Monsanto History


An Introduction

The history of today’s Monsanto, an agricultural company, began in 2002 after it was divested from Pharmacia Corporation. Agricultural biotechnology was firmly established as the new company’s strategic research focus in an effort to improve farmer livelihoods by increasing their profitability through yield enhancements.

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Monsanto History


An Introduction

The history of today’s Monsanto, an agricultural company, began in 2002 after it was divested from Pharmacia Corporation. Agricultural biotechnology was firmly established as the new company’s strategic research focus in an effort to improve farmer livelihoods by increasing their profitability through yield enhancements.

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2001 Notable Event
Monsanto is the first agricultural company to introduce a second-generation biotechnology trait product.
2001 Product Launch
Roundup Ready® Corn 2
2002 Product Launch
Processor Preferred® soybeans and Processor Preferred® corn hybrids
2003 Product Launch
Bollgard® II cotton and YieldGard® Rootworm
2004 Product Launch
YieldGard® Plus corn
2004 Acquisition
Channel Bio Corp. (Crows Hybrid Corn, Midwest Seed Genetics, Wilson Seeds)
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The Billionth Acre

In 2005, the industry reached a milestone: the billionth acre of biotech crops was planted. We continued to innovate and release second- and third-generation and stacked seed products, adding value to farming operations around the world.

Soon after, Monsanto joined the Chicago Climate Exchange® (CCX), North America’s only voluntary and legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry, and trading program. Monsanto agreed to reduce our carbon emissions and promised to work with farmer groups, educating them on how to reduce emissions by practicing no-till agriculture.

[unex_ce_basic_banner_landing layer-name="billionth acre" layout="align-center-left" has_overlay="overlay" cutout_image="" cutout_image_filename="Upload Image" cutout_layout="align-bottom" id="content_o6waieus9" post_id="64" semplice_styles_background_color="transparent" semplice_styles_background_image="//monsanto.com/app/uploads/2017/03/s-4-photo-fixed@2x.jpg" semplice_styles_background_size="auto" semplice_styles_background_position="50% 0%" semplice_styles_background_repeat="no-repeat" semplice_styles_padding_top="0px" semplice_styles_padding_bottom="0px" semplice_styles_padding_left="0" semplice_styles_padding_right="0"] <h2>The Billionth Acre</h2><p>In 2005, the industry reached a milestone: the billionth acre of biotech crops was planted. We continued to innovate and release second- and third-generation and stacked seed products, adding value to farming operations around the world.<br /><br />Soon after, Monsanto joined the Chicago Climate Exchange<sup>®</sup> (CCX), North America’s only voluntary and legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry, and trading program. Monsanto agreed to reduce our carbon emissions and promised to work with farmer groups, educating them on how to reduce emissions by practicing no-till agriculture.</p> [/ce_basic_banner_landing]
2005 Notable Event
Monsanto is the first agricultural company to introduce triple-trait technology.
2006 Notable Event
Monsanto is the first agricultural company to introduce a stacked second-generation product.
2006 Notable Event
Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences LLC agree to cross-license intellectual property, product licenses, and technologies.
2007 Notable Event
Monsanto and BASF announce a collaboration in plant biotechnology.
2007 Notable Event
Monsanto and Bayer CropScience AG announce a series of business and licensing agreements.
2007 Notable Event
Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences LLC announce a cross-licensing agreement for SmartStax.
2007 Award
John Franz is inducted into the U.S. Inventors Hall of Fame® for his discovery of glyphosate.
2005 Product Launch
Vistive® Low-Linolenic soybeans
2006 Product Launch
Roundup Ready® Flex cotton
2005 Acquisition
CORE Group (Fontanelle Hybrids, Stewart Seeds, Trelay Seeds, Stone Seeds), Specialty Hybrids, NC+ Hybrids, Stoneville (NexGen), Seminis, Inc.
2006 Acquisition
Diener Seeds, Sieben Hybrids, Kruger Seed Company, Trisler Seed Farms, Gold Country Seed, Inc., Heritage Seeds, Campbell Seed (seed marketing and sales only)
2007 Acquisition
Delta and Pine Land Company
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A More Sustainable Future

In 2008, we shifted our focus to full-spectrum sustainable farming solutions. We pledged to:

  • Help farmers double yields in corn, soybeans, and cotton by 2030;
  • Develop seeds that will reduce by one-third per unit produced the aggregate amount of key resources, such as land, water, and energy, required to grow crops by 2030;
  • Improve the lives of farmers, including an additional five million people in resource-poor farm families, by 2020.


A key turning point in Monsanto’s history occurred in 2012, as we started acquiring companies producing digital tools and data modeling to provide even more precision-focused solutions for farmers. We established technology and learning centers throughout the U.S. to help the industry understand more about the planet that feeds us. We continue to institute outreach programs with the goal of improving the lives of families and communities around the world, including in our hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

In 2016, Monsanto’s board of directors voted to approve an acquisition by Bayer CropScience AG, a key development in the refinement of our strategic focus. In 2017 and the coming years, our goal is to move agriculture forward by using less of our natural resources.

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A More Sustainable Future

In 2008, we shifted our focus to full-spectrum sustainable farming solutions. We pledged to:

  • Help farmers double yields in corn, soybeans, and cotton by 2030;
  • Develop seeds that will reduce by one-third per unit produced the aggregate amount of key resources, such as land, water, and energy, required to grow crops by 2030;
  • Improve the lives of farmers, including an additional five million people in resource-poor farm families, by 2020.


A key turning point in Monsanto’s history occurred in 2012, as we started acquiring companies producing digital tools and data modeling to provide even more precision-focused solutions for farmers. We established technology and learning centers throughout the U.S. to help the industry understand more about the planet that feeds us. We continue to institute outreach programs with the goal of improving the lives of families and communities around the world, including in our hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

In 2016, Monsanto’s board of directors voted to approve an acquisition by Bayer CropScience AG, a key development in the refinement of our strategic focus. In 2017 and the coming years, our goal is to move agriculture forward by using less of our natural resources.

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2009 Notable Event
Monsanto announces Project SHARE.
2009 Notable Event
Monsanto announces a $10 million grant to establish Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program.
2009 Notable Event
Monsanto donates approx. 4,000 cotton molecular markers and associated information to Texas AgriLife Research.
2011 Notable Event
Monsanto announced the launch of “Grow St. Louis.”
2010 Award
FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For”; The Scientist Best Places to Work; CR Magazine “100 Best Corporate Citizens”; Diversity, Inc. Top 50 Companies for Diversity
2012 Award
Great Places to Work Institute World’s Best Multinational Workplaces
2013 Award
Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Award
2013 Award
Robb Fraley named World Food Prize Laureate
2013 Award
CR Magazine “100 Best Corporate Citizens”
2010-2014 Award
Human Rights Campaign Foundation 100% on Corporate Equality Index, Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality
2008 Product Launch
Acceleron® branded seed-applied solutions
2009 Product Launch
Genuity® Traits
2010 Product Launch
Warrant® Herbicide, Beneforte Broccoli, EverMild onions
2016 Product Launch
Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System
2008 Acquisition
De Ruiter Seeds Group, Semillas Cristiani Burkard, Aly Participacoes Ltda., CanaVialis S.A., Alellyx S.A.
2011 Acquisition
Beelogics, Divergence, Inc.
2012 Acquisition
Precision Planting
2013 Acquisition
The Climate Corporation
2016 Merger
Monsanto agrees to be acquired by Bayer AG (PENDING REGULATORY APPROVAL)
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A New Strategic Direction Under the Same Name

The name “Monsanto” has actually been around since 1901 when John F. Queeny founded a company that could produce saccharine at one-sixth the cost of sugar. He named the company after his wife, Olga Monsanto Queeny.

In the 1940s, John’s son Edward Queeny saw an opportunity to enter the agriculture industry. The first agricultural product introduced by this Monsanto was an insecticide called Santobane. The company soon expanded to provide fertilizer for farmers as well, though the current Monsanto no longer sells this product.

As a result of the chemist John Franz’s discovery of a molecule that was developed into the product called glyphosate, in the 1970s the first Roundup® branded herbicide made its debut. In 1983, scientists succeeded in modifying a plant cell through biotechnology for the first time, which led to field trials of the first genetically modified crops in 1987. This breakthrough laid the foundation for today’s Monsanto Company, whose goal is to deliver products that help farmers grow food sustainably.

[unex_ce_basic_banner_landing layer-name="strategic direction" layout="align-center-left" has_overlay="overlay" cutout_image="" cutout_image_filename="Upload Image" cutout_layout="align-bottom" id="content_bwxb0huap" post_id="64" semplice_styles_background_color="transparent" semplice_styles_background_image="https://monsanto.com/app/uploads/2017/03/s-4-img@2x_crop.jpg" semplice_styles_background_size="auto" semplice_styles_background_position="100% 50%" semplice_styles_background_repeat="no-repeat" semplice_styles_padding_top="0px" semplice_styles_padding_bottom="0px" semplice_styles_padding_left="0" semplice_styles_padding_right="0"] <h2>A New Strategic Direction Under the Same Name</h2> <p>The name “Monsanto” has actually been <a href="/app/uploads/2017/07/Original-Monsanto-Company.pdf" target="_blank">around since 1901</a> when John F. Queeny founded a company that could produce saccharine at one-sixth the cost of sugar. He named the company after his wife, Olga Monsanto Queeny.<br/> <br/> In the 1940s, John’s son Edward Queeny saw an opportunity to enter the agriculture industry. The first agricultural product introduced by this Monsanto was an insecticide called Santobane. The company soon expanded to provide fertilizer for farmers as well, though the current Monsanto no longer sells this product.<br/> <br/> As a result of the chemist John Franz’s discovery of a molecule that was developed into the product called glyphosate, in the 1970s the first Roundup<sup>®</sup> branded herbicide made its debut. In 1983, scientists succeeded in modifying a plant cell through biotechnology for the first time, which led to field trials of the first genetically modified crops in 1987. This breakthrough laid the foundation for today’s Monsanto Company, whose goal is to deliver products that help farmers grow food sustainably.</p> [/ce_basic_banner_landing]