Opposition group watching Tyson after poultry complex announcement

by Ryan McCarthy
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NO Tyson
Tyson Foods released an open letter Tuesday saying it was putting the plan on hold.
TONGANOXIE, Kan. – Despite the Sept. 19 announcement that Tyson Foods is putting its $320 million poultry complex project on hold in Tonganoxie, Kansas, residents in and around the city remain committed to voicing opposition to the proposed project. Citizens Against Project Sunset (CAPS) released a statement on Sept. 20 saying it’s “urging vigilance among its supporters.”

“Today we can smile briefly,” said Jarret Pruitt, Tonganoxie resident and CAPS board member in a statement. “Tomorrow we must wake up more committed and determined to continue this fight.”

On Sept. 5, Tyson announced its plans to build a hatchery, feed mill and processing plant just south of Tonganoxie, in Leavenworth County.

However, a grass roots campaign, led by CAPS, and organized by residents concerned about the negative environmental and economic impact the facilities would have on the community started opposing the project. CAPS launched a website (www.nototyson.com), started a social media campaign opposing the project and distributed yard signs that read “No Tyson in Tongie.”

By Sept. 18, Leavenworth County commissioners rescinded a resolution of intent to approve revenue bonds of $500 million to support the construction of a Tyson Foods Inc. poultry complex.

According to the open letter released by Tyson on Sept. 19, the Springfield, Arkansas-based company still has interest in Leavenworth County, but will “prioritize the other locations in Kansas and other states that have expressed support.”

In CAPS’ statement, it said they will continue to contact local, county and state officials about this project until there is a conclusion.

 "The ‘chickenization’ of northeast Kansas will not be tolerated!" Pruitt stated.   
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