We live in interesting times. As the world becomes smaller, it has become easier than ever to see the ways in which we are all interconnected—through our needs, our resources and our reliance on a healthy planet. These connections aren’t new. But they require a new mindset to appreciate how we can best preserve, nurture and expand them.
Wherever a farmer grows a crop, despite differences in geography and circumstance, commonalities exist. Seed, soil, water, nutrients. These are the necessities of any farmer, the points that connect them. The tools may look different around the world, but the desired result is the same: a strong year for the grower, an exceptional harvest.
This is our desired result, too. Even in a challenging year as we saw unprecedented weather in geographies around the world that underscored the need to produce more while conserving resources, we achieved strong results for our customers and our business. You see, there is an inherent connection here as well—our business is only as strong as that of our farmer customers. As you invest in us, we invest in developing new technologies for growers.
And I believe there is no better investment than our farmers.
This year, farmers around the world continued to recognize the benefits of Monsanto’s technology, spurring share growth in key crops and markets and propelling us to 25 percent ongoing earnings per share growth. During this time, we have been recognized by leading third-party organizations as an employer of choice, a leader in innovation and an environmental steward.
That sets the foundation for the future as well. New connections are occurring and with them new opportunities for growth emerging. This year, we added two areas to our pipeline that focus on connecting our breeding powerhouse with agronomic solutions: Integrated Farming Systems and agricultural biologicals. Through both, we’re leveraging the power of our investment and expertise in genomics to deliver better yield to farmers.
By treating agriculture as a system, we’re finding new ways to work with farmers to produce more while conserving more of our natural resources. We believe there is no difference between smart agriculture and smart business. Achieving both is the only way to ensure our company and our planet are in step with the future.
As you invest in our business, you are also investing in the future of agriculture. It’s a future that will be more innovative, more integrated and more collaborative than any the world has seen before. It’s a future to which we are unwaveringly committed.
On behalf of our employees and our customers, I thank you for your continued support.
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer