The Science of a Perfect Melon

Tour mates for the Woodland Field Day, Olena Heu and WIll Chen.
Jeff Mills, Melon Breeder

Transgenic vs. Crossbreeding

During my tour of Monsanto, I was able to visit growing fields and speak with breeders of various crops which included melons, watermelons, onions, sweet peppers, and lettuces.

I was most impressed by how I could hold the Frescada by the base of the leaf, and it could support the weight of the taco filling.

Tasting Lab

Out in the fields, different varieties are grown together in rows. The reason for this is so that the breeders can easily observe how the crops grow in relation to each other. Each variety has different characteristics.

Rows of different watermelon breeds.
Visiting the watermelon field.


At this moment you’re probably wondering about all the DNA testing that everyone talks about.

Franco the Onion Breeder


We know how the melons taste, look, and feel the way they do, so now the question is why? This is the question that Sagrario Martinez and her team of scientists answer in the Vegetable Quality Assurance Lab.

Tasting the “Flavor Journey” melon.

Company Culture

The one thing that I really appreciated during my tour of Monsanto’s Woodland farm was the enthusiasm and pride of every employee I met.

Brian Just, Sweet Pepper Breeder. The most enthusiastic pepper farmer I’ve ever met. I asked him, “What kind of pepper did Peter Piper pickle?” His answer, “Purple peppers.”
Olena Heu and Melon SVMA6628
Melon breed SVMA6628



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