Bayer Brings Farmer Appreciation to the Ballpark

The Michael family, of Michael Grain Farms, attended a recent St. Louis Cardinals home game, where Jason Michael (to the left of Fredbird) threw out the honorary first pitch in honor of Farmer Appreciation Day.

The Michael family, of Michael Grain Farms, attended a recent St. Louis Cardinals home game, where Jason Michael (to the left of Fredbird) threw out the honorary first pitch in honor of Farmer Appreciation Day.


Bayer was proud to sponsor Farmer Appreciation Day at Busch Stadium, as the St. Louis Cardinals hosted the Washington Nationals on July 16, 2023. Baseball fans, farm families, and Team Bayer came together to show their gratitude for the hard work farmers do to produce food, fiber, and fuel, and advance sustainable agriculture to benefit people and our planet.

Jason Michael, of Michael Grain Farms, had the honor of throwing out the first pitch as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals, 8-4, on a special day at the ballpark to celebrate farmers.

Being great – whether at baseball or farming – requires a lot of practice and being a little bold, as sixth generation farmer Jason knows well. During a busy planting season this spring, Jason found spare moments to hone his pitching skills, practicing with his sons. The Michaels are big Cardinals fans, and while Jason finds farming to be less stressful than standing on the pitcher’s mound in front of a full stadium, he says he is happy to represent for his fellow farmers.

Farmer Jason Michael Headshot
Like farmers across the country, we take pride in our operation. We work hard every day to produce our crops, improving what we do season after season, and we are committed to leaving our land in a better condition for future generations. It is nice to have an opportunity to share more about farming with the community.
Jason Michael
Michael Grain Farms
Farmer Jason Michael holding a yield sign in their fields
Jason Michael (left) and Brian Michael (right) operate Michael Grain Farms with their dad Keith.


Dedication to Innovation

Jason and his brother Brian, along with their dad Keith, operate Michael Grain Farms, raising corn, soybeans, and wheat in southern Illinois, and they are an Asgrow seed producer for Bayer. They know what it is to be bold, always pushing the envelope on yield and innovation on their farm.

“The Michaels choose DEKALB and Asgrow seed for their operation, and they believe in the power of FieldView to maximize their return on every acre,” says Jonathan Schneider, Customer Business Advisor, Southern Illinois. “They are one of the few farmers in Southern Illinois that utilize SmartStax® PRO, Trecepta®, and VT Double PRO®.”

The Michaels are plot cooperators for Bayer and are always very receptive to showing their farm and answering questions about their practices. “They frequently open their operation to show Bayer employees and leadership what a best-in-class farming operation looks like in the southern Illinois area, which we always appreciate the time and energy they spend with our employees,” Jonathan says.

Baseball and Farming

Jason and his family live about a 30-minute drive from Busch Stadium, but like other farmers, their schedule doesn’t often allow for a leisurely evening at the ballgame. When not at the game, many farmers tune into KMOX NewsRadio 1120 AM – a place to follow St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and a trusted voice of news and more for farmers in the St. Louis area.

Bayer’s longstanding partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals is thanks in part to this window the Cardinals organization has into the farming community. Sponsoring Farmer Appreciation Day at Busch Stadium provides Bayer an opportunity to honor farmers and for Team Bayer to show support and gratitude.

“What a fun day to celebrate farmers!” says Jackie Applegate, President of Bayer’s Crop Science division in North America. “We’re proud to sponsor Farmer Appreciation Day at Busch Stadium to recognize the vital contributions of farmers and provide our community a window into the innovative agriculture solutions helping farmers be more productive and sustainable.” 


Team Bayer handing out information on heart health at Busch Stadium
At the game, fans were invited by Bayer to learn more about keeping healthy hearts. Stress, like the heart-pounding moments fans may experience while watching their favorite teams play, can increase their cardiovascular risk. In fact, heart attack risk can more than double when your home team plays.

Official Sponsor of Fans Hearts

Bayer® Aspirin is showing its commitment to fans who put their whole heart into supporting their teams as the Official Sponsor of Fans’ Hearts, raising awareness of the relationship between the stress of sports fandom and heart health, and encouraging people to take steps to Keep Their Heart in the Game.

“We love our farmers and want to underscore Bayer’s legacy in cardiovascular disease education to bring awareness of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” Jackie says. “Farmers like Jason and the Michael family support Bayer through their drive to innovate and their partnership that propels agriculture to the next level. We could not fulfill our Bayer vision of Health for All, Hunger for None without them, and we want them to care for their health so they can continue to be big Cardinals fans and we at Bayer can continue to be farmers’ biggest fans!”

4 min read