JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Bayer’s North American Crop Science Division is relocating to Missouri.
On Tuesday, the Germany-based company made the official announcement, noting 500 new, high-paying jobs will move to Creve Coeur with an average wage of $110,000. Bayer committed to a capital investment of $164 million in the region.
Bayer had no timeline for the relocation. A spokesperson told The Missouri Times it will happen “over time.”
“This investment will just enhance Missouri’s already successful AgTech industry,” Gov. Mike Parson told reporters. “Regardless if it is in St. Louis County, whether it is in Jefferson City, or whether it is in a rural town in the Bootheel, it is important to work to create jobs for the future and good jobs for the future.”
State leaders tout agriculture as one of Missouri’s top industries and say Missouri is leading the world in agriculture technology. The $88 billion agriculture industry includes nearly 100,000 farms, covering two-thirds of the state’s total land acreage, and employs nearly 400,000 people across the state.
The announcement comes roughly three years after Bayer purchased Monsanto, which is based in Creve Coeur. Officials said they plan to retain about 4,400 jobs currently in Missouri.
The state utilized the economic development “tool kit” currently available to them. Rob Dixon, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, noted the incentive package for Bayer was multifaceted.
State incentives offered with the project include: more than $27 million over seven years (500 new jobs) through Missouri Works – Mega Works 140; more than $10 million over seven years (retain 4,385 employees) through Missouri Works – Retention Works; more than $5 million over 15 years through the Missouri BUILD program; and more than $3 million on the initial investment that is included in the proposal through Sales Tax Exemption – Chapter 100.
“All of the funding that was used for this project is in current appropriations, current program allowances,” Dixon said. “[Missouri Works] is a performance-based tool which means the company, any company that utilizes these programs, have to meet the commitments they have made … if any company doesn’t meet those commitments then those benefits are reduced accordingly.”
Lisa Safarian, president of Commercial Operations North America at Bayer, said the incentive package “played a role” in the decision, and the company “enjoys doing business in Missouri.”
“We are proud to call Missouri home to our Global Headquarters for seeds and traits and the North American Crop Science Commercial Headquarters,” Safarian said in a statement. “Our talented workforce across Missouri, and especially in the St. Louis region, is a vital asset in our ability to develop and deliver new tools and innovations to farmers. At Bayer, we are delighted to offer these highly-skilled, good jobs in the St. Louis region that will continue to positively shape agriculture in our state, region, and world.”
While on his first European trade mission, Parson stopped in Germany to meet with Bayer CEO Werner Baumann.
“I hope for there to be more announcements. It was a very successful trip,” said Parson. “In the next 60 to 90 days, I think there is going to be a lot of positive things that we are going to be able to talk about.”
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.