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Your Opinion: Bayer, Monsanto promote home-grown growth and success

Your Opinion: Bayer, Monsanto promote home-grown growth and success

February 1st, 2018 by Kelly Gillespie, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Moving forward always involves change. We at the Missouri Biotechnology Association are realistic that businesses change to meet the needs of their customers, just like politics and elections evolve to meet the needs of the voters.

With a statewide membership, we speak for organizations interested in life sciences. Our members promote economic development in Missouri, and we see the potential for a positive impact on the state's agri-business partners and farmers by the pending combination of Monsanto with Bayer. Rather than chasing after the elusive corporate trophy that has no ties to our state, the marriage of Bayer and Monsanto is a reflection of home-grown growth and success.

As agricultural research companies realign to assure global competitiveness, MOBIO remains enthusiastic about leveraging our existing assets into a stronger position. The Chesterfield (St Louis) research campus is already the epicenter of the plant sciences research and seed technology world. Since the agreement between Bayer and Monsanto was first revealed, the details of the plan indicate this move could actually help to enhance our state's leadership position in the global agriculture and biotechnology industries. Many Missouri anchored mid-sized contract research organizations already do a tremendous amount of out-sourced contract work for all the ag research players; this only adds to the dimension of building a talented workforce with multiple employment opportunities that can branch into many careers. As we look forward, we are optimistic about the possibility for new jobs, new investment and business growth coming to Missouri as a result of this agreement.

Bringing Bayer together with Monsanto will put together two different, but complementary businesses that can create synergies and innovation for the farmers and agribusinesses who provide services and inputs. As one of our Missouri farmers, Rick Paris from Hale, Missouri, explains, "I think mergers like Bayer and Monsanto can be advantageous to farmers in the big picture. The collaboration between these two groups will bring together more scientists and technology for better innovations to use on the farm. We should embrace these mergers as the best of each company will rise to the top. This will make all of us stronger and in a better position to tackle tomorrow's challenges."

Isn't that what we all want? New investments in a stronger, more innovative and more productive agricultural industry as well as local industry leaders who value the relationship with the individual farmer/producer.

Kelly Gillespie, is president and CEO of Missouri Biotechnology Association.