Plummer Analyzes Technology's Affect on Agriculture in Memorial Lecture

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Monmouth College’s annual Wendell Whiteman Memorial Lecture was held yesterday morning at Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. Dennis Plummer, a 1972 graduate from Monmouth, was the featured speaker, delivering a speech centered around technology’s impact on food and agriculture. He shared some changes he thinks will come to fruition in the coming years in agriculture.

“In technology, there are several areas of technology. The one I’m most familiar with of course is continued genomic improvements in plants. Breeding; genomic assisted breeding has gotten huge. The big one is gene editing. Gene editing technology is really better, safer, less regulated, and is able to transform our crops into things that are better yielding, better attributes – whether it is a food or grain crop,” he said.

Working for Monsanto from 1980-2007, Plummer was a part of Monsanto’s transformation from a Midwestern ag company to a worldwide force in the ag industry. When Plummer joined forces with Monsanto, their annual revenue sat at $300 million annually. Now, Monsanto reels in $14 billion annually.

Plummer believes drones and other advanced technologies will be mainstays in not only the ag industry, but our everyday lives as well. But are these things safe?

“The industry doesn’t lack too much for push-back on this stuff, so there are a lot of people that will challenge all these things. There are plenty of scientists looking at this stuff real hard,” Plummer said.

To hear more from Plummer, click on the link below:

written by Jackson Kane

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