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DAA: Christie S. Chavis

Christie Chavis

Christie S. Chavis

St. Louis, MO | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2007

Whether she’s attempting ten perfect jumps in a national equestrian competition, or leveraging the expertise of technical, financial, business, and legal colleagues on behalf of her company’s customers, Chris Chavis aspires to excellence — and relishes the journey. As Technology Development and Services Lead for Monsanto Choice Genetics, Chavis addresses key challenges: How to produce livestock and livestock products more efficiently and effectively; and how to help our nation’s farmers improve productivity. To that end, she provides strategic direction at every critical juncture of the product pipeline. “At Monsanto, I’m always at the forefront of new technology,” says Chavis, referring to current research efforts in swine genetics. “We’re recreating the platforms on which business is done in the animal-agricultural industries, and working fast and furious to provide advancements using information we gain from genetics.” Since joining Monsanto in September 1994 as a Research Biologist in Animal Agriculture, Chavis’ track record reflects successful senior level positions in international strategic planning, crisis management, and stakeholder relations. As Executive Director of Global Biotech Strategy from 2001 to 2003, she was largely responsible for consumer acceptance of Monsanto’s biotechnology crops. Her commitment to customers, and her zest for tackling tough issues in competitive environments, earned Monsanto’s “Customer Challenge Award” in 2005. Chavis applies the same intensity to a passion second only to agriculture: Show horses. A rider since age nine, she recently segued from competing regularly in U.S. Equestrian Federation Hunter Jumper shows to breeding small pony jumpers and riding on weekends. “The minute I get in the saddle, any stress disappears,” she says. “The horse and I operate as a team and, when everything is in synch, the adrenaline rush is incredible.” “Purdue University was an amazing growth experience — academically and socially. Purdue prepared me to operate and deliver results successfully while developing relationships and networks within agriculture that are essential in doing business today.”