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By Brett Begeman, Monsanto President

As a 30-year employee of Monsanto, nothing gives me more pride than seeing my company and the 21,000 people that work here recognized for the important work they do to help farmers produce more safe, affordable and nutritious food around the world.

It's been really gratifying to see a host of recognitions lately. But, as I talk with our employees, the common theme I hear is they appreciate these important recognitions, but they know there is much more work to be done to help farmers produce more and conserve more every day.

There is also a growing understanding that this alone is not enough. At Monsanto, we've done a terrific job of speaking with our farmer customers, but we've not done a good job of talking with society more broadly. We're changing this.

We are working to engage more and talk about the importance of what we do. We know people have questions and we are working to do our part to facilitate more dialogue with a variety of groups to help answer their questions and build a broader understanding of our work. We hope these discussions will help people better understand our business and the challenges our industry is helping to address for our growing world.

I'm confident that as we open the dialogue with consumers and others, both those who are curious for more information and those who disagree with us, people will be open to listening if they know we're listening to them. I know we may not always agree, but I also know there is value in the discussion and looking for how we are more alike than focusing on our differences.

Our ability to find common ground and bridge the gap between various groups will enable all of us to better work together to meet the food security demands and environmental wellbeing of our growing planet. And we're committed, as a company and as people who care, to accomplishing just that.

I know if people had the opportunity, as I do, to meet and talk with our employees, to look them in the eye and see the passion, energy and determination they have to help farmers they would see willing partners with ideas for the future. These incredible men and women have many different talents and are unified across the globe by one singular vision to help every farmer everywhere improve the productivity of their farm.

To our employees, thank you, for your service, your passion and your commitment. You are among our industry's best ambassadors and I hope you take the opportunity to engage with others in these vital discussions. It's important for today and even more essential for tomorrow. I'm grateful your work is being recognized around the world and I know that together we can do even more.

Brett Begemann, president and chief operating officer of Monsanto Company, was born and raised on a farm in Missouri. Brett has had the distinct pleasure to walk and talk with farmers in their fields on six continents.

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