Proposed Tyson plant in Kansas put on hold

by Joel Crews
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Tongy
Protesters have been opposing the Tyson plant in Tonganoxie since the announcement on Sept.5. 
 

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – One day after county commissioners in Leavenworth County, Kansas, voted to rescind a resolution of intent to approve revenue bonds of $500 million to support the construction of a Tyson Foods Inc. poultry complex, the company announced on Sept. 19 that it was putting the $320 million project on hold and is considering other locations.

In an open letter to the Leavenworth community, Doug Ramsey, Tyson’s group president of poultry, said the company was invited by leaders at the local and state level to build the complex there. On Sept. 5 the company announced its plans to build a hatchery, feed mill and processing plant just south of Tonganoxie, Kansas, in Leavenworth County. The bond incentive was part of the decision-making process.

Doug Ramsey
Doug Ramsey, Tyson's group president of poultry

“In a show of support, the county commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to use industrial revenue bonds for the project,” said Ramsey’s letter. “We saw this shared investment, and the $150 million in annual economic impact it would have, as a win for the company and the people of Leavenworth County.”   

After the plans were announced, a grassroots campaign opposing the project was made up of residents concerned about the negative environmental and economic impact the facilities would have on the community. A coalition known as Citizens Against Project Sunset (CAPS) launched a website (www.nototyson.com) and started a social media campaign opposing the project. Since the plans were announced, the group has held protests and voiced its opposition at several rallies and during meetings with county commissioners.

In his letter, Ramsey clarified Tyson’s reputation as a positive corporate citizen and its history of bringing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic benefits to Kansas at its six other facilities in the state. He also said the company didn’t answer questions and address concerns in a timely manner.

“Given the scope of our project, we knew there would be questions and recognized that you would have an important voice in the decision-making process,” said Ramsey’s letter. “That’s why we met with some of you after our initial announcement, planned more meetings and offered community leaders a chance to see our facilities first hand. Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to reach as many of you as quickly as we had hoped.

“We’d still like to get to know each other, however, after Monday’s reversal of support by the Leavenworth County commissioners, we will put our plans in your community on hold. We still have interest in Leavenworth County, but will prioritize the other locations in Kansas and other states that have expressed support.”

 

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READER COMMENTS (2)

By 'Ok Ag '71 9/20/2017 10:07:22 AM
Karen: You and those of your ilk are exactly what is wrong with our country. May you all have clean teeth!

By Karen Davis 9/20/2017 9:47:43 AM
Good for the Kansans who are successfully saying NO to this chicken abuse & murder complex in their "backyard." The big point, though, is to say No to chickens on the plate. That way, there will be no more complexes, no more "processing" plants- slaughterhouses - to worry about despoiling the planet and its inhabitants and habitats. No more nightmares for the chickens who will be blessed by never again being born into this terrible world that human beings have brutally inflicted upon them.