WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) — Less than three months after its plans to put a chicken processing plant in Tonganoxie were derailed, food giant Tyson Foods says the company is not currently considering any location in Kansas as possible option for one of its poultry plants.
On Thursday, Tyson released a statement saying the company was focusing on its plans for a new facility in Humboldt, Tennessee, calling officials there "great partners throughout the planning process." They added, while they may build another plant in the future, that call has not been made at this time.
In the statement, Tyson claimed "a number of Kansas communities" were interested in the company building a new poultry operation in their area. However, they said they are not actively engaged in any planning discussions with any of them "and are not currently considering any potential property in Kansas."
"That’s why we believe any speculation, conjecture or government action about a potential Tyson Foods facility in Kansas is premature," the statement concluded.
Earlier in the day, the Greater Wichita Partnership announced it would not offer incentives to win a Tyson plant, a day after Segwick Co. Commissioner Richard Ranzau said the same thing about the county.
In September, Tyson surprised much of northeast Kansas when it said a plant would be built in Leavenworth Co. The announcement met with quick opposition from people who live in and around Tonganoxie. Within two weeks, county commissioners voted to rescind a previous resolution favoring $500 million in bonds to help finance the project.
Within days, Tyson had put their plans on hold and began shopping for another location to build the facility, which would contain a processing plant, hatchery, and feed mill. Several other Kansas communities were believed to be in the running for the plant, including Cloud Co., and Sedgwick Co. Opponents to the latter location, held a rally this weekend in Wichita to express their opposition.
Two months later, Tyson announced a new plant would be built in Humboldt, Tennessee, near the city of Jackson.
"The location is attractive to us because of the strong support we’ve received from state and local leaders, the existing industrial park and availability of labor, as well as access to feed grains produced in the region,” Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods, said.
Read the full statement from Tyson Foods, Inc.
"We’re currently moving forward with our new poultry operation in Humboldt, Tennessee, and are working with officials there who’ve been great partners throughout the planning process.
We may one day decide to build an additional plant as demand for our chicken continues to grow, but no decisions have been made. While a number of Kansas communities have expressed interest in a new Tyson poultry operation, we’re not actively engaged in planning discussions with any city or county since making our announcement in Tennessee, and are not currently considering any potential property in Kansas. That’s why we believe any speculation, conjecture or government action about a potential Tyson Foods facility in Kansas is premature."