses. The company expects to add up to 15 more greenhouses and up to 50 new growth chambers in the next five years.