2014 Sterling B. Hendricks Memorial Lectureship Award

Sponsored by USDA-Agricultural Research Service
Co-Sponsored by AGFD & AGRO Divisions

Role of innovation in addressing the challenges facing global agriculture

Robert FraleySometimes referred to as the father of agricultural biotechnology, Dr. Robert T. Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Monsanto Company, oversees Monsanto’s integrated crop and seed agribusiness technology and research with facilities in most world areas. He has been involved in agricultural biotechnology since the early eighties and has been with Monsanto for more than 30 years. Dr. Fraley has held several positions at Monsanto, including Co-President of Monsanto’s Agricultural Sector; President of Monsanto’s Ceregen business unit prior to the merger with Pharmacia & Upjohn with responsibilities for the discovery, development and commercialization of new crop chemical and biotechnology products; Group Vice President and General Manager of the New Products Division; Vice President of Technology for crop chemical and plant biotechnology R&D; Director of Monsanto’s Plant Science Research Group; and Senior Research Specialist, Monsanto Biological Sciences Program.

Dr. Fraley’s educational background includes Fellowship from the University of California, San Francisco, a PhD in microbiology/biochemistry from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois. He is a Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past member of the Agriculture Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee and the National Institutes of Health Molecular Cytology Study Section. Dr. Fraley is technical advisor to numerous government and public agencies, including the US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, Office of Technology Assessment, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, Agency for International Development, National Academy of Science, and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. He also is a member of several scientific journal editorial boards.

Dr. Fraley has contributed to years of agricultural development through a number of significant activities, including authoring more than 100 publications and patent applications relating to technical advances in agricultural biotechnology. In 2014 he
received the St. Louis Academy of Science Leadership Award. Last year he received the World Food Prize from the World Food Prize Foundation. Four years prior he received the AGROW Lifetime Achievement Award and the Biotechnology Heritage Award from the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He also was the recipient of the Award for the Industrial Application of Science from the National Academy of Sciences in 2008. Dr. Fraley received the National Academy of Science National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999 and was awarded the National Award for Agricultural Excellence in Science by National Agri-Marketing Association in 1995. Also in 1995 he was honored with the Kenneth A. Spencer Award for Outstanding Achievement in Agricultural and Food Chemistry and the Progressive Farming Magazine’s Man of the Year Award. Dr. Fraley also was awarded with the Monsanto Edgar M. Queeny Award in recognition of the discovery, development and successful commercialization of Roundup Ready® crops, as well as the Monsanto Thomas and Hochwalt Award for recognition of the advances made in basic research in plant biology.