30, Pregnant and Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Welcome to the Oesch Family Blog. This blog will allow you to follow along as our family grows, we tackle my breast cancer and live life to its fullest.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Discover Monsanto: Top Questions Surrounding GMOs

I have been working in agriculture for roughly 7 years now and in marketing and communications for 12 years. I did not grow up on a farm-in fact hadn't really ever been on a farm; I did not go to school for agriculture; I didn't ever think I would be a part of this industry. But I am so glad I am. I have been at Monsanto for a tad over 5 years. I have held many different marketing and communications jobs across our portfolio of biotechnology, seed brands and crop protection. I am currently the Geographic Marketing Manager for North Dakota, Northern Minnesota and South Dakota. And I absolutely love it!

I am consistently asked by my family, friends, leaders in the St. Louis community the following questions:
  • How can you work for a company that is so hated?
  • Are you just drinking the kool-aid?
  • I don't understand biotechnology and GMOs...can you help me understand?
  • Why is the campaign for GMO haters so much louder?
  • Do you think your company's products cause cancer?
  • What happens when there is a March Against Monsanto on campus?
  • Isn't organic better? healthier?
  • Is it safe to eat food derived from your crops?
My response is always consistent and starts the same...the people I work with are amazing. I have never worked with more caring, hardworking, genuine people than I have in this industry. My colleagues, my agency partners, my dealer customers and our farmer customers can be described this way. In fact, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my team grew closer together, they supported me like never before and they gave me the motivation to take the time needed to beat this nasty disease so I could return to the team healthier and more motivated to reach our unified goal...providing food, fuel and clothing for the growing population.

We are a united team at Monsanto. We are mothers, brothers, scientists, researchers, daughters, breeders, friends, colleagues. We all care about these same issues. We do the grocery shopping for our families and we want to make sure our food sources are safe, reliable and healthy.

So let's tackle some of these questions.
Source: http://gmoanswers.com

GMO Answers is funded by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta. The members are dedicated to the responsible development and application of plant biotechnology.

GMO Answers was created to do a better job of answering consumer questions—no matter what they are—about GMOs. It is important to seek out and listen to the questions consumers are asking so that we can provide answers and links to resources that help address consumers’ concerns about GMOs, the technology behind them and their role in agriculture.

So if you are interested in learning the facts behind the answers to the following questions, please join us in the conversation at gmoanswers.com.

If livestock eat genetically modified grain, will there be GMOs in my meat?
Are GMOs contributing to the death of bees and butterflies?
Why are companies against labeling GMO foods? 
Are GMOs causing an increase in pesticides? 
Why aren’t long-term health studies conducted on GMO plants?
Are GMOs contaminating organic food crops? 
Are GMOs Increasing the Price of Food? 
Are big companies forcing farmers to grow GMOs?
Are GMOs causing an increase in allergies?
Do GMOs Cause Cancer? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Avery turns 4!

Our niece and Goddaughter, Avery, turned 4 over Memorial Day! She had a great party at Build-a-Bear! Happy birthday to the most spirited, ornery, energetic, red-headed, might be a trouble maker in the making, loving and smart girl!

We love you!
Aunt Jenna, Uncle Rett and Emma

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Gymnastics Update

Emma was invited to join the Developmental team for the competitive team at Olympiad Gymnastics. She started going to the gym two nights a week for 1.5 hours each night. It is quite the commitment but she seems to really enjoy tumbling, walking on the beam, jumping on the trampoline and learning bar skills.

Unfortunately this meant she wasn't going to be in gymnastics with Lulu anymore. But Emma has been able to continue in class with Nora and meet new friends.

Although she does get distracted with the team girls in the gym too, it has helped with her discipline, listening skills and learning to take direction from her coaches. Hopefully she can will learn life skills beyond gymnastics skills to grow into a strong, healthy, confident girl!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

From Nursery to Toddler Room

We are in transition! Emma's room is no longer a nursery...she has upgraded to her toddler room. We had so much fun looking at bedding and "building" rooms online. She knew exactly what she wanted...purple and flowers!

We happened to be at the Restoration Hardware outlet (ok, maybe this is why I receive their stack of catalogs) and we were walking through the Baby & Child section. There was this great purple linen sheet set that became the basis to the room!

It is a work in progress, but here are the beginning stages of the makeover!


receiving her new full sized bed

the bed conversion

she's just a little munchkin in this big bed

waiting the painters

so excited for the transformation

huge change- went from neutral to dark gray

even the painter questioned the dark gray...but, who is in charge?! :)

bye bye lambies

assembling the bed...more added since then

the big reveal!

After photos to come. We still have some touchups to the paint and all things need to get hung on the wall. We have commissioned a friend with great art talent to paint some artwork for above the bed...can't wait for it to all come together!

Why does Monsanto do what it does?

Because our goal is to provide enough food for everyone.

The world's population continues to grow faster than our ability to feed it. In the next fifty years, the collective we, will have to produce more food than it did in the past 10,000 years combined. It’s one of the greatest challenges facing humankind and it’s one Monsanto is directly working to help solve.

We think everyone living in our biggest cities to the sub-Saharan plains of Africa deserves access to sufficient food options, both now and in the future. I was in a Leadership Class in St. Louis this past year and we had the age old chicken and egg debate: does lack of education lead to poverty? does poverty lead to crime? does lack of nutrition lead to lack of focus on education? It is a cycle that needs to be broken to create productive communities.

Here is a heartwarming video on our efforts in Sub-Sahara Africa to provide drought tolerant seeds to farmers: http://discover.monsanto.com/growing-population/

We’re also working with farmers to ensure our growing population has access to affordable, abundant protein – the milk, eggs and meat you find in the grocery store. It’s a commitment to nourishing solutions. From the farm, all the way to the fork.

At Monsanto we think it is possible to make fruits and veggies that inspire us to eat healthier. We’re collaborating with consumers and shoppers to make eating fruits and vegetables more enjoyable. Because when they’re more enjoyable, people are more likely to reach for a cherry tomato instead of a bag of chips.

Check out this amazing story Wired Magazine featured in January. The photography alone is worth the trip to their site!

So next time you are at your grocery store of choice, please check your produce aisles for these amazing products!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Discover Monsanto: What is a GMO?

What is a GMO?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. It takes a beneficial trait that helps a living thing thrive in nature, like an ability to use water more efficiently, and adapts that trait to a new plant so that it can better survive in its environment.

What crops are GMO?
The vast majority of fresh food available in your produce aisle is not derived from GMOs. No GM crops grown by farmers contain animal genes.

Are they safe?
Foods derived from GMOs have a thoroughly tested, proven safety record. A wide range of regulatory bodies, independent scientists and health associations worldwide agree that food grown from GMOs is as safe to eat as traditional foods. You can learn more about the safety of GMOs and organizations that have reviewed them at www.gmoanswers.com

What is Monsanto's stance on food labeling?
We support the voluntary labeling of products by food manufacturers to meet and address customers' demands in order to provide people the information they need to make informed decisions.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Discover Monsanto: What is Monsanto?

We are a fortune 500 company that prides itself to be solely focused on agriculture and its sustainability. This means we are 100% dedicated to agriculture. Producing better performing products that require less resources to feed our global increasing population. We are the ONLY company among our competitors that can and does focus all resources and R&D to this mission.

However we are not alone in the space. Competition is needed to keep us motivated to research more, discover more and place more future technologies in our pipeline. Without competition you lose your sense of drive. Our main competitors are DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta, Dow, and Bayer Crop Science.

We are first and foremost a company that delivers seeds for a variety of fruits, vegetables and field corn, soybeans, cotton, alfalfa, canola, and sorghum. This provides nutritious meals for cows, pigs and chickens. This helps create the clothing you wear on a daily basis.

We use breeding and biotechnology to create seeds that grow into stronger, more resilient crops that require fewer resources. This allows our US farmers and those across the globe, produce more yield while using less of our precious resources...like water.

At any stage of plant development, plants are threatened by pests, weather, weeds and disease. We analyze these issues to create solutions to help protect plant healthy and minimize the environment's impact. Liken this to your flower garden or your vegetable garden in your backyard. Your plants need rain to survive the hot, dry summer. If you live in Arizona, the flowers and plants you choose to spend your money on are adapted to the dry heat environment...they are more tolerable to drought. Or your rose bushes. If you have seen what I have seen this year, the insects are eating every part of the leaf they can find. This limits the plants ability for photosynthesis, weakening the plant's health.

In our vegetable business we combine traditional breeding with modern techniques to create more vibrant and flavorful veggies that help farmers better withstand nature’s challenges.

We have just entered more aggressively into the data arena. We share real-time weather and field data with our farmers to help them make the best real-time decisions throughout the growing season. 

And we continually give back to our communities in which we live and work in. Two years ago the Monsanto Fund gave back $31M across the world. And every year through employee donations, matches and volunteer hours, Monsanto gives around $24M back to the organizations that are nearest and dearest to us, the employees.

What questions do you have for me?