The Truth About GMOs, Farming and Monsanto


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The Truth About GMOs, Farming and Monsanto

Janice Person works at Monsanto on their corporate engagement team. Her job duties include outreach for both agriculture and regular folks like you. She works with farmers, foodies, and bloggers on a wide range of topics all that relate back in someway to farming. Her primary function is to help people better understanding agriculture. Janice is one of the founders of the farmer-led AgChat Foundation which seeks to empower farmers to tell their stories online and remains active with the organization’s programs.

Debbie Lyons-Blythe is a cattle rancher in Kansas. She and her husband raise Angus cattle for breeding, as well as harvest hay, wheat, corn, alfalfa and soybeans on Blythe Family Farms, their family-owned ranch. It has been in the Blythe family since 1890. Some of their cattle does go on to be graded as Certified Angus Beef®. They have 5 grown kids who are also part owners in the farm. In her spare time from raising cattle, Debbie also pens a blog called, where she connects with consumers to answer questions about how beef is raised in the great country of America. She was named the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year in 2012 and is also a founding member of the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.


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Key Takeaways:

  • A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is an organism that was genetically altered using traits from other organisms
  • A lack of science education leads to a lot of fear amongst consumers who don’t understand what GMOs are and put untrue stigma on them
  • Monsanto employees dietitians and other food professionals to help inform businesses and the public on food education. Educating the public is becoming a much bigger priority for Monsanto than in the past when it was more focused on B2B education
  • Land and water use are incredibly important to farmers. On the American West Coast, that concern is very apparent. Agriculture innovation empowers farmers and provides tools to making more from less land and water
  • USDA Certified Organic labeled foods are GMO free. The most common GMOs are soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash
  • The use of pesticides allows for higher efficiency farming and no-till farming, which allows the soil to remain undisturbed from season to season
    • On the downside, pesticides are expensive and they aren’t foolproof
    • GPS information allows even greater efficiency, greater price saving, and fewer pesticides in farming, as well as better data for farming from year to year
  • Engaging with bloggers, influencers and customer stakeholders in the agriculture industry has helped the Monsanto company culture to be different, and has been more fruitful than throwing money at advertising for the brand
  • Many companies provide training and education for farmers, including Beef Checkoff

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Learn more about Janice Person & Monsanto:

Learn more about Debbie Lyons-Blythe:

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19 episodes