Our planet faces serious challenges – from climate change, to extreme weather to the changing availability of natural resources. With a growing global population and increased pressures on agriculture due to climate change, farmers around the world must produce nearly double as much food, fiber and fuel to meet the needs of 9 billion people by 2050. It’s critical that we all help meet these challenges while also protecting our earth for generations to come.

For thousands of years, humans used traditional breeding methods to grow more of the foods needed to maintain a balanced diet. Today, breeders at agricultural companies like Monsanto take a similar approach to help growers raise healthy, high-quality food. Many breeders dedicate their entire career to improving a specific crop, such as corn, soybean, cotton or pepper, which helps farmers have better harvests.

Plant breeding is the act of bringing together two specific parent plants to produce a new offspring. Just like a newborn baby will show characteristics from each of its parents, the new variety also will share traits from parent plants. To speed up the lengthy process of breeding plants, agriculture companies also use molecular breeding, seed chipping and biotechnology. These modern techniques help breeders find plant varieties with the most desirable traits.

Agricultural companies, such as Monsanto, are working with others to provide farmers around the world with agriculture solutions, including seeds that are developed for their region’s unique growing conditions. By helping to develop these for farmers, it is more likely that a farmer’s crop makes it to harvest and then to our local markets.