Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation; they make GMOs, among other products. It is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
Monsanto has a number of Davis-area connections. It purchased Calgene LLC in 1996, and the facility is now known as Monsanto's Calgene Campus. Seminis Vegetable Seed Company, located in Woodland, is also owned by Monsanto. It has endowed a student fellowship fund for graduate students who are preparing for a career in agricultural biotechnology. This SacBee article seeks to uncover connections between UC Davis and Monsanto (and other biotechnology companies) more generally, noting that "[d]ocuments detailing the relationship are scattered widely across campus and sometimes missing entirely."
Occupy protesters, including some members of Occupy Davis and Occupy UC Davis, shut down operations at the Calgene Campus on 16-17 March 2012. Their actions were part of a nationwide protest against Monsanto.
On March 17, 2013, Monsanto once again shut down its Davis operations in response to a planned demonstration.
DonShor of Redwood Barn Nursery wrote a clear and helpful article on Monsanto and GMOs, explaining the difference between hybrids and GMOs as well as describing some of the harmful actions that Monsanto has taken in the past and plans for the future. His article also touches on the difference between the Calgene of the past and the Monsanto of the present.
In August 2013, Monsanto opened up a facility in Woodland, employing 250 full-time workers and 150 contract seasonal employees. According to this Enterprise article, their "main focus" will be "on conventional breeding techniques of more than 20 kinds of vegetables through cross pollination" (rather than, say, GMOs).
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