Tyson: Plans for chicken plant in Kansas remain on hold

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Tyson made it's decision today and it doesn't officially mean that a plant in Kansas is out of the question.

After lots of mixed reactions, Tyson foods has announced plans to build a new chicken production complex in western Tennessee, over potential sites in other states, including Kansas.

The plan was expected to bring in about 1600 new jobs, wherever it was built. One of the proposed sites for the plant was in Clearwater. The City of Clearwater recently drafted a resolution against the construction of a Tyson plant within city limits. Amid today's news, those against Tyson's proposed plant in Sedgwick County say the fight is far from over.

"The first thoughts we had when it first came out was people aren't being honest with us about what's going on here and I think we still kind of have those feelings that yeah this is round one but it's not round two yet," said Clearwater resident, Clint Moyer.

Moyer says they're now looking at the next step. “The hope is that the county commission and Wichita greater partnership will come out and say that the plant isn’t just on hold.. That it’s just not gonna be built. That’s our hope," Moyer said.

Three Kansas counties - Sedgwick, Cloud, and Montgomery - were in the running for locations if the plant were to expand to the Kansas area. Kansas State Representative, John Whitmer, said he changed his stance after his district in Sedgwick County had been vocal about the possibility of the plant.

“While I support the construction of the plant and the new jobs it represents I actually cannot and could not endorse an action like that in the area currently being considered unless the community supports it,” Whitmer said.

Tyson had previously announced a $320 million chicken plant outside Tonganoxie in September but local officials withdrew their support amid public opposition. Tyson then started looking at other Kansas towns. The company did say some other possible locations, including Kansas, will remain in consideration for future expansion. 


Previous story by the Associated Press:

Tyson Foods Inc. says its plans for a chicken plant in Kansas remain on hold while it moves forward with its Tennessee project.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company announced Monday it would build a $300 million chicken production complex in   Humboldt, Tennessee, that is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs when it begins operations in 2019.

Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said Monday the company still has an interest in Kansas and will continue to consider potential sites in the state for expansion of its poultry business.

Tyson had previously announced a $320 million chicken plant outside Tonganoxie in northeastern Kansas in September, but local officials withdrew their support amid public opposition. Tyson then started looking elsewhere.

Officials in Sedgwick County, Cloud County and in Coffeyville then pursued the project.


Tyson Foods Inc. plans to build a new chicken production complex in Tennessee, a $300 million project that is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs when the facility begins operations in late 2019, the company said Monday.

The new plant in Humboldt, about 85 miles northeast of Memphis, will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide, the Springdale, Arkansas-based company said in a statement before a news conference. The plant will help it meet strong consumer demand for its chicken.

"Tyson Foods chose western Tennessee over potential sites in other states; however, company officials say some of those other sites will remain under consideration for future poultry production expansion," the company said.

Group protests Tyson chicken plant proposal in Sedgwick County

Clearwater council to draft resolution against Tyson plant

The announcement marks the second major economic development project Tyson has begun this year in Tennessee. In August, the company announced an $84 million expansion of operations in Union City. That project is expected to create about 300 jobs.

Tyson currently operates four facilities in the state, employing about 5,000 people. The company says it paid Tennessee farmers more than $61 million in the 2016 fiscal year.

Officials including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam lauded Tyson for choosing the West Tennessee city.

"This is an historic day for Humboldt, Gibson County and West Tennessee," Humboldt mayor Marvin Sikes said. "The significant job creation and capital investment that will result from this project will have a positive impact on our community that will last for many years."

The company's portfolio of products includes Tyson chicken, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Ballpark.

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