Tyson Foods' plans to build a $320 million poultry complex in Tonganoxie, Kansas. The plant is expected to employ about 1,600 people in Leavenworth County.
The company will construct a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill south of Tonganoxie, and contract with northeast Kansas farmers and ranchers to raise chickens. The operation, currently scheduled to begin production in mid-2019, will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide.
“We believe eastern Kansas is the right location because of the availability of grain and labor, as well as access to our nationwide customer base that is accessible through the state’s top-notch transportation network,” said Doug Ramsey, Group President of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “We’re grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received for this project from Governor Brownback, as well as leaders from the City of Tonganoxie, Leavenworth County, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, and a host of other city, county and state officials.”
“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 & CEO 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.”
According to company officials, the poultry plant will be capable of processing 1.25 million birds per week, increasing Tyson Foods’ 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,” said Governor Sam Brownback. “Growing Kansas means we must grow the food and agriculture sector which accounts for nearly 45 percent 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.”
The Governor emphasized the importance of local-level support for economic development. “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, “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.”
Earlier this year, Tyson Foods announced it was moving to No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) in its Tyson branded retail chicken products, making it the world’s largest producer of NAE. The Tonganoxie plant will be part of the continued expansion of the company’s NAE offerings.