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Tyson Foods building $320m poultry complex in KansasTyson Foods building $320m poultry complex in Kansas

Poultry plant will be capable of processing 1.25 million birds per week.

September 5, 2017

3 Min Read
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In response to strong consumer demand for chicken, Tyson Foods Inc. announced Sept. 5 plans to construct a $320 million poultry complex in eastern Kansas that will include a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill. The complex, to be located near the city of Tonganoxie in Leavenworth County, Kan., will employ approximately 1,600 people and contract with northeastern Kansas farmers and ranchers to raise chickens. The operation, currently scheduled to begin production in mid-2019, will produce prepackaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide.

“More people want fresh food, and as one of the world’s leading protein companies, we’re well positioned to provide it,” said Tom Hayes, president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. “We believe this new operation, which will incorporate the latest production technology, will enable us to meet the sustained growth in consumer demand for fresh chicken.”

The poultry plant will be capable of processing 1.25 million birds per week, increasing Tyson's overall production capacity. The payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation, along with its purchase of grain and utilities, is expected to generate an annual economic benefit to the state of Kansas of $150 million.

“Kansas will be an outstanding home for this Tyson complex,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said. “Growing Kansas means we must grow the food and agriculture sector, which accounts for nearly 45% of the state’s economy. The far-reaching impact of this development will be felt by farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and communities throughout eastern Kansas. This is a step in the right direction to further diversify and grow our state’s economy.”

Brownback emphasized the importance of local-level support for economic development, adding, “Kansas is known throughout the world for our commitment to animal agriculture and for our communities, which offer an exceptional place for companies of this quality to find a talented workforce in a business-friendly environment.”

Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward said the city is looking forward to a successful partnership with Tyson Foods. “We have planned for a development of this type for many years by making strategic investments in public infrastructure targeted to support future industrial growth. This project will bring much-anticipated opportunities for local residents to enjoy the quality-of-life benefit of working close to home. Tyson has a long history of support for small towns and local markets. They will be a great fit for our community.”

Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson, said the company believes eastern Kansas is the right location because of the availability of grain and labor as well as access to the company’s nationwide customer base through the state’s transportation network.

“We’re grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received for this project from Gov. Brownback as well as leaders from the city of Tonganoxie, Leavenworth County, the Leavenworth County Development Corp. and a host of other city, county and state officials,” he said.

Tyson Foods anticipates purchasing about 300 acres of property south of Tonganoxie and currently plans to break ground sometime this fall. The company will work with outside contractors to build the plant, hatchery, feed mill and related infrastructure and expects the construction project to involve hundreds of workers. Farmers and ranchers who have interest in raising chickens for the new poultry complex are encouraged to go to www.growwithtyson.com for more information.

Earlier this year, Tyson Foods announced that it was moving to "no antibiotics ever" (NAE) in its Tyson branded retail chicken products, making it the world’s largest producer of NAE chicken. The Tonganoxie plant will be part of the continued expansion of the company’s NAE offerings.

Tyson Foods currently operates facilities in six Kansas communities, employing about 5,700 in the state with an annual payroll of more than $210 million. In its 2016 fiscal year, Tyson Foods paid Kansas cattle suppliers more than $2 billion and hog suppliers more than $1.3 million. The company estimates its total statewide annual impact for fiscal 2016, including grain purchases, utilities, property taxes and charitable contributions, to be more than $2.4 billion.

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