Missouri state leaders pressing Tyson Foods to sell plants set for closing

Officials inform company of its legal obligation to adhere to state antitrust laws.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

October 5, 2023

1 Min Read
Getty Images/ iStock

Tyson Foods is under pressure from Missouri state leaders to sell two plants it had previously announced would be closing in October, leaving thousands without jobs. Both Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Sen. Josh Hawley have reached out to Tyson Foods Chief Executive Officer Donnie King to urge the company to consider selling the plants located in Dexter and Noel.

In a letter dated Oct. 3, Bailey explained that the closures will have “ripple effects” that will harm more than just the individuals who would lose their factory jobs. 

“How can a restaurant or grocery store in a town of 2,000 people expect to stay open when 1,500 people lose their jobs? What will chicken farmers and grain growers do if the plants they have long relied on close,” Bailey asked King in the letter.

The letter disclosed that Sen. Hawley has also been in communication with the chicken company since its August announcement about its intentions and the necessity to comply with state antitrust laws.

“I understand that Senator Hawley recently informed you that federal antitrust laws require you to make every effort to sell, including to a competitor,” Bailey wrote, adding that the requirement is imposed by both state and federal law.

“Like Senator Hawley, I am committed to ensuring corporations fulfill their legal obligations. I will always enforce state law in defense of working Missouri families,” Bailey stated.

But even setting aside potential legal liability, Bailey told King that doing everything in the company’s power to find a buyer “is simply the right thing to do.”

He added, “It is vital to the people of Missouri whose livelihoods depend on these factories that Tyson works to ensure that these plants remain open.”

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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