Monsanto Fund Makes $15 Million Gift to Danforth Center
September 5, 2006Monsanto Fund Makes $15 Million Gift to Danforth Center
-- Gift Will Support “Campaign For A Green Future” And Aid In African Food Security --
St. Louis–The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center today announced a $15 million gift from the Monsanto Fund to support the Center’s vision and mission: $7.5 million of the gift will support the Center’s “Campaign for a Green Future” while $7.5 million will go directly to efforts to develop high-yield crops for Africa.
“Monsanto Company and the Monsanto Fund have been important partners in the formation of the Danforth Center and vital to our ongoing success,” explained Danforth Center Chairman Dr. William H. Danforth. “We greatly appreciate the gift from the Fund to the ‘Campaign for a Green Future,’ as it is important to the long-term success of the Center in achieving our mission.”
The “Campaign for a Green Future” was launched in November 2004 with a goal of $100 million. The Danforth Foundation will match, up to $50 million, all unrestricted and endowment gifts from private sources received by December 31, 2010.
“The Monsanto Fund’s commitment to food security is underscored through this gift to the Danforth Center. We contribute funding to put important agricultural technology tools into the hands of farmers who need them through relationships like those with the Danforth Center,” said Gerald A. Steiner, a Monsanto Fund Board Member and Executive Vice President of Monsanto Company. “The Danforth Center’s work builds on Monsanto Company’s strong commitment to sharing technology and devoting resources to efforts that benefit the developing world.”
The Danforth Center has been working to develop virus-resistant cassava (Manihot esculenta) for the past seven years. Resistance to the African Cassava Mosaic Virus would hold great value to farmers, as this virus is having a devastating effect on cassava growth throughout Africa. In addition to cassava, the Center is conducting research on corn (Zea mays) for Africa.
“The Danforth Center is committed to fundamental research in plant biology, and the Monsanto Fund gift the will help to make that happen. We are doubly gratified that a portion of the gift will permit us to expand research on solutions to improve crops and increase food production in developing countries. Additionally, this gift will allow us to continue important research on a cassava and corn for several countries in Africa, and fortifies our commitment to help alleviate certain crop diseases in those countries,” said Danforth President Dr. Roger N. Beachy.
“Cassava and corn are two of the world’s most important food security crops, and the Danforth Center’s work in cassava complements Monsanto’s work in corn,” Steiner said. “Monsanto has demonstrated our commitment to African farmers by providing them with high-quality corn seed. In the future, we hope to bring needed traits, such as insect resistance and drought stress tolerance, to African farmers in order to help bolster food security.”
About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a global vision to improve the human condition. Research at the Danforth Center will enhance the nutritional content of plants to improve human health, increase agricultural production to create a sustainable food supply, and build scientific capacity to generate economic growth in the St. Louis region and throughout Missouri.
Please visit www.danforthcenter.org for additional information.
About The Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. Incorporated in 1964, the Fund's primary objective is to improve the lives of people by bridging the gap between their needs and their resources. The Monsanto Fund is focused on grant-making in four main areas: nutritional well-being through agriculture; science education, primarily on professional development for teachers; the environment, which includes conservation, protection of biodiversity, clean water and restoration of wildlife habitat; and improving the quality of life in communities where Monsanto employees live and work. Please visit www.monsantofund.org for additional information.