Monsanto hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the company’s 36 new high-tech greenhouses. The greenhouses cover 105,000 sq. ft. and are part of a $400 million expansion of Monsanto’s Chesterfield, Missouri campus.
Monsanto, which recently announced its merger with the German chemical and pharmaceutical corporation Bayer AG, highlighted the expansion as part of the company’s continuing commitment to Missouri.
“I’ve got a feeling that these greenhouses, they’re going to be really, really busy,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s CEO. “The long-term commitment to St. Louis has been a very important part of our conversation with Bayer.”
The facility currently employs nearly 1,100 workers, and with the new expansion hopes to grow that number to 2,000. The completed greenhouse structure houses 13 open greenhouses and 23 bench-format greenhouses that allow for more controlled research, with better air-control over both temperature and humidity.
“We need to produce more food in the next 34 years than we have in the history of the world,” said Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President. “We need investments like this.”
In Missouri, the future of agtech is happening today. Big data, smart farming, input optimization, precision ag, biologicals, breeding, green chemistry, green pharmaceuticals, intellectual capital, an extensive agtech infrastructure, investors … it’s all growing right here.