Monsanto Wins 1st Senate Vote on Roberts-Stabenow DARK Act!

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Thank-or-Spank?
Monsanto Wins 1st Senate Vote on Roberts-Stabenow DARK Act!
https://action.organicconsumers.org/content_item/oca-email?email_blast_KEY=1352333
Dear Friend,
On June 29, Monsanto scored a preliminary victory, winning a Senate “test vote” on a bill known as the DARK Act that Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced to Deny Americans the Right to Know about GMOs.

TAKE ACTION: Call your Senators at 888-897-0174 to tell them what you think of their votes! Calls are the fastest, and most effective way to get your message through to Congress.

Scroll down for the vote count. There were 68 “yeas” and 29 “nays”. We’ve also included the amount of money each Senator has received from agribusiness. The average agribusiness contribution for “yes” voters ($867,518) is two-and-a-half times more than the average for “no” voters ($350,877).

Thank your Senators who voted “No”. “Spank” your Senators who voted “Yes”. Call 888-897-0174.

Here are some talking points you can use when you call:

“The Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill would kill the Vermont law that labels GMO foods as “produced with genetic engineering.” Vermont’s law is working. GMOs are being labeled. Food prices are staying the same. The labels are being used nationwide. The Roberts-Stabenow bill wouldn’t require words on the package. It exempts nearly all GMOs from labeling. It would take at least 2 years to take effect. And, it’s essentially voluntary because there would be no enforcement for non-compliance.”

NO Votes
Total: $10,175,439 Average: $350,877
Blumenthal D-CT NO $43,033
Booker D-NJ NO $215,250
Boxer D-CA NO $517,498
Cantwell D-WA NO $273,246
Cardin D-MD NO $230,103
Gillibrand D-NY NO $627,514
Heinrich D-NM NO $128,927
Hirono D-HI NO $108,150
Kaine D-VA NO $140,825
Leahy D-VT NO $356,995
Markey D-MA NO $118,144
Menendez D-NJ NO $647,774
Merkley D-OR NO $222,442
Mikulski D-MD NO $255,439
Murkowski R-AK NO $463,144
Murphy D-CT NO $132,650
Murray D-WA NO $667,307
Paul R-KY NO $416,761
Reed D-RI NO $110,550
Reid D-NV NO $691,398
Sanders I-VT NO $750,242
Schatz D-HI NO $88,750
Schumer D-NY NO $814,930
Sullivan R-AK NO $157,541
Tester D-MT NO $476,153
Udall D-NM NO $338,055
Warren D-MA NO $91,243
Whitehouse D-RI NO $98,408
Wyden D-OR NO $992,967

TOTAL: $10,175,439 AVERAGE: $350,877

YES Votes
Total: $58,991,192 Average: $867,518
Alexander R-TN YES $980,283
Ayotte R-NH YES $235,956
Baldwin D-WI YES $160,709
Barrasso R-WY YES $207,250
Bennet D-CO YES $473,397
Blunt R-MO YES $2,069,365
Boozman R-AR YES $646,471
Brown D-OH YES $379,952
Burr R-NC YES $1,933,705
Capito R-WV YES $456,720
Carper D-DE YES $203,662
Casey D-PA YES $405,550
Cassidy R-LA YES $504,933
Coats R-IN YES $527,927
Cochran R-MS YES $2,333,394
Collins R-ME YES $596,291
Coons D-DE YES $86,858
Corker R-TN YES $664,527
Cornyn R-TX YES $1,688,149
Cotton R-AR YES $508,940
Crapo R-ID YES $1,170,466
Cruz R-TX YES $1,647,662
Daines R-MT YES $596,781
Donnelly D-IN YES $363,199
Enzi R-WY YES $350,502
Ernst R-IA YES $256,998
Feinstein D-CA YES $1,645,599
Fischer R-NE YES $536,262
Flake R-AZ YES $535,102
Franken D-MN YES $286,547
Gardner R-CO YES $946,349
Graham R-SC YES $1,131,590
Grassley R-IA YES $1,929,489
Hatch R-UT YES $725,633
Heitkamp D-ND YES $236,975
Heller R-NV YES $258,140
Hoeven R-ND YES $405,020
Inhofe R-OK YES $938,853
Isakson R-GA YES $1,227,649
Johnson R-WI YES $489,435
King I-ME YES $74,515
Kirk R-IL YES $718,270
Klobuchar D-MN YES $720,592
Lankford R-OK YES $226,040
Lee R-UT YES $77,950
McCain R-AZ YES $4,496,004
McCaskill D-MO YES $383,024
McConnell R-KY YES $3,373,204
Moran R-KS YES $2,284,551
Nelson D-FL YES $873,540
Perdue R-GA YES $489,830
Peters D-MI YES $238,147
Portman R-OH YES $1,011,940
Risch R-ID YES $367,154
Roberts R-KS YES $2,808,111
Rounds R-SD YES $258,600
Rubio R-FL YES $1,141,265
Sasse R-NE YES $329,935
Scott R-SC YES $403,300
Shaheen D-NH YES $167,474
Sessions R-AL YES $927,652
Shelby R-AL YES $843,957
Stabenow D-MI YES $1,565,978
Thune R-SD YES $1,900,160
Tillis R-NC YES $437,750
Toomey R-PA YES $682,904
Vitter R-LA YES $657,365
Wicker R-MS YES $789,690
TOTAL YES:$58,991,192 AVERAGE YES: $867,518

Durbin D-IL
Not Voting $951,130
Manchin D-WV Not Voting $196,850
Warner D-VA Not Voting $518,317

TAKE ACTION: Call your Senators at 888-897-0174 to tell them what you think of their votes!

Thanks!

-Alexis for the OCA team

2016 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE HUGH P. THOMPSON SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA January 27, 2016, 11 a.m. House Chambers, State Capitol

016 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS
THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE HUGH P. THOMPSON
SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA
January 27, 2016, 11 a.m.
House Chambers, State Capitol

Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, my fellow judges and my fellow Georgians:
Good morning. Thank you for this annual tradition of inviting the Chief Justice to report on the State of Georgia’s Judiciary. Thanks in large part to your support and the support of our governor, as we move into 2016, I am pleased to tell you that your judicial branch of government is not only steady and secure, it is dynamic; it has momentum; and it is moving forward into the 21st century with a vitality and a commitment to meeting the inevitable changes before us.
Our mission remains the same: To protect individual rights and liberties, to uphold and interpret the rule of law, and to provide a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes that is fair, impartial, and accessible to all.
Our judges are committed to these principles. Each day, throughout this state, they put on their black robes; they take their seat on the courtroom bench; and they work tirelessly to ensure that all citizens who come before them get justice.


Our Judicial Council is the policy-making body of the state’s judicial branch. It is made up of competent, committed leaders elected by their fellow judges and representing all classes of court. They are assisted by an Administrative Office of the Courts, which is under a new director – Cynthia Clanton – and has a renewed focus as an agency that serves judges and courts throughout Georgia.
A number of our judges have made the trip to be here today. Our judges are here today because the relationship we have with you is important. We share with you the same goal of serving the citizens of this great state. We could not do our work without your help and that of our governor.
On behalf of all of the judges, let me say we are extremely grateful to you members of the General Assembly for your judicial compensation appropriation last year.


Today I want to talk to you about Georgia’s 21st century courts – our vision for the future, the road we must travel to get there, and the accomplishments we have already achieved.
It has been said that, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Since a new state Constitution took effect in 1983, our population has nearly doubled to a little over 10 million, making us the 8th most populous state in the country. We are among the fastest growing states in the nation, and in less than four years, our population is projected to exceed 12 million.
Because it is good for our economy, we welcome that growth. Today, Georgia ranks
among states with the highest number of Fortune 500 companies, 20 of which have their global headquarters here; we have 72 four-year colleges and universities; we have the world’s busiest airport and we have two deep-water ports. Georgia is a gateway to the South, and for a growing number of people and businesses from around the world, it is a gateway to this country.
All of this growth produces litigation – increasingly complex litigation – and just as our state must prepare for this growth by ensuring we have enough roads and modes of transportation, enough doctors and hospitals, and enough power to reach people throughout the state, our courts also must be equipped and modernized for the 21st
century.
While our population has nearly doubled since 1983, the number of Georgia judges has
grown only 16 percent. We must work together to ensure that our judicial system has enough judges, staff and resources in the 21st century to fulfill the mission and constitutional duties our forefathers assigned to us.
A healthy, vibrant judiciary is absolutely critical to the economic development of our state. Thanks to many leaders in the judiciary, as well as to our partnership with the governor and to you in the legislature, we are well on our way to building a court system for the 21st century.


This time next year, with your support, we will have put into place an historic shift in the types of cases handled by the Georgia Supreme Court – the highest court in the state – and by the Court of Appeals – our intermediate appellate court. Thanks to Governor Deal’s Georgia Appellate Jurisdiction Review Commission, this realignment will bring the Supreme Court of Georgia in line with other state Supreme Courts, which handle only the most critical cases that potentially change the law. Serving on the Commission are two of my colleagues – Justice David Nahmias and Justice Keith Blackwell – as well as two judges from the Court of Appeals – Chief
Judge Sara Doyle and Judge Stephen Dillard.
I thank you, Justices and Judges, for your leadership.
Under the Georgia Constitution, Supreme Court justices collectively decide every case that comes before us. Currently the state’s highest court hears divorce and alimony cases; we hear cases involving wills; we hear cases involving titles to land; and we hear disputes over boundary lines.
But the Governor’s Commission, and a number of reports by other commissions and
committees issued since 1983, have recommended that such cases should be heard by our intermediate appeals court, not by our highest court.
Both of our courts are among the busiest in the nation. But unlike the Supreme Court, which sits as a full court with all seven justices participating in, and deciding, every case, the Court of Appeals sits in panels of three. With your approval last year of three new Court of Appeals judges, that court will now have five panels, so it will have the capacity to consider five times as many cases as the Supreme Court.
Modernization of the Supreme Court makes sense. In a 19th century court system, when
most of the wealth was tied up in land, maybe title to land cases were the most important. Maybe they had the greatest implications for the public at large. But as we move into the 21st century, that is no longer true.
In answer to questions such as who owns a strip of land, what does a will mean, and who should prevail in a divorce settlement or an alimony dispute, most judicial systems believe that three judges are enough to provide the parties with a full and fair consideration of their appeal. It no longer makes sense to have seven – or nine – justices collectively review these types of cases.
There is no doubt these cases will be in good hands with the Court of Appeals.
Let me emphasize that all these cases the Commission recommended shifting to the Court of Appeals are critically important to the parties involved.
Let me also emphasize that the purpose of this historic change is not to lessen the burden on the Supreme Court. Rather, the intent is to free up the state’s highest court to devote more time and energy to the most complex and the most difficult cases that have the greatest implications for the law and society at large.
We will therefore retain jurisdiction of constitutional challenges to the laws you enact, questions from the federal courts seeking authoritative rulings on Georgia law, election contests, murder and death penalty cases, and cases in which the Court of Appeals judges are equally divided.
Significantly, we want to be able to accept more of what we call “certiorari” cases
which are appeals of decisions by the Court of Appeals. The number of petitions filed in this category during the first quarter of the new docket year is nearly 14 percent higher this year over last. Yet due to the amount of appeals the law now requires us to take, we have had to reject the majority of the petitions for certiorari that we receive.
These cases are often the most complex – and the most consequential. They involve
issues of great importance to the legal system and the State as a whole. Or they involve an area of law that has become inconsistent and needs clarification.
Businesses and citizens need to know what the law allows them to do and what it does
not allow them to do. It is our job at the highest court to reduce any uncertainty and bring consistency and clarity to the law.
Under the Commission’s recommendations, our 21st century Georgia Supreme Court will
be able to accept more of these important appeals.


As we move into the 21st century, plans are being discussed to build the first state Judicial Building in Georgia’s history that will be dedicated solely to the judiciary. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership on this. The building that now houses the state’s highest court and the Court of Appeals was built in 1954 when Herman Tallmadge was governor. Back then, it made sense to combine the state judicial branch with part of the executive branch, by locating the Law Department in the same building.
But the world has changed since 1954, and the building we now occupy was not designed with visitors in mind. It was not designed with technology in mind. And it surely was not designed with security in mind. Indeed, it was designed to interconnect with neighboring buildings that housed other branches of government.
A proper Judicial Building is about more than bricks and mortar. Outside, this building will symbolize for generations to come the place where people will go to get final resolution of civil wrongs and injustices; where the government will go to safeguard its prosecution of criminals; and where defendants will go to appeal convictions and sentences to prison for life.
Inside such a building, the courtroom will reinforce the reality that what goes on here is serious and solemn; it is a place of great purpose, in the words of a federal judge. The parties and the lawyers will understand they are all on equal footing, because they are equal under the law.
There is a majesty about the law that gets played out in the courtroom. It is a hallowed place because it is where the truth must be told and where justice is born. The courtroom represents our democracy at its very best.
No, this building is not just about bricks and mortar. Rather it is a place that will house Georgia’s highest court where fairness, impartiality, and justice will reign for future generations.


We are no longer living in a 1950s Georgia. The courts of the 21st century must be
equipped to handle an increasingly diverse population. Living today in metropolitan Atlanta alone are more than 700,000 people who were born outside the United States. According to the Chamber of Commerce, today some 70 countries have a presence in Atlanta, in the form of a consulate or trade office. We must be ready to help resolve the disputes of international businesses that are increasingly locating in our state and capital. Our 21st century courts must be open, transparent and accessible to all. Our citizens’ confidence in their judicial system depends on it. We must be armed with qualified, certified interpreters, promote arbitration as an alternative to costly, courtroom-bound litigation, ensure that all those who cannot afford lawyers have an avenue toward justice, and be constantly updating technology with the aim of improving our courts’ efficiency while saving literally millions of dollars. For all of this, we need your help.


When I first became a judge, we had no email, no cell phones, no Internet. People didn’t Twitter or text, or post things on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. The most modern equipment we had was a mimeograph machine.
This past year, by Supreme Court order, we created for the first time a governance
structure to bring our use of technology into the 21st century. Chaired by my colleague Justice Harold Melton, and co-chaired by Douglas County Superior Court Judge David Emerson, this permanent Judicial Council Standing Committee on Technology will lead the judicial branch by providing guidance and oversight of its technology initiatives.
Our courts on their own are rapidly moving away from paper documents into the digital age. At the Supreme Court, lawyers must now electronically file all cases. This past year, we successfully launched the next phase by working with trial courts to begin transmitting their entire court record to us electronically. The Court of Appeals also now requires the e-filing of applications to appeal, and this year, will join the Supreme Court in accepting electronic trial records.

Our goal is to develop a uniform statewide electronic filing and retrieval system so that lawyers and others throughout the judiciary can file and access data the easiest way possible.
Using a single portal, attorneys will be able to file documents with trial courts and appellate courts – and retrieve them from any court in the state. This is the system advocated by our partner, President Bob Kaufman of the State Bar of Georgia, and by attorneys throughout the state.
Such a system will not only make our courts more efficient at huge savings, but it will make Georgia safer. When our trial judges conduct bond hearings, for example, they often lack critical information about the person before them. They usually have reports about any former convictions, but they may not have information about cases pending against the defendant in other courts. The technology exists now to ensure that they do.
Also on the horizon is the expanded use of videoconferencing – another electronic
improvement that will save money and protect citizens’ lives. After a conviction and sentence to prison, post-trial hearings require courts to send security teams to pick up the prisoner and bring him to court. Without encroaching on the constitutional right of confrontation, we could videoconference the inmate’s testimony from his prison cell. Again, the technology already exists.
Our Committee on Technology will be at the forefront of guiding our courts into the 21st century.


As Georgia grows, it grows more diverse.
Our Georgia courts are required by the federal government to provide language services free of charge to litigants and witnesses, not only in criminal cases but in civil cases as well.
Even for fluent English speakers, the judicial system can be confusing and unwelcoming.
My vision for Georgia’s judiciary in the 21st century is that every court, in every city and every county in Georgia, will have the capacity of serving all litigants, speaking any language, regardless of national origin, from the moment they enter the courthouse until the moment they leave. That means that on court websites, signs and forms will be available in multiple languages, that all court staff will have the tools they need to assist any customers, and that court proceedings will have instant access to the interpreters of the languages they need.
Chief Magistrate Kristina Blum of the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court has been
working hard to ensure access to justice for all those who come to her court, most of whom are representing themselves.
Recently her court created brochures that provide guidance for civil trials, family
violence matters, warrant applications, garnishments, and landlord-tenant disputes. These brochures provide basic information about each proceeding – what to expect and how best to present their case in court.
Judge Blum, who is in line to be president of the Council of Magistrate Judges and is a member of our Judicial Council, has had the brochures translated into Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. Such non-legalese forms and tutorial videos that our citizens can understand go a long way toward building trust in the judicial system, and in our entire government.
The Supreme Court Commission on Interpreters, chaired by Justice Keith Blackwell, is
making significant strides in ensuring that our courts uphold the standards of due process. With the help of Commission member Jana Edmondson-Cooper, an energetic attorney with the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Commission is working around the state to educate judges,court administrators and lawyers on the judiciary’s responsibilities in providing language assistance.
The essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard. Our justice system is the envy of other countries because it is open and fair to everyone seeking justice. By helping those who have not yet mastered English, we reinforce the message that the doors to the best justice system in the world are open to everyone.
Our law demands it. Our Constitution demands it.


The courts of the 21st century will symbolize a new era. A turning point in our history occurred when we realized there was a smarter way to handle criminals.
Six years ago, my colleague and then Chief Justice Carol Hunstein accompanied
Representative Wendell Willard to Alabama to explore how that state was reforming its criminal justice system. Back in Georgia, Governor Deal seized the reins, brought together the three branches of government, and through extraordinary leadership, has made criminal justice reform a reality. Georgia is now a model for the nation.
Today, following an explosive growth in our prison population that doubled between
1990 and 2011 and caused corrections costs to top one billion dollars a year, last year our prison population was the lowest it has been in 10 years. Our recidivism rate is the lowest it’s been in three decades. And we have turned back the tide of rising costs.
For the last five years, the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform – created by the governor and your legislation – has been busy transforming our criminal justice system into one that does a better job of protecting public safety while holding non-violent offenders accountable and saving millions in taxpayer dollars. I am extremely grateful to this Council and commend the steady leadership of co-chairs Judge Michael Boggs of the Court of Appeals and Thomas Worthy of the State Bar of Georgia.
Throughout this historic reform, Georgia’s trial court judges have been in the trenches.
Our number one goal in criminal justice reform is to better protect the safety of our citizens.
Central to that goal is the development of our specialty courts – what some call accountability courts.
These courts have a proven track record of reducing recidivism rates and keeping our
citizens safe. Nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain free of arrest two years after completing the program, and the most conservative analyses show that drug courts reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options. Last year, these courts helped save Georgia more than $51 million in prison costs.
From the beginning, you in the legislature have steadfastly supported the growth in these courts, most recently appropriating more than $19 million for the current fiscal year.
Georgia now has 131 of these courts, which include drug courts, DUI courts, juvenile and adult mental health courts, and veterans courts. Today, only two judicial circuits in the state do not yet have a specialty court, and both are in the early stages of discussing the possibility of starting one. In addition to those already involved, last year alone, we added nearly 3500 new participants to these courts.
Behind that number are individual tales of lives changed and in some cases, lives saved.
Our judges, who see so much failure, take pride in these success stories. And so should you.

Chief Judge Richard Slaby of the Richmond County State Court, speaks with great pride of Judge David Watkins and the specialty courts that have grown under Judge Watkins’ direction. Today the recidivism rate among the Augusta participants is less than 10 percent.
The judges who run these courts are committed and deserve our thanks. We are grateful to leaders like Judge Slaby, who is President-Elect of the Council of State Court Judges and a member of our Judicial Council; to Judge Stephen Goss of the Dougherty Superior Court, whose mental health court has been recognized as one of the best mental health courts in our country; to Chief Judge Brenda Weaver, President of the Council of Superior Court Judges and a member of our Judicial Council. Judge Weaver of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit serves on the Council of
Accountability Court Judges of Georgia, which you created last year by statute. Its purpose is to improve the quality of our specialty courts through proven standards and practices, and it is chaired by Superior Court Judge Jason Deal of Hall County. Judge Deal’s dedication to the specialty court model in his community, and his guidance and encouragement to programs throughout the state, are described as invaluable by those who work with him.


We may not have a unified court system in Georgia. But we have judges unified in their commitment to our courts. Among our one thousand four hundred and fifty judges, Georgia has many fine leaders. I’ve told you about a number of them today. In closing, I want to mention two more.
When the United States Supreme Court issued its historic decision last year on same-sex marriage, our Council of Probate Court Judges led the way toward compliance. Three months before the ruling was issued, the judges met privately at the behest of the Council’s then president, Judge Chase Daughtrey of Cook County, and his successor, Judge Don Wilkes of Emanuel County. Together, they determined that regardless of what the Supreme Court decided, they would follow the law. Both Governor Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens also publicly announced they would respect the court’s decision, despite tremendous pressure to do otherwise.
These men are all great leaders who spared our state the turmoil other states endured. The bottom line is this: In Georgia, we may like the law, we may not like the law, but we follow the law.


The day-to-day business of the Georgia courts rarely makes the news. Rather judges,
their staff and clerks spend their days devoted to understanding the law, tediously pushing cases through to resolution, committed to ferreting out the truth and making the right decision. It is not easy, and they must often stand alone, knowing that when they sentence someone to prison, many lives hang in the balance between justice and mercy.
So I thank all of our leaders, and I thank all of our judges who are leading our courts into the 21st century.
May God bless them. May God bless you. And may God bless all the people of Georgia.
Thank you.

Why Would Monsanto Pay Nearly $1 Billion for Climate Corporation? Article by Dane Wigington from geoengineeringwatch.org

Monsanto Has Purchased “Climate Corporation” For Nearly A Billion Dollars, Why?

November 23, 2014
Dane Wigington
geoengineeringwatch.org

Monsanto Has Purchased “Climate Corporation” For Nearly A Billion Dollars, Why?

Monsanto purchased “The Climate Corporation” in 2013, why? Because those who are connected to the climate engineering insanity (and the decimation it is causing) need to control the flow of information in order to better capitalize from the ever increasing engineered disasters. Controlling the message makes for better manipulation of the farmers struggling from the geoengineered destruction. The post below was sent to me from activist Melody Meachum, my gratitude to her for this. It is a summary of statements made by Monsanto and the Climate Corporation just prior to the purchase being completed, the message is sickening for those that know the truth of the matter. Monsanto and Climate Corporation state how much they will be able to help the agriculture communities when in reality their goals have long since been clear to any who investigate, to capitalize off the engineered decimation being carried out on our planet.

I spoke in front of “The Climate Corporation” headquarters in San Francisco at the request of the “March Against Monsanto” group. At this event I made clear the connection between Monsanto, The Climate Corporation, and climate engineering (the photo above was taken at this event). Below is a short comment from Melody Meachum followed by the carefully crafted public propaganda message from the Monsanto/Climate Corporation merger group.
Dane Wigington
geoengineeringwatch.org

The Monsanto/Climate Corporation Machine Of Deception

So now Monsanto brings us not only GMO, but weather control!
This was taken from the Michigan Farm News website, but the Farm Bureau organization nationally and within states are huge advertisers/sellers of Crop Insurance.
Seems that everything on this planet has boiled down to money. Period!
Monsanto to acquire The Climate Corporation October 3, 2013 Category: Technology by the Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Climate Corporation for a cash purchase price of approximately $930 million. The acquisition will combine The Climate Corporation’s expertise in agriculture analytics and risk-management with Monsanto’s R&D capabilities, and will provide farmers access to more information about the many factors that affect the success of their crops. The companies’ combined capabilities will support greater productivity while utilizing the planet’s finite resources more precisely.
The acquisition is expected to expand on The Climate Corporation’s leadership in the area of data science, which represents the agriculture sector’s next major breakthrough, and will immediately expand both the near- and long-term growth opportunities for Monsanto’s business and Integrated Farming Systems platform.
“The Climate Corporation is focused on unlocking new value for the farm through data science,” said Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive officer for Monsanto. “Everyone benefits when farmers are able to produce more with fewer resources. The Climate Corporation team brings leading expertise that will continue to greatly benefit farmers and their bottom-line, and we want to expand upon this tremendous work and broaden their reach to more crops and more world areas. We look forward to working closely with our distribution partners and others in the agricultural industry to bring this suite of information resources to the farm.”
The Climate Corporation was founded in 2006 by a highly successful team of software engineers and data scientists formerly with Google and other leading Silicon Valley technology companies. Since that time, the company has built the agriculture industry’s most advanced technology platform combining hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modeling, and high-resolution weather simulations to deliver a complete suite of full-season monitoring, analytics and risk-management products.
“Farmers around the world are challenged to make key decisions for their farms in the face of increasingly volatile weather, as well as a proliferation of information sources,” said David Friedberg, chief executive officer for The Climate Corporation. “Our team understands that the ability to turn data into actionable insight and farm management recommendations is vitally important for agriculture around the world and can greatly benefit farmers, regardless of farm size or their preferred farming methods. Monsanto shares this important vision for our business and we look forward to creating even greater experiences for our farmer customers.”
The Climate Corporation has a core set of support tools to benefit farmers. These include products that help them boost yields on existing farmland and better manage risks that occur throughout a crop season. The Climate Corporation will continue to offer its current risk-management products including an online service that provides crop planning, monitoring, and recommendations, and insurance offerings through its network of independent agents.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of Monsanto’s 2014 fiscal year. Following the acquisition, The Climate Corporation will operate its business to retain its distinct brand identity and customer experience. The company will continue to maintain headquarters in Silicon Valley and all of its employees will be offered continued employment.
Combined Company to Be a Leader in Data Science, Acquisition Expected to Drive Near-and Long-Term Growth Potential
The acquisition of The Climate Corporation represents a natural extension of Monsanto’s vision to increase crop productivity, conserve more of our planet’s natural resources and improve the lives of people around the world. It will also greatly expand The Climate Corporation’s capabilities in data science, agriculture’s next major growth frontier, an area that represents a potential opportunity of $20 billion beyond Monsanto’s core focus today. The companies estimate the majority of farmers have an untapped yield opportunity of up to 30 bushels to 50 bushels in their corn fields, and they believe that advancements in data science can help further unlock that additional value for the farm. The combined capabilities will immediately expand both the near- and long-term growth opportunities of Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems platform and research and development pipeline in the coming years.
Longer-term, the combination is expected to broaden the product choices available to farmers beyond Monsanto’s current row crop and vegetable portfolio, both inside and outside of the United States. This includes the delivery of insight and decision-support tools that could increase agriculture productivity on a billion planted acres around the globe.
Monsanto and The Climate Corporation share a commitment to delivering innovation for farmers through a broad range of choices and service providers. Monsanto noted that, consistent with its broad-licensing and multi-channel approach to technology, it intends to deliver the value of The Climate Corporation’s current and future applications through its distribution network.
About The Climate Corporation
The Climate Corporation aims to help farmers around the world protect and improve their farming operations with uniquely powerful software and insurance products. The company’s proprietary technology platform combines hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modeling, and high-resolution weather simulations to deliver climate.com, a SaaS solution that helps farmers improve their profits by making better informed operating and financing decisions, and Total Weather Insurance, an insurance offering that pays farmers automatically for bad weather that may impact their profits. The company is also an authorized provider of the U.S. Federal crop insurance program, enabling authorized independent crop insurance agents to provide farmers with the industry’s most powerful full-stack risk management solution. In the face of increasingly volatile weather, the global $3 trillion agriculture industry depends on the company’s unique technologies to help stabilize and improve profits and, ultimately, help feed the world. For more information, please visithttp://www.climate.com or follow the company on Twitter @climatecorp.
Bio for CEO David Friedberg David is CEO of The Climate Corporation, aiming to help farmers around the world protect and improve their productivity. The company’s unique technology platform includes hardware, software, and related services that help farmers make better decisions, execute those decisions, and insure against risks not in their control. The Climate Corporation was founded in 2006 and acquired by Monsanto in 2013. Prior to founding The Climate Corporation, David was with Google where he held several roles in Corporate Development and Product Management. Before Google, David spent several years in investment banking at Jefferies Broadview, investing in technology companies at a small private equity firm, and was a mathematical programmer for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. David is also the Chairman of Metromile, providing the only pay-per-mile auto insurance product in the United States. He earned a degree in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley.
Bio for COO Michael K. Stern, PhD Mike leads the commercial implementation of The Climate Corporation’s systems and solutions, as well as enhanced global coordination, growth and operational efficiencies across the company. He most recently led Monsanto’s Row Crop Business in the Americas and has served in leadership roles for a variety of Monsanto’s businesses, including: Vice President, U.S. Row Crops; CEO of Renessen LLC, a biotechnology joint venture with Cargill; and Director of Technology, Agricultural Productivity. Mike has a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Denison University, a M.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University. He is the author and inventor of more than 50 scientific publications and U.S. patents related to agricultural technology.